SAN ANTONIO — Freshman quarterback John Simmons accounted for 220 yards and three touchdowns and freshman wide receiver Mike Wilburn compiled 189 yards of offense and a pair of scores to highlight the final scrimmage of the year for UTSA held Thursday before 2,103 fans at the Alamodome.
Simmons completed 5-of-8 passes for 173 yards and two TDs and rushed five times for a team-high 47 yards and another score, while Wilburn had seven catches for 161 yards and a TD and added three rushes for 28 yards and another score.
“What a great night for our program, the university, the city and this wonderful facility,” head coach Larry Coker said. “We thought it would be beneficial to hold our final scrimmage here at the Alamodome and everything about tonight was a success. The players had fun and I think the fans that came out enjoyed watching us on this field.”
The offense scored touchdowns on six of 13 possessions on the evening.
After the initial drive ended with a punt that was downed at the 2-yard line, Simmons guided the offense on a quick-strike attack through the air. He found freshman Noe Garcia all alone on the right sideline for 62 yards on the first play and then connected with freshman Kam Jones on a seam route from 36 yards out for the first score of the night.
After the defense forced another punt by the first teamers, Simmons’ next opportunity also resulted in a touchdown. The New Braunfels product zipped a 43-yard pass to Wilburn down the left sideline to set up a 6-yard keeper of his own and cap a seven-play, 88-yard march.
Freshman Kennedy Jones engineered a six-play scoring drive two possessions later that ended with a 40-yard touchdown run off a reverse by Garcia.
Freshman safety Nic Johnston picked off a post route and returned it 15 yards to the 27 to stop the next drive. On the first play, Simmons found freshman running back Brandon Armstrong wide open on a wheel route down the right sideline for another TD.
The defense stepped up again on the next two possessions, forcing a three-and-out and then stopping the next drive with an interception and 24-yard return by redshirt freshman Xaviar Archangel.
Redshirt freshman quarterback Eric Soza led the first team on an eight-play, 64-yard scoring drive that was capped by a 10-yard touchdown run on a reverse by Wilburn.
On the next possession, Wilburn hauled in a 28-yard pass from freshman Travis Menn for the final score of the evening.
Kurfehs had six tackles, including one for a loss, to lead the defense, while Archangel recorded three tackles and two pass breakups, including the INT. Adams posted five stops and Johnston, sophomore Adefemi Adekeye, junior Mark Waters and junior Marlon Smith registered four tackles each.
Offensively, Garcia caught two passes for 90 yards and rushed twice for 28 yards and his TD. Jones hauled in four passes for 64 yards and a score and carried three times for 24 yards.
“We’ve come miles this fall from where we started,” Coker said. “We are a much better football team now than we were in September. That being said, we still have miles to go to get to where we need to be, but we think we will do that with the experience these guys got this fall and the recruits we will be able to bring in.”