ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Gunnar Watson’s 12-yard scoring pass to RaJae’ Johnson in the third period put No. 23 Troy ahead to stay, and the Trojans forced five turnovers in an 18-12 come-from-behind win over No. 22 USTA in the Duluth Trading Cure Bowl on Friday.

Troy (12-2) closed out the season with 11 straight victories and set a school record for wins in a season.

USTA (11-3) outgained Troy 345-169 and led 12-0 in the first half, but turnovers proved to be the difference.

Troy linebacker K.J. Robertson picked off a pass by USTA’s Frank Harris near the goal line in the third quarter. Robertson returned the interception 61 yards, with a 15-yard personal foul penalty tacked on at the end, and the pick set up the go-ahead score.

Watson’s TD pass to Johnson gave the Trojans a 13-12 lead, and a 2-point conversion pass to tight end Clayton Ollendieck made it 15-12 with 2:43 remaining in the third quarter.

Watson was 13-for-23 passing for 113 yards. Kimani Vidal rushed for 73 yards on 22 carries with a touchdown.

Vidal scored on a 2-yard rush with 50 seconds left in the first half to pull Troy within 12-7.

The Roadrunners took a 2-0 lead in the first quarter on a safety when Troy center Jake Andrews snapped the ball before Watson was ready and the ball bounded through the end zone.

Harris connected with Zakhari Franklin for a 2-yard scoring pass early in the second quarter to make it 9-0.

Jared Sackett added a 42-yard field goal at 6:41 of the second quarter to extend USTA’s lead to 12-0.

Harris went 23 for 42 for 198 yards and a TD. Kevorian Barnes rushed for 132 yards on 21 carries.


UTSA: Penalties and turnovers doomed the Roadrunners. They were penalized eight times for 89 yards with several personal fouls. Harris threw two interceptions and lost a fumble.

Troy: The Trojans got down to their defensive roots and forced UTSA into some uncharacteristic mistakes. They got just enough plays from Watson on offense.


UTSA: The Roadrunners will move from Conference USA to the American Athletic Conference in 2023. Quarterback Frank Harris, who holds 34 records at the school, announced he will return for his 7th season.

Troy: The Trojans will remain in the Sun Belt and try to set another school record for wins under coach Jon Sumrall.