Colby Cameron passed for 348 yards and Kenneth Dixon scored three touchdowns as No. 22 Louisiana Tech pulled away from Texas-San Antonio in the fourth quarter in a 51-27 victory on Saturday.
The Bulldogs (8-1, 3-0 WAC) converted a fake field goal into a touchdown midway through the fourth quarter to put away the visitors. Tech won a record ninth consecutive WAC game on homecoming, and the Bulldogs appear headed for a school record third consecutive week ranked in the Top 25.
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UTSA (5-4, 1-3 WAC) dropped its fourth consecutive game after opening the season with five straight victories. Playing with just six seniors, it was the Roadrunners first game against a nationally ranked FCS foe.
The game featured 13 personal foul penalties between the two clubs, including two on Tech coach Sonny Dykes in the third quarter after he argued the ejection of offensive lineman Oscar Johnson.
"I'm not sure what was going on with all the penalties or why," Dykes said. "That's not our team. I wasn't real fired up about some of the stuff happening out there. [When he got flagged] I was trying to find out what Oscar Johnson was ejected for and went out on the field. I had to let [the officials] come to me."
Officials whistled 28 infractions for 288 yards between the two clubs.
Cameron completed 30 of 39 and had touchdown passes to Quinton Patton, Myles White and R.P. Stuart. He was one of just two remaining FCS quarterbacks without an interception and he remained pick-free.
Cameron's seventh 300-yard game of his career tied him with former NFL great Terry Bradshaw for fourth all-time in Ruston.
"I had no clue about the records," Cameron said. "It's pretty unbelievable to be mentioned in the same category as Terry Bradshaw. It's pretty cool."
Dixon now holds the Louisiana Tech single-season record for most touchdowns with 20. The Strong, Ark., native is just one score shy of tying Marshall Faulks' NCAA record for freshmen.
Playing in front of 23,645 fans under steamy conditions in Joe Aillet Stadium, the Bulldogs (8-1, 3-0 WAC) converted a fake field goal into a touchdown midway through the fourth quarter to put away the visitors.
Eric Sosa completed 23 of 41 throws for 314 yards and touchdowns to Cole Hubble (twice), Earon Holmes and Cole Hicks for UTSA.
Tech wasn't able to put the game away until wide receiver David Gru hit Malon Lee for a 9-yard score on a faked field goal to put the Bulldogs in front 44-27 with just under eight minutes remaining.
"We had worked on it all week and it felt like the right time to call it," Dykes said. "[David] Gru made a good throw and (Malon) Lee made a good catch. It was defended well. Sometimes players overcome a bad play and bad coaching. That play justified all the time we spent this week working on the fake field goal."
Tech added a 6-yard touchdown run from Dixon with 13 seconds left for the final tally.
The Roadrunners pulled within 27-21 on their opening possession of the second half when they went 80 yards in nine plays, finishing up with a 17-yard pass from Sosa to Holmes. The Bulldogs pushed their advantage back to 34-21 on their first second-half possession when Dixon scored on a 7-yard run. That lead was extended to 37-21 two plays into the fourth quarter when Matt Nelson, who had missed five consecutive field goals, hit one from 22 yards out.
UTSA would scrap its way to within 37-27 about three minutes into the fourth quarter when Sosa found Hicks from 14 yards out.
The first half was a testy affair with four personal foul penalties called on each club.
The two offenses started the game with touchdowns. The Bulldogs got things started with a 62-yard drive, capped by Cameron to Stuart for 1 yard. The visitors put together an 80-yard drive that Sosa made look easy when he hit Hubble for a 33-yard score.
After Tech re-took the lead at 14-7 on a 3-yard run from Dixon, Hubble was left all alone in the Tech secondary for a 57-yard catch and score.
Both teams cooled a bit after that offensive onslaught, until five minutes into the second quarter. One play after Patton sat out with a personal foul penalty, Cameron found him over the middle and the senior pulled away from the secondary for a 79-yard score.
The Bulldogs would get one more score with just seconds remaining in the first half. After a personal foul call on Tech running back Ray Holley at the UTSA 13, Cameron hit Jon Greenwalt for a 23-yard score. Nelson, who missed from 37 yards out earlier in the frame, missed a point after with 8 seconds remaining.