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UTSA Defense Weathers the Storm, Leads UTSA to a 25-6 Victory over UTEP

It wasn't pretty but the Roadrunners got a much needed win in El Paso to stay undefeated in the Sun Bowl

Nate Gaines led the way for the UTSA defense with two interceptions
Nate Gaines led the way for the UTSA defense with two interceptions
Rob Ferguson-USA TODAY Sports

What a wild night in old El Paso.

The players and fans had to sit through two first half weather delays caused by lightning and rainfall. The ugly weather conditions matched the play on the field in the first half as both offenses failed to amount meaningful drives.

UTSA was able to build a three point lead before the officiating crew decided to put us all out of our misery and end the first half 11 second short in order to overlap halftime and the second weather delay.

The Roadrunners received the ball to start the second half and came out swinging to set the tone for the rest of the evening.

Pinned on their own two yard line, UTEP gave up a safety to hand UTSA a 5-0 lead. Roadrunner defensive coordinator Neal Neathery made a masterful play call by substituting a defensive end for three defensive tackles on the play. Penetration by freshman Kevin Strong paved the way for a Drew Douglas tackle in the Miner end zone.

Energized by the defensive stand, UTSA's offense exploded for a four play scoring drive on the back of rushes from Jarveon Williams.

Hard luck would continue to press on the Miners as UTSA safety Michael Egwuagu leaped to snatch up a pass from Ryan Metz, giving the Roadrunners an 18-0 lead after the pick six.

UTEP would give the Roadrunners a bit of a scare after a nice touchdown pass to get on the board but the Roadrunners will seal off the victory after sophomore free safety Nate Gaines lateraled his second interception of the night to Egwuagu for the Roadrunners' second pick six of the night.

UTSA created five turnovers to pave the way for their first win of the season. Here are a few miscellaneous observations:

  • Starting quarterback Blake Bogenschutz got rocked by a hit in the third quarter. Visibly woozy, Dalton Sturm finished the game while Bogenschutz was observed for a possible concussion.
  • UTSA missed three field goals and an extra point. It's impressive to win so soundly when leaving ten points on the board.
  • The Roadrunner defensive line looked much improved with freshman Kevin Strong starting his first game. While the pass rush was inconsistent, it was heavily improved over the first four games of the season.
  • True freshman CJ Levine had an unbelievable performance. Down to their third string option after Duke Wheeler was ejected due to a targeting call, Levine was in the right place on nearly every snap.
  • While this was a solid road win for UTSA, the offense left a lot to be concerned over. The offensive line couldn't find their groove and the play calling didn't seem to fool the Miner defense in the least.
The Roadrunners will host Louisiana Tech in the Alamodome next weekend. While UTSA starting quarterback Blake Bogenschutz may be questionable after sustaining a blow to the head, LA Tech's leading rusher Kenneth Dixon will miss the first half after being ejected tonight with two personal fouls.