Scooter’s Coffee Frisco Bowl Game Recap

Dec 21, 2023 | THE FRISCO BOWL

Scooter’s Coffee Frisco Bowl Game Recap

UTSA Wins First Bowl Game In School History With 35-17 Victory in Scooter’s Coffee Frisco Bowl

FRISCO, Texas – Previous bowl defeats and a 14-0 early deficit didn’t deter the Roadrunners, as UTSA won its first bowl game in school history with a 35-17 victory over Marshall at the Scooter’s Coffee Frisco Bowl.

Senior wideout Joshua Cephus was named the Offensive MVP for UTSA after hauling in seven passes for 102 yards and a touchdown. The defensive honors went to junior cornerback Kam Alexander, whose 57-yard interception return helped seal the win over the Thundering Herd.

Cephus’ performance helped him set a single-season receiving yards record (1,151) to go along with 10 touchdowns. He finished his collegiate career with 3,639 yards and 28 scores. Freshman quarterback Owen McCown – making his first start of the year – was also strong on offense, completing 22-of-31 passes for 251 yards and two scores while adding 38 yards on the ground.

On the defensive side of the ball, senior defensive back Ken Robinson paced the squad with seven tackles, including one of nine UTSA stops behind the line of scrimmage. Add that to the team’s six sacks on the night and the efforts established school season records for sacks (46) and tackles for loss (99).

Marshall jumped out to an early 7-0 lead, as senior linebacker Eli Neal picked off a tipped pass and returned it to the UTSA 7-yard line. Two plays later, junior running back Ethan Payne found the end zone to give the Thundering Herd the edge. The Herd pushed their advantage to 14-0 in the second quarter when junior running back Rasheen Ali broke loose for a 64-yard touchdown run down the left sideline.

Senior Micah Abraham also produced a first quarter interception, the 12th of his career. He added a pass break-up in the contest, which vaulted him into No. 1 in Marshall history in passes defended (54; 42 break-ups, 12 interceptions).

The Roadrunners then came back to tie the game at 14 with TDs on consecutive possessions. McCown connected with senior wideout Tykee Ogle-Kellogg on a 41-yard toss to set up junior running back Robert Henry for a 3-yard touchdown for the team’s first score. McCown then found Cephus open for a short pass that turned into a 44-yard TD. The scoreboard displayed a 14-14 tie with just under nine minutes left in the half.

UTSA had a 21-17 edge at the half after a 44-yard field goal (the second-longest in Frisco Bowl history) by Marshall senior Rece Verhoff was followed by a 1-yard run by Henry that capped a 13-play, 75-yard drive. The field goal would be the last points for the Herd, as two Roadrunner touchdowns in the second half put the game away.

Freshman wideout David Amador recorded his first career TD on a 19-yard score with 4:49 remaining in the third session. The interception by Alexander helped provide the final margin, as the turnover set up a 17-yard touchdown run by sophomore running back Rocko Griffin.

Redshirt freshman quarterback Cole Pennington threw for 258 yards on 15-of-33 passing to lead the Marshall offense. Junior wide receiver Jayden Harrison caught six passes for 132 yards, while Ali rushed for 92 yards on only nine carries.

The Roadrunners finished the 2023 campaign with a 9-4 record – their third consecutive year with nine or more victories. Marshall is now 13-7 (.650) all-time in FBS bowl contests.