SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Marcus Davenport scored on a 34-yard fumble return with eight minutes left in the first quarter and UT-San Antonio led the entire way in a 20-7 homecoming win over Rice on Saturday night.
The Roadrunners (4-2, 1-2 Conference USA) led 17-7 on Dalton Sturm's 26-yard pass to Brady Jones early in the third quarter and Jared Sackett's second field goal capped the scoring with 5:40 left in the period.
The Owls (1-6, 1-2) scored their only points on Sam Glaesmann's 50-yard pass to Aaron Cephus that made it 10-7 with 4:11 left in the second quarter.
Tyrell Clay ran 11 times for 153 yards for UTSA. Sturm completed 12 of 21 for 134 yards and ran for 79 yards on 14 carries.
Cephus had two catches for 105 yards and a touchdown for Rice.
Davenport finished with 11 tackles — including 3 1/2 for losses, two of which were sacks.
Davenport, Clay lead UTSA past Rice 20-7
SAN ANTONIO — Marcus Davenport posted 11 tackles and returned a fumble for a touchdown and Tyrell Clay rushed for a career-high 153 yards to lead UTSA past Rice, 20-7, in Conference USA action Saturday night at the Alamodome.
The Roadrunners (4-2, 1-2) snapped a two-game losing skid with their third straight win against the Owls (1-6, 1-2). UTSA registered 448 yards of offense, including 314 on the ground, and held Rice to 300 total yards in improving to 4-3 all-time in Homecoming games.
Davenport was a force, as the senior defensive end matched his career high with 11 tackles, including six solo stops, and tallied 3.5 tackles for loss, two sacks and a pass breakup. The all-conference performer got UTSA on the board first when he scooped up a fumble by Rice quarterback Sam Glaesmann and returned it 34 yards for a touchdown midway through the opening quarter. That marked the defense's second fumble return TD this season.
Later in the opening stanza, Clay got loose for a 73-yard dash up the middle all the way to the Rice 6-yard line. His career-long run set up an 18-yard field goal by Jared Sackett that made it 10-0 with three seconds remaining in the quarter. Clay, a senior from Corpus Christi, finished his career night with 153 yards on just 11 carries for a 13.9 average.
Rice got on the board with just over four minutes left in the first half when Glaesmann hit Aaron Cephus for a 50-yard touchdown pass down the right sideline to provide the 10-7 halftime margin.
UTSA's defense came up with a key turnover on the second play from scrimmage of the second half. Clayton Johnson intercepted an overthrown Glaesmann pass to set up the Roadrunners near midfield. It was the first of two picks on the night for the sophomore cornerback. Four plays later, Sturm scrambled to his right and hit Brady Jones on a 26-yard TD pass to put UTSA back up by 10.
Sackett connected on another chip-shot field goal, this time from 20 yards out with 5:40 left in the third quarter to increase the UTSA advantage to 20-7, a lead that would stand through a scoreless fourth quarter.
Sturm passed for 134 yards and a touchdown to tie Eric Soza's career record for TD passes with 46. The senior signal caller added 79 yards on the ground, while Jalen Rhodes gained 59 on 12 totes to help the Roadrunners top 300 yards rushing in a game for the second time this season.
Josh Stewart led the receiving corps with 66 yards on five catches, while Jones hauled in four for 57 yards.
La'Kel Bass recorded eight tackles, while Marcos Curry pitched in with six stops for the defense.
The Roadrunners will travel to El Paso next Saturday, Oct. 28, to face UTEP (0-7, 0-3). Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. Central time at the Sun Bowl and the game will be televised on KMYS-CW 35.