SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Nick Wilson is off to a fast start for the Arizona Wildcats.
The freshman ran for 174 yards on 30 carries, and his go-ahead touchdown changed the momentum in Arizona’s 26-23 victory over Texas-San Antonio on Thursday night.
Wilson gave Arizona a 20-16 lead with a 2-yard run with 26 seconds left in the first half.
“Every touchdown, every score, every point helps,” said Wilson, who ran for 104 yards on seven carries last week in the Wildcats’ season-opening victory over against UNLV. “We definitely had momentum going into the locker room. We made a few adjustments and a few changes and we pulled the win out.”
Cayleb Jones had an 85-yard scoring reception for Arizona on the first play from scrimmage, and redshirt freshman Anu Solomon was 17 of 32 for 231 yards after throwing for 425 yards and four touchdowns against UNLV.
UTSA coach Larry Coker, who started the school’s program in 2011 after his national-title stint at Miami, thought Arizona’s touchdown at the end of the half changed the game.
“We had momentum, and they had that last score in the first half and got it back,” Coker said. “If we had gone in ahead like we were, it could have changed the outcome. It was a very key time in the football game.”
Casey Skowron made four field goals, converting from 44 and 28 yards in the third quarter to make it 26-16.
“We settled for way too many field goals and didn’t execute down in the red zone,” Wildcats coach Rich Rodriguez said. “There are so many things we need to clean up and get better at. But I didn’t see anyone lose their poise. We took their best shot.”
The Roadrunners, coming off a 20-point victory in their opener at Houston, pulled within three on David Glasco II’s 3-yard run midway through the fourth quarter.
Arizona intercepted two of Tucker Carter’s passes in the final 1 1/2 minutes to seal the game, though the final pick off was nullified by a penalty.
The Wildcats had 452 yards of offense after setting a school record with 787 yards against UNLV
It looked as if it would be another blowout shortly after the opening kickoff. On the next play, Solomon flared a conservative sideline pass at Jones close to Arizona’s 30. Jones eluded a tackle and scored on the 85-yarder 18 seconds into the game.
Jones was back in his home state after sitting out last season following his transfer from Texas. In Austin, he received a two-year probated sentence for misdemeanor assault for punching a Longhorns tennis player in 2013.
Jones caught four passes for 143 yards. He caught two passes in 10 games for Texas.
Arizona scored on the next possession as well after holding UTSA to three plays and a punt. The Wildcats got inside the 20 before Solomon was sacked by defensive tackle Ferrington Macon, which brought out Skowron for a 38-yard field goal and a 10-0 lead less than 5 minutes into the game.
UTSA responded by going 85 yards for a touchdowns, using 11 plays and 5 minutes off the clock just before the end of the first quarter. Carter, who ran twice during the drive for 28 yards, got the Roadrunners on the board with a 10-yard scoring completion to tight end David Morgan II.
Carter finished with 228 yards and a TD on 22-of-33 passing.
After giving up Skowron’s 23-yard field goal, the Roadrunners took a 14-13 lead on Kam Jones’ 18-yard run.
It went to 16-13 with 4:43 before halftime when the spread-offense deep snap was high to Solomon, who scooped up the loose ball in his own end zone and was chased out of the end zone for a safety.
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