UTSA runs past Georgia State on Saturday, 38-14
ATLANTA, Ga. — Evans Okotcha rushed for a program-record three touchdowns and UTSA scored on six of its first seven drives en route to a 38-14 victory at Georgia State on Saturday night at the Georgia Dome.
Okotcha had 49 yards on the ground to help the Roadrunners, who improved to 3-0 and now are riding a four-game winning streak dating back to last season, rush for 225 against the FBS transitional Panthers (0-3). David Glasco II had a team-high 55 on just four carries, including a 47-yarder during UTSA's opening possession, while Eric Soza and CheRod Simpson added 51 and 35, respectively.
The Roadrunners tallied a season-high 442 yards of total offense, 217 of which came through the air, and they doubled up Georgia State, 26-13, on first downs in addition to having the ball for nearly 42 minutes (41:29).
UTSA got on the board first on Sean Ianno's 26-yard field goal, but the Panthers answered with an 84-yard scoring pass down the left sideline from Ben McLane to Albert Wilson on their first drive.
Kenny Harrison returned the ensuing kickoff a school-record 84 yards to set up a 5-yard scoring jaunt up the middle by Okotcha, which gave UTSA a 10-7 lead with 8:01 left in the first quarter.
The Birds extended the advantage to double digits when Soza found Aaron Grubb in the back of the end zone from five yards out on third-and-goal late in the opening stanza.
Okotcha got his second TD of the evening on a 1-yard dive with 5:31 remaining in the second frame to stake UTSA to a 24-7 halftime edge.
The Roadrunners added a pair of TDs in the third to put the game out of reach.
Soza connected with Marcellus Mack in the back corner of the end zone from 20 yards out to put UTSA up, 31-7. Okotcha then struck paydirt once again from the one to make it 38-7 with 6:33 left in the third.
A late scoring pass from Ronnie Bell to Wilson provided the final 24-point margin.
"I felt like if everyone played their best today, we could win this game," head coach Larry Coker said. "I'm very proud of our coaches and the game plan they put together and I'm really proud of the way our guys executed today. This was a good road win against a solid team."
UTSA was 6-for-6 in the red zone at one point, finishing 6-for-8 after two late drives resulted in turnovers on downs. The Birds also converted four turnovers into a pair of scores and now have created seven scores off 10 opponent miscues this season (other three have resulted in UTSA running out the clock).
Mack entered the game with two catches for 20 yards this season and six for 54 for his career, but he finished with four receptions and 52 yards.
Soza, who completed 17-of-24 passes for 206 yards and a pair of TDs, connected with nine different receivers in the rout, including four for 55 yards to Okotcha.
The UTSA defense limited Georgia State to 86 rushing yards and 307 total with 53 coming on the final drive of the contest.
Crosby Adams, Erik Brown and Brian King all picked off passes, while Brown also forced a fumble that Darrien Starling recovered.
The Roadrunners return home to host Northwestern Oklahoma State (0-3) next Saturday, Sept. 22. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. at the Alamodome in the inaugural Hispanic Heritage Day.