RUSTON, La. — The Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (6-6, 4-4) became bowl eligible after notching their sixth win of the season against the UT San Antonio Roadrunners (6-5, 3-5) at Joe Aillet Stadium.
The Roadrunners had 201 yards of total offense. The Bulldogs were led by senior running back Boston Scott’s 138 yards on 20 carries and a touchdown.
After the first UTSA drive stalled out, the Bulldogs were able to strike first on Saturday night. Sturm followed with a pair of missed passes that led to a punt. Quarterback J’Mar Smith led the Bulldogs and thanks to two defensive penalties, the sophomore quarterback ran it in for the first points of the night.
The Roadrunners offensive line had trouble keeping defenders out of their backfield. Sturm was able to scramble for a first down but the following plays saw the senior running for his life. UTSA was forced to punt.
LA Tech continued the running assault with Scott mostly sweeping to the right side with success. The Roadrunner’s defensive line was able to get some pressure to stall the offensive and force a punt.
UTSA’s running game was not able to get anything going. Sturm overthrew a wide-open Brady Jones to go three-and-out. The first quarter ended with the Bulldogs up 7-0.
After a pair of drives that went nowhere for either team, UTSA got moving with Strum running the ball and finding some of his receivers for steady gains. Sturm and Clay took turns moving the chains as the Roadrunners drove to the Bulldogs’ eight-yard line. The offense was unable to find the end zone and kicker Jared Sackett missed from 25 yards out.
The Bulldogs continued to rush the ball and grinded it down into UTSA’s territory. The Roadrunners’ defense stiffened, leading to a field goal attempt. Johnathan Barns hit from 26 yards out to give his team a 10-0 lead at the end of the first half.
The third quarter looked promising for the Roadrunners as Gains intercepted a Smith pass to give his team great field position deep in enemy territory. Unfortunately for UTSA, the offensive line could not get any kind of push. Both Rhodes and Clay were stuffed and kept out of the end zone. Sackett was good on his second field goal attempt, this one from 19 yards out to bring the Roadrunners within seven points.
LA Tech started with good field position after a short Sackett kickoff. A penalty flag against UTSA further aided the home team. The Bulldogs had a 10-play drive that covered only 24 yards. Because of the good starting location, Barns got a chance. He split the uprights from 53 yards out to put LA Tech up 13-3.
The Roadrunners finally got the running game going on their next offensive salvo. Clay carried the ball nine times for 35 yards. He was UTSA’s top rusher with 50 yards on 17 carries.
UTSA drove deep into the Bulldogs’ turf. Unfortunately, the Roadrunners were again unable to capitalize and settled for a 21-yard field goal by Sackett. This put UTSA down 13-6 early in the fourth quarter.
The Roadrunner defense was stout and kept the team in the game but the offense was atrocious for the remainder of the outing.
UTSA had another great opportunity midway through the fourth quarter after a muffed LA Tech punt return gave them life at the Bulldogs’ 11-yard line. Strum’s end zone pass attempt was intercepted by Amik Robertson on the first play to kill the scoring chance. The senior threw two interceptions and ended the night with only 91 passing yards.
The Bulldogs added the final touchdown of the contest after Scott broker a 35-yard touchdown run to put his team up 20-6.
Both UTSA and LA Tech will now be looking to December 3 to see if either club receives a bowl invite.
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