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Photo Credit: Vicente Cardenas/The Paisano

Follow our blog (The Blue and Orange Report) and Twitter account (@paisanosports1) for quarter-to-quarter game updates, including scores, stats, and injuries

First Quarter: Rice (3) UTSA (0)
The Roadrunners got off to an impressive defensive start in the opening drive of the game. The owls had possession starting from their own 20, and managed a seven play 36-yard drive to get into field goal range. The Roadrunners were resilient however and their stellar defensive line play continued as defensive end Codie Brooks sacked Rice quarterback Taylor McHargue for a big loss. Rice subsequently missed the ensuing field goal.

On back to back drives the UTSA offense struggled to gain any momentum with two three and outs. Relying on their defense to keep them in the game, the Roadrunners held the Owls to a field goal after they put together a seven play 43-yard drive.

The Roadrunners had a ten play 57-yard drive towards the end of the quarter, and were in threatening position to equalize with a field goal. The opportunity was missed as Sean Ianno’s 48-yard field goal attempt came up short and wide right.

Key First Quarter UTSA Stats:
UTSA time of possession was 8:54.
Defensive end Codie Brooks has 1 sack.
Jarveon Williams has 19 yards rushing.

Second Quarter: Rice (20) UTSA (7)
The UTSA defense again held Rice to a field goal after an eight play 58-yard drive to start the second quarter. The Roadrunners dominant defensive line play has dictated the Owls rushing game so far today.

The Roadrunner offense showed moments of brilliance and came to life in the second quarter. UTSA had a five-play 85-yard touchdown drive to take the lead for the first time in the game. Big running plays from David Glasco II and quarterback Eric Soza spearheaded the Roadrunner scoring drive.

The momentum was starting to build for the Roadrunners, after another key defensive stop resulted in a punt for the Owls. Unfortunately, UTSA punt returner Kenny Harrison fumbled the punt after being run into by one of his teammates. Rice capitalized on the play and managed to score and take back the lead 13-7.

The Roadrunners responded well to the frustrating turnover and put together a nine play 50-yard drive that ate up 4:07 of the game clock. They pushed all the way into field goal position but again failed to convert, with Ianno coming up short yet again; this time from 46-yards.

The Owls got the ball back on their own 29-yard line and marched down the field with an eight play 71-yard drive to score against the Roadrunners. Owls’ quarterback McHargue threw a beautiful 37-yard arching pass to wide receiver Dennis Parks for the score.

The Owls closed the half with a 20-7 lead over the Roadrunners.

UTSA can look back on the game changing fumble during the punt return that resulted in a touchdown as the vital momentum swing of the first half. The Roadrunners are very much in the game and need to capitalize on scoring opportunities.

Key Second Quarter UTSA Stats:
UTSA has one turnover in the game, but unfortunately it was an important game changing play.
The Roadrunners have five penalties resulting in a loss of 50 yards.
David Glasco II has 63 yards rushing and Eric Soza has 52 yards rushing.

Third Quarter: Rice (27) UTSA (7)
Any mojo that the Roadrunners had in the first half had all but dissipated in the third quarter.

The Owls put together a nine-play 66-yard touchdown drive to extend their lead to 27-7 after the Roadrunners were unable to score on their opening second half drive. The UTSA offense just could not get anything going in the third quarter, succombing to downs once, and punting twice.

UTSA Head Coach Larry Coker tried to spark something in his players by going for it on back-to-back fourth downs, but nothing came of it.

The Roadrunners face a tall order in the fourth quarter if they plan on mounting a comeback.

Key Third Quarter UTSA Stats:
UTSA went for it on two fourth downs, going 1-2 on fourth down conversions.
Eric Soza is now 7-15 with only 31-yards in the air.Fourth Quarter: The Roadrunners wore their heart on their sleeve and fought back with plenty of pride late in the game.

Fourth Quarter: Rice (27) UTSA (21)

UTSA opened the fourth quarter with a 12 play 78-yard drive down the field to score and come within two touchdowns of the lead with the score at 27-14. Wide receiver Brandon Freeman caught a 19-yard out pass to move the chains for the Roadrunners, and receiver Aaron Grubb ran a 23-yard reverse for a much needed impact play. Eric Soza capped off the fantastic drive with a quarterback sneak into the end zone.

After holding the Owls to a punt, the Roadrunners had a chance to come within a score of Rice.

Eric Soza completed back-to-back passes for over 10-yards each and marched the Roadrunners into the Owls’ defensive third. Unfortunately, the Owls’ defense held the Roadrunners and brought them to a fourth down. A botched snap ended the promising drive, leaving the Roadrunners reeling.

The defense continued to fight and push on, holding Rice to another punt yet again, and giving the Roadrunners a chance to pull within a score.

With just under four minutes to play, the Roadrunners converted a crucial fourth and ten on the Owls’ own 40-yard line to keep the drive alive. Eric Soza continued to play positive for the Roadrunners, scrambling for positive yardage and leading the Roadrunners into the red zone. Soza threw a 13-yard slant route to wide receiver Brandon Freeman to bring UTSA within a yard of the end zone. A 1-yard touchdown sneak by Soza successfully capped off the drive.

With just under 1:30 left to play in the game and with UTSA trailing 27-21, Coach Coker decided to call an onside kick to give his team that last scoring chance. Rice recovered the onside kick and the Roadrunner’s valiant effort was over.

Key Fourth Quarter UTSA Stats:
UTSA had 14 unanswered points to come within a touchdown of the lead, but it was too little to late.
Eric Soza went 17-31 for 170 yards in the air while also having 85 yards on the ground with two touchdowns.
David Glasco II finished the game with 78 yards on the ground with a touchdown.

Final Summary:
The Roadrunners were foiled by a crucial mistake they made that swung the momentum of the game in the second quarter. The fumbled punt and the missed field goals resulted in a deficit UTSA could not recover from. They fought back with pride and with valor and almost came within a possession of winning the game, but ultimately it’s the little things when playing a strong conference team like Rice. The Roadrunners continue their season as they take on UAB at the Alamodome at 4pm on Saturday, October 26th.

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