San Jose State overwhelms UTSA on Saturday, 52-24
SAN ANTONIO — Ryan Polite completed 20-of-32 passes for a school-record 302 yards and two touchdowns, but San Jose State jumped out to a 31-0 lead and cruised to a 52-24 victory on Saturday in front of 30,862 fans at the Alamodome.
Polite, who started in place of an injured Eric Soza, added a game-high 44 yards on the ground for the Roadrunners (5-2, 1-1 WAC), who dropped their second consecutive game after winning the first five of the season.
Meanwhile, David Fales finished with 279 passing yards and three scores to pace the Spartans (5-2, 1-1 WAC).
Playing in front of its home crowd for the first time in four weeks, UTSA was unable to get on track in the decisive opening period.
The Roadrunners, who entered the contest with just three giveaways in their first six games this season, turned the ball over a total of five times and three times in the first quarter alone, which led to 17 San Jose State points.
The Spartans struck first on a 36-yard TD pass over the middle from Fales to Grigsby at the 9:36 mark of the opening quarter.
San Jose State added its second touchdown on its next possession when second-string quarterback Blake Jurich dashed around the right end for 10 yards.
The Spartans immediately capitalized on the first of UTSA’s five fumbles with a 36-yard TD strike from Fales to Tyler Ervin for a 21-0 lead.
The visitors tacked on another score after Chris Kearney recovered a snap that sailed over the head of punter Josh Ward into the end zone, while a 25-yard field goal from Austin Lopez made it 31-0 with 12:56 to go in the second quarter.
Polite helped UTSA end the shutout on its next possession when he connected with Evans Okotcha on a 69-yard screen pass down the right sideline. It was Okotcha's team-leading eighth touchdown of the season (6 rush/2 rec).
However, the Spartans answered with a 92-yard return by Ervin on the ensuing kickoff, the first kickoff return for a touchdown allowed in program history.
With San Jose State threatening again on its next possession, Triston Wade registered his team-leading fourth forced fumble of the season, which was recovered by Franky Anaya near the UTSA sideline.
The Roadrunners then put together a seven-play, 35-yard drive that ended with a career-long 41-yard field goal by Kristian Stern and UTSA went to the locker room trailing, 38-10.
Another fumble ended the Spartans’ first possession of the second half and UTSA responded with its longest drive of the day (10 plays for 80 yards) that culminated with a 5-yard scoring toss from Polite to Kenny Harrison .
The drive was aided by a 37-yard pass to Kenny Bias, who finished the contest with four catches for a career-high 94 yards. Okotcha also added 22 of his 29 yards on two carries during the possession.
San Jose State responded with a pair of touchdowns to put the game out of reach.
A fumble set up a quick three-play scoring jaunt that ended with De’Leon Eskridge’s 2-yard plunge before Fales hooked up with Ryan Otten in the corner of the end zone just before the end of the third quarter for a 52-17 lead.
Steven Kurfehs provided the final score of the afternoon with a 50-yard fumble return for a touchdown in the final stanza. The San Antonio native scooped up a bad snap and raced to the end zone for the second defensive score of his career.
UTSA will be back in action next Saturday, Oct. 27, when it hosts Western Athletic Conference leader Utah State (6-2, 2-0 WAC) at 1 p.m.