Recap: South Alabama vs. TX-San Antonio
Mobile, AL (Sports Network) - A 51-yard field goal by Sean Ianno with 16 seconds remaining proved to be the game-winner as the Roadrunners of Texas-San Antonio squeezed out a 33-31 victory over the South Alabama Jaguars in the season opener for both programs at Ladd Peebles Stadium.
Ianno nailed all four of his field goal attempts for the Roadrunners (1-0) as they began life as a Football Bowl Subdivision program with a victory. A member of the Western Athletic Conference, UTSA picked up the road win despite converting just 2-of-12 on third downs.
Quarterback Eric Soza connected on 18-of-30 for 215 yards and three touchdowns for the Roadrunners, hitting a total of nine different receivers on the day.
The Jaguars (0-1), who competed at the Football Championship Subdivision level as an independent before making the jump to the FBS for this season, were paced by C.J. Bennett who converted 15-of-24 passing for 182 yards and a pair of TDs in the setback.
USA kicked off the day's scoring with an 11-yard touchdown run by Demetre Baker, capping an eight-play, 75-yard drive on the first possession of the contest.
The Roadrunners stormed back with 20 straight points, beginning with a 58-yard TD pass from Soza to Kam Jones at the 4:26 mark of the first frame. A little over two minutes later Soza connected with Cole Hicks on a 23-yard TD strike to give the visitors a 14-7 edge.
In the second quarter, field goals of 47 and 32 yards by Ianno moved the lead to 20-7.
Late in the first half the Jags responded with a two-yard TD pass from Bennett to Desmond Jones, cutting the deficit to 20-14 at the break.
The only scoring of the third quarter came on a 43-yard field goal by USA kicker Michel Chapuseaux, his lone attempt of the day.
Early in the fourth quarter South Alabama regained the advantage thanks to a one-yard TD run by Kendall Houston.
In seesaw action, Texas-San Antonio battled back by scoring on a 34-yard touchdown pass from Soza to Earon Holmes and a 21-yard field goal by Ianno to make the score 30-24 with 6:32 remaining in regulation.
With a short field, Bennett combined with Jereme Jones on a 34-yard scoring strike at the 2:46 mark of the final period to give South Alabama a slim 31-30 lead before Ianno knocked through his longest field goal of the day for UTSA.
Operating as an FCS Independent in their first season in 2011 the Roadrunners, under the direction of two-time National Coach of the Year Larry Coker, finished up 4-6 as they won all four of their games at home in the Alamodome.
These two squads met last season for the very first time in a spirited battle in the Alamodome, with the Jags pulling out a thrilling 30-27 victory in double-overtime.
This game was originally scheduled to be played on Thursday night, but was moved to Saturday due to the potential impact of Hurricane Isaac on the area.Game Notes