SAN ANTONIO (Fwrd Axis) — It took more time than first thought but the No. 24 Houston Cougars opened the 2022 season with a 37-35 victory over the UTSA Roadrunners in three overtimes on Saturday at the Alamodome.
Houston rallied from a 21-7 deficit in the second half as the Cougars snapped the Roadrunners’ 10-game home winning streak.
Houston quarterback Clayton Tune scored the game-winner, leaping over several UTSA defenders to get into the endzone to cap off a 13-yard run. Meanwhile, the Cougars clamped down defensively on the very next play as UTSA’s attempt to force a fourth overtime session was dashed as their pass towards the endzone floated out of bounds.
After the game, UTSA Head Coach Jeff Traylor took the blame for his team’s loss.
“We proved again we can play with anybody in the country,” Traylor said. “[This] one hurts so much, we know we belong and we didn’t get it done and that’s on me.”
UTSA quarterback Frank Harris threw for 337 yards and three touchdowns and ran for another when he took two members of Houston with him into the endzone to put the Roadrunners up 14-7. The Runners then added a second score to make it 21-7.
Houston dominated the fourth quarter to rally and take the lead. UTSA was flagged for too many men on the field, which led to the Cougars getting the touchdown to make it 21-14. Harris was picked off by Houston’s Nelson Ceasor, setting up the game-tying score with 12:26 left in regulation.
The Cougars took their first lead of the game on a 35-yard field goal from Bubba Baxa. With time running out in the final quarter, Harris led the Roadrunners down the field to set up a field goal from Jared Sackett to force overtime, sending the crowd of 37,526 screaming.
“We never give up,” Harris said. “I kept telling the guys, keep believing, if we get an opportunity, we have to go out there and try our best and that’s what we did.”
In the first overtime period, both teams exchanged field goals. The second overtime saw the rule change of teams must now go for two points after touchdowns instead of kicking the extra point. Tune gave Houston back the lead in the second overtime, scoring on a 1-yard run.
After a Houston score, UTSA forced the third overtime with a 13-yard pass from Harris and he ran to convert the two-point conversion to make it 35-35.
“Those kids, they sold out, man,” Traylor said. “They gave everything they had, every single ounce, of fiber they had. They are the hardest playing kids in the country. I’ll put them up against anybody.”
UTSA (0-1) will hit the road to face Army Black Knights (0-1)
Houston (1-0) will travel to Lubbock to face the Texas Tech Red Raiders (1-0)