SAN MARCOS — Jalen Rhodes rushed for a career-best 174 yards and UTSA registered a school-record 569 yards of offense and held Texas State to 198 in a 44-14 victory against on Saturday night at Bobcat Stadium.
The Roadrunners ran their record to 3-0 for the first time since the 2012 team won its first five games, and they improved to 2-0 all-time against the Bobcats (1-3).
Rhodes’ total now stands second on the school’s single-game list and it came on just 15 carries (11.6 avg), as the junior running back turned in his second 100-yard game of the season and third of his career. UTSA piled up a program-record 357 yards on the ground and possessed the ball for 35 minutes and 21 seconds.
Tyrell Clay also posted a career high with 71 yards and a TD on 13 totes, while Brett Winnegan made the most of his one carry, racing 71 yards to paydirt late in the contest for the seventh-longest run in school annals.
Meanwhile, the defense held its fifth straight opponent to less than 300 yards and its last two have gained less than 200. The Roadrunners tied a school record with 11 tackles for loss, led by three from Kevin Strong Jr. and two each by Marcus Davenport and La’Kel Bass. Davenport and C.J. Levine led UTSA with six tackles apiece, while Josiah Tauaefa added five stops and the first defensive score of the season.
UTSA got on the board first when Jared Sackett capped an 11-play, 71-yard drive with a 21-yard field goal on the opening possession.
The Roadrunners extended their lead to 10-0 when defensive end Eric Banks forced a fumble in the backfield that Tauaefa scooped up and returned 22 yards for a touchdown. It marked the first fumble return for a score since the 2013 season.
The Bobcats marched 94 yards in nine plays on their next possession. Damian Williams, who had a 30-yard dash early in the drive, scored on a keeper from two yards out to cut the UTSA lead to 10-7 with 5:27 left in the opening stanza.
However, Rhodes broke loose for 67 yards and a touchdown early in the second quarter to put the Birds back up by two scores.
After Texas State answered with a 9-yard TD pass from Williams to Jeremiah Haydel, UTSA took advantage of a pair of 15-yard penalties on the Bobcats to push the lead back to 10 points. Clay capped a nine-play, 65-yard march with a 5-yard scamper to paydirt.
With time expiring in the half, Sackett split the uprights from 43 yards out to give the visitors a 27-14 lead at the break.
Sackett extended the UTSA lead to 30-14 with a 27-yard field goal with six minutes left in the third quarter.
Rhodes added his second score of the night on a 36-yard dash early in the final quarter and Winnegan’s career-long TD run with 4:20 left provided the final margin.
UTSA outgained Texas State 257 to 45 in the second half in cruising to the 30-point road win.
Dalton Sturm completed 17-of-25 passes for 212 yards and those passes went to seven different receivers. Kerry Thomas Jr. hauled in four for 56 yards and Rhodes also had four for 27. Brady Jones led all players with 75 yards on three catches.
The Roadrunners will take next weekend off before hosting Southern Miss in the Conference USA opener on Saturday, Oct. 7. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. at the Alamodome and the game will be televised on KMYS-CW 35 in San Antonio and it also will stream live via Stadium on Facebook.
For more images from the game log onto https://snappics.smugmug.com/Football/Season-2017-2018/Texas-State-vs-UTSA-College