Eric Soza tallied 204 yards passing as the Texas-San Antonio Roadrunners coasted to a 32-13 victory over the Texas-El Paso Miners in their first-ever Conference USA competition at the Sun Bowl.
Soza completed 18-of-24 pass attempts and threw a touchdown pass for the Roadrunners (2-2, 1-0 C-USA), who made their C-USA debut after joining the league over the offseason. David Glasco gained 52 yards and a touchdown on 10 attempts while Brandon Freeman led the team with 53 yards receiving on one catch. The win ended a two-game losing slide for UTSA.
For UTEP (1-2, 0-1), Jameill Showers went 17-of-31 for 119 yards. Autrey Golden scored on a kick return and also led the Miners on the ground with 39 yards on six carries. UTEP failed to score an offensive touchdown as its final two drives ended on downs.
UTSA jumped out to a 7-0 lead as Brandon Armstrong broke away for a 29-yard touchdown run less than four minutes after the opening kickoff.
The Miners wasted no time responding as Golden returned the ensuing kickoff 100 yards for six points. Jay Mattox evened the score with a successful extra point attempt moments later.
After UTSA went three-and-out, UTEP put together a 16-play drive that lasted over seven minutes until the 1:28 mark of the first period when Mattox chipped in a 28-yard field goal to give the hosts 10-7 lead.
The Roadrunners took back control of the game in the second stanza with 17 consecutive points. Jones struck first as he dashed 28 yards across the goal line for a touchdown and Seth Grubb pushed his way past UTEP's defenders for a successful two-point conversion. UTSA then added three more at the 3:34 mark of the second quarter as Sean Ianno drilled a 37-yard field goal try.
Soza engineered the final scoring drive of the half in two plays as he connected with Freeman on a 53-yard pass to set up a 17-yard touchdown throw to Cole Hubble. Ianno put the ensuing extra point attempt through the uprights to send UTSA into the break with a comfortable, 25-10 advantage.
The only score of the third frame came courtesy of a 24-yard field goal by Mattox in the final minute of the period.
UTEP could not manage to get any closer as it was held scoreless the rest of the way. UTSA added some insurance with a 17-yard touchdown run by Glasco at the 2:45 mark of the fourth frame.
UTSA gained 385 yards of total offense and limited the hosts to just 218 on the night. Neither side committed a turnover in the contest.