SAN ANTONIO — Eric Soza passed for three touchdowns and ran for another and UTSA got past I-35 rival Texas State by a score of 38-31 in Saturday's season finale in front of 39,032 fans at the Alamodome.
The game also wrapped up the Roadrunners' (8-4, 3-3 WAC) first and only campaign in the Western Athletic Conference. UTSA went 4-6 last year as a Football Championship Division independent and it will move to Conference USA next season.
Soza completed 15-of-30 passes for 200 yards but threw two interceptions. He had thrown 256 consecutive passes without an interception, the longest active streak in the nation, before he was picked off by Jamie Clavell-Head in the third quarter. Soza also rushed nine times for a team-leading 97 yards.
UTSA outgained Texas State, 499-392, in total offense and finished with a school-record 299 rushing yards on 40 carries. Evans Okotcha added 93 rushing yards on just 11 carries, while David Glasco II ran for 68 on 14 totes.
Texas State dropped to 3-8 overall (1-4 WAC) in the first meeting between the two schools separated by just 55 miles.
Leading 24-14 at halftime, the Roadrunners appeared to be on the verge of breaking the game open when Soza scored on a 2-yard run three plays after Brandon Reeves recovered a fumble by quarterback Shaun Rutherford.
The Bobcats closed the gap to 31-17 on a 23-yard field goal by Will Johnson with 4:54 remaining in the quarter following Clavell-Head's interception.
Darryl Morris intercepted another Soza pass to set up Texas State's next score, a 6-yard run by Terrence Franks with 2:34 left in the third stanza.
The Roadrunners responded with a seven-play, 75-yard drive that ended with Soza's 34-yard TD pass to Jeremiah Moeller, who was left wide open on a seam route.
However, Texas State was not done.
Capitalizing on an interception of a Kam Jones pass in the end zone by Colby Targun, the Bobcats clawed back to within a touchdown with a 13-play, 80-yard march. Rutherford's 15-yard TD pass to Brandon Smith made it 38-31 with 1:40 left.
The Roadrunners recovered the ensuing onside kick and ran off critical time before having to punt, but Texas State was unable to tie things up.
UTSA got on the board first with Sean Ianno's 35-yard field goal and the lead grew to 10 when Kenny Harrison returned a punt 79 yards for a score with 8:41 remaining in the opening quarter.
The Bobcats pulled to within 10-7 on Rutherford's 57-yard pass to Isaiah Battle, but the Roadrunners responded with a Soza-to-Hubble 29-yard TD three minutes later.
Rutherford's 2-yard run with 2:46 left in the first half made it 17-14, but Soza found Kenny Bias from two yards out to give UTSA a 10-point cushion at intermission.