UTSA scored the first 27 points of the game and never looked back in spoiling Houston's TDECU Stadium debut with a dominating 27-7 victory in the season opener for both teams on Friday night.
Playing in front of a capacity crowd of 40,755 fans, the Roadrunners forced a school-record six turnovers (four interceptions/two fumble recoveries), posted a 35:30-22:14 advantage in time of possession and held the Cougars to just 208 yards of offense in improving to 4-0 all-time in season openers, the last three of which have come away from the Alamo City.
UTSA piled up 142 yards on the ground with 115 coming after halftime when the Birds held the ball for nearly 23 of the 30 minutes. David Glasco II rushed for a game-high 81 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 25 carries, while Jarveon Williams added 54 and a score on a dozen attempts.
Defensively, Crosby Adams III, Bennett Okotcha, Mauricio Sanchez and Triston Wade all registered picks, while Chase Dahlquist and Jens Jeters recovered fumbles to help UTSA establish a new school record for forced turnovers. Nic Johnston led a unit that surrendered just 208 total yards (-26 rush/234 pass) with eight tackles.
UTSA held Houston to 66 yards and forced three Houston turnovers to go along with eight three-and-outs in building a 14-0 halftime lead.
Cougars punter Dylan Seibert fumbled a snap and was tackled at his own 3-yard line midway through the first quarter and, on the next play, Glasco II scampered around the left side for his first touchdown of the night to give the visitors an early 7-0 advantage.
Wade came up with a key interception, his school-record ninth career theft, early in the second quarter to thwart a Houston drive at the 3-yard line. UTSA was unable to produce points off that turnover, but Adams III stepped in front of a John O’Korn sideline pass on the first play of the Cougars’ next drive.
The Roadrunners again were unable to capitalize, but they did take advantage of good field position just before intermission.
Making his first career start, quarterback Tucker Carter led UTSA on a four-play, 56-yard scoring drive that was highlighted by a 29-yard pass to Seth Grubb down to the 2-yard line. Glasco II reached paydirt on the next play for his school-record 17th rushing TD.
UTSA used the run game (21 rushes for 85 yards) to dominate time of possession in the third quarter, holding the ball for 12:59 seconds during the stanza.
The Birds’ opening drive of the second half went 13 plays (11 rushes) for 60 yards and took 6:53 off the clock. Williams capped the march with an 11-yard dash up the middle on a draw play.
Okotcha joined the turnover party when he picked off O’Korn at the Houston 45. UTSA then went 11 plays (10 rushes) for 36 yards in 5:45 and ended with a 24-yard field goal from Sean Ianno.
Ianno extended the Roarunners' lead to 27-0 with a 30-yard field goal with four minutes to play.
Houston ended UTSA’s shot at its first-ever shutout on Ryan Jackson's 2-yard TD run with 1:04 remaining.
Carter threw for 121 yards on 15-of-24 passing, finding Marcellus Mack three times for a team-best 37 yards.
O’Korn was 21-of-43 for 204 yards but was sacked four times. Deontay Greenberry led all receivers with six catches for 96 yards.
There will be no rest for the Roadrunners, as they will host Arizona (1-0) in their home opener on Thursday, Sept. 4. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. and the game will be televised nationally on FOX Sports 1.