UTSA downs Alabama State in season opener, 26-13
SAN ANTONIO — Dalton Sturm completed 20-of-25 passes en route to piling up 326 yards of total offense to lead UTSA to a 26-13 win against Alabama State on Saturday night at the Alamodome in the debut for head coach Frank Wilson.
The Roadrunners improved to 5-1 all-time in season openers in what was their first opening game at home since the inaugural contest against Northeastern State five years ago to the day.
"Winning feels fantastic. I'm so excited for our players, our program and this city" Wilson said. "The thing I told our team after postgame was be excited, man, we just won a game. They are hard to come by, so we'll take it how we can get it."
Sturm threw for 274 yards and a pair of touchdowns and added 52 yards on the ground, highlighted by a 51-yard score in the second quarter that put UTSA ahead for good.
Meanwhile, Josiah Tauaefa led the defense with 13 tackles, including nine solo and a pair of sacks, while Marcus Davenport also registered two sacks to help the Roadrunners set a school record with six as a team.
The game began when Eric Banks forced an Alabama State fumble on the opening kickoff that was recovered by Andrew Martel at the Hornets' 6-yard line. Three plays later, Sturm connected with Marquez McNair in the back of the end zone to give the home team an early 6-0 lead.
Alabama State answered when Khalid Thomas capped a 13-play, 77-yard drive with a 1-yard scoring plunge. The extra point put the visitors ahead 7-6.
The Roadrunners regained the lead with Sturm's long scamper down the right sideline. The Goliad native then found Greg Campbell Jr. on the two-point conversion to make it 14-6.
By the end of the first half, Sturm was 10-of-11 through the air.
UTSA extended its lead to start the second half. Jalen Rhodes ended a quick, six-play, 74-yard scoring march with a 1-yard TD run, but the extra point was wide left, leaving the score at 20-7.
The Roadrunners tacked on another score in the fourth when Sturm and Kerry Thomas Jr. hooked up on a 25-yard connection. The home team again went for two, but this time it failed.
With less than three minutes to play, a 36-yard TD pass from Quinterris Toppings to Palmer Graham provided the final 13-point margin.
UTSA will travel to Fort Collins, Colo. to face Colorado State (0-1) at 3 p.m. (CT) next Saturday, Sept. 10.