San Antonio, TX – Yes, the University of Texas-San Antonio is ready for some football.
A banner crowd of 56,743 looked on enthusiastically at the Alamodome on Saturday afternoon as UTSA played the first game in program history, and the Roadrunners didn't disappoint in posting a 31-3 victory over Northeastern State.
UTSA, led by former University of Miami-Florida national championship-winning head coach Larry Coker, is playing this season as an independent program in the Football Championship Subdivision, then will move up to the Bowl Subdivision, in the Western Athletic Conference, next year.
Quarterback Eric Soza directed the win by completing 17-of-28 passes for 237 yards and two touchdowns, while rushing for a game-high 104 yards and a score on 12 carries.
Soza, a redshirt sophomore who transferred to UTSA from Texas State, had a hand in each touchdown as UTSA scored on its first three possessions and jumped to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter. He capped the first possession with a 14-yard touchdown run, then threw touchdown pass of six yards to Jake Wanamaker and three yards to Kam Jones.
Sean Ianno ended the first half with a 21-yard field goal to extend UTSA's lead to 24-0.
Northeastern State, a Division II program, cut its deficit to 24-3 on Dyland Beers' 22-yard field goal in the third quarter, but UTSA answered with David Glasco's seven-yard touchdown run, extending its lead to 31-3.
Jones had a 37-yard kickoff return for UTSA on the game's opening kickoff. On the Roadrunners' first play from scrimmage, Brandon Armstrong carried the ball for a four-yard loss.
The crowd set an FCS record for a start-up program.
Next up for UTSA is another home game on Sept. 10 against Division III McMurry (0-1).