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UAB beats UTSA 33-14

Photo courtesy UTSA Athletics

Johnston, Watkins lead UAB over UTSA 33-14

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Tyler Johnston III threw for 294 yards and two touchdowns to help UAB roll to a 33-14 victory over UTSA on Saturday night.

Austin Watkins finished with six catches for 167 yards for UAB (5-1, 2-1 Conference USA). Lucious Stanley had 92 yards rushing on 13 carries.

Johnston tossed a 67-yard touchdown pass to Watkins in the second quarter. Myron Mitchell caught his only pass, beating a defender in the end zone for a 25-yard scoring catch that stretched the Blazers lead to 23-14 in the third. Stanley scored on a 5-yard run late in the fourth.

Lowell Narcisse was 8 of 19 for 94 yards passing and added 89 yards on the ground to lead UTSA (2-4, 1-2). Sincere McCormick ran for a 4-yard touchdown and Narcisse added a 4-yard scoring run for the Roadrunners.

UAB holds off UTSA on Saturday night

SAN ANTONIO — Lowell Narcisse ran for 89 yards and a touchdown, but UAB used a balanced offense and a stingy defense to hold off UTSA, 33-14, in Conference USA action on Saturday night at the Alamodome.

The Blazers (5-1, 2-1) accumulated 492 yards of offense — 294 through the air and 198 on the ground — in winning for the third straight year against the Roadrunners (2-4, 1-2).

Quarterback Tyler Johnston completed 17 of 26 passes for all 294 yards and a touchdown, Austin Watkins caught six passes for 167 yards and a TD and Lucious Stanley ran for 92 yards and a score to pace UAB's offense, which held the ball for 36 minutes and six seconds.

Narcisse carried 17 times to lead UTSA's rushing attack with 89 yards one week after rushing for 115. The sophomore quarterback now has 329 rushing yards and three scores on the season. A native of St. James, La., he threw for 94 yards on eight completions with two apiece to Carlos Strickland II (41 yards), Kirk Johnson Jr. (19 yards) and Tariq Woolen (14 yards).

UAB held a 16-7 lead at halftime, but UTSA made things interesting by forcing a pair of turnovers.

The Roadrunners took advantage of a fumble to cut the deficit to two points in the third quarter. Antonio Parks knocked the ball loose from Johnston and Kevin Nelson recovered the ball at midfield. Narcisse had a 25-yard scramble to help set up a Hunter Duplessis field goal try. The kick was good but UAB was called for a leverage penalty, giving the Roadrunners first down at the 9-yard line. Three plays later, Narcisse found the end zone and Duplessis' PAT made it 16-14 at the 8:57 mark of the third.

The Blazers answered the touchdown with one of their own on a 25-yard pass from Johnston to Myron Mitchell to cap a six-play, 73-yard drive.

Later in the third, the UTSA defense came up with its second turnover of the evening when Solomon Wise tipped a Johnston pass at the line of scrimmage that was picked off by Jarrod Carter-McLin at the UAB 27. The Roadrunners drove inside the 10 but the Blazers thwarted the scoring threat with a stop on fourth down.

The Blazers tacked on 10 points in the final quarter on a 43-yard field goal by Nick Vogel — his fourth of the night — and a 5-yard TD scamper by Stanley with 5:20 left to play.

Trevor Harmanson led the UTSA defense with eight tackles, including six solo stops and a tackle for loss, while Carl Austin III added seven tackles, including 1.5 TFL, and Andrew Martel pitched in with seven stops for a unit that posted seven tackles behind the line of scrimmage.

UTSA displayed a bend-but-don't-break defense in the opening quarter, as UAB marched deep into Roadrunners territory twice but only came away with three points.

Pressure on the quarterback forced back-to-back incompletions after UAB reached the UTSA 11-yard line and the Blazers settled for a 31-yard field goal by Vogel.

UAB came away with a fumble recovery at its own 35 to halt UTSA's second possession, but a fourth-down stop by Harmanson at the UTSA 23 put an end to the visitor's second drive.

The Blazers pushed their lead to 10-0 early in the second stanza after a 67-yard touchdown pass from Johnston to Watkins.

UTSA responded with a 74-yard scoring march that took advantage of a pair of UAB 15-yard penalties and was capped with a 4-yard TD jaunt around left end by Sincere McCormick, who rushed for 34 yards and now leads the team with 473 this season. Duplessis drilled the extra point to pull the home team to within three with 12:02 remaining until halftime.

The Blazers answered with a pair of Vogel field goals to provide the nine-point halftime margin.

The Roadrunners will stay home to host Rice (0-6, 0-2) next Saturday, Oct. 19. Kickoff is set for 5 p.m. at the Alamodome and the game will air on ESPN3.