Owen McCown completed 22 of 31 passes for 251 yards and two touchdowns, and UTSA earned the first bowl victory in program history by beating Marshall 35-17 in the Frisco Bowl on Tuesday night in Frisco, Texas.
McCown, a redshirt freshman and the son of longtime NFL quarterback Josh McCown, got the starting nod because decorated starter Frank Harris sustained a shoulder fracture on Nov. 24 – an injury that was revealed just hours before kickoff Tuesday.
Joshua Cephus hauled in seven receptions for 102 yards and a touchdown for the Roadrunners (9-4). Robert Henry ran for two touchdowns and 37 of UTSA’s 135 rushing yards.
Marshall quarterback Cole Pennington, son of program legend Chad Pennington, completed 15 of 33 passes for 258 yards. Rasheen Ali gained 92 yards and a touchdown on nine carries for Marshall (6-7).
Pennington was shaken up on a big third-down sack during the fourth quarter, with Marshall trailing 28-17. Colin Parachek relieved Pennington on a fourth-and-14 attempt and threw to his left, where Kam Alexander made a leaping interception and returned it 57 yards to the Marshall 17-yard line.
Rocko Griffin stormed into the end zone on the next play to put UTSA up 35-17 with 8:39 to go.
Mike Green had two of the Marshall defense’s six sacks, and Micah Abraham and Eli Neal intercepted McCown during the first quarter.
While McCown took his lumps early, Marshall jumped out to a 14-0 lead.
Ethan Payne scored on a 1-yard rush following McCown’s second pick for the first points of the game. Ali burst away for a 64-yard touchdown sprint on the first play of the second quarter to make it 14-0.
Henry responded for UTSA with a 3-yard scoring run on the next drive. Then, Cephus caught a pass in the right flat and navigated the right sideline for a 44-yard touchdown to tie the game with 8:53 left in the half.
After Rece Verhoff put Marshall ahead with a 44-yard field goal, UTSA conducted a 13-play, 75-yard drive to take a 21-17 lead just before halftime. Henry’s 1-yard rushing score capped off the march.
With 4:49 remaining in the third quarter, McCown used play action to reach David Amador II on his left, and the freshman receiver took it 19 yards to the end zone for his first career touchdown and a 28-17 advantage.
–Field Level Media