CFN Take: UTSA Loses Late To La Tech
The 2014 UTSA Roadrunners ...
Head Coach: Larry Coker
Oct. 18 at Louisiana Tech 27, UTSA 20
2014 Schedule |
2014 Record: 2-5
Aug. 29 at Houston W 27-7
Sep. 4 Arizona L 26-23
Sep. 13 at Oklahoma St L 42-13
Sep. 20 OPEN DATE
Sep. 27 at Fla Atlantic W 41-37
Oct. 4 New Mexico L 21-9
Oct. 11 FIU W 16-13
Oct. 18 at La Tech L 27-20
Oct. 25 UTEP
Nov. 1 OPEN DATE
Nov. 8 at Rice
Nov. 13 Southern Miss
Nov. 22 at WKU
Nov. 29 North Texas
And You Care Because … Kenneth Dixon ran for a three-yard score, Sterling Griffin caught a 19-yard touchdown pass and Terrell Pinson returned a fumble for a score as Louisiana Tech took control in the third quarter and held on from there. UTSA scored ten unanswered points, with Brady Jones finding Kenny Harrison for a 35-yard touchdown and Sean Ianno hitting his second field goal of the game, but turnovers and mistakes were too much to overcome.
What Else? Penalties: Louisiana Tech 10 for 85 yards – UTSA 8 for 85 yards
- Turnovers: UTSA 4 – Louisiana Tech 1
- Louisiana Tech RB Kenneth Dixon ran 28 times for 121 yards and a score
- UTSA QB Austin Robinson completed 18-of-29 passes for 138 yards and two picks
Game Rating: C
Oct. 11 at UTSA 16, FIU 13
And You Care Because … In a wild finish, Down 13-10, UTSA tied is on Sean Ianno’s second field goal of the game with 1:54 to play. FIU fumbled the ball away, and Ianno came through again, hitting a 39-yard field goal with less than a minute to go. FIU had one last shot, but its desperation pass was picked off. The Golden Panthers, scored the first ten points of the game helped by a 15-yard Jonnu Smith touchdown catch, but could only manage a 24-yard Austin Taylor field goal the rest of the way thanks to an offense that turned it over five times.
What Else? Turnovers: FIU 5 – UTSA 3
- UTSA QB Austin Robinson completed 14-of-17 passes for 144 yards and led the team with 64 rushing yards on 15 carries
- FIU QB Alex McGough completed 11-of-25 passes for 141 yards and a touchdown with two picks
- Total yards: UTSA 317 – FIU 259
Game Rating: B
Oct. 4 New Mexico 21, at UTSA 9
And You Care Because … After getting down 9-0 on a six-yard Jarveon Williams touchdown run and a Sean Ianno field goal, New Mexico scored 21 unanswered points with Crusoe Gongbay running for a one-yard score and Lamar Jordan running for a nine-yard touchdown in the third, and Jhurell Pressley taking off for a 77-yard touchdown in the fourth. UTSA’s offense sputtered in the second half, but New Mexico controlled the game.
What Else? New Mexico QB Lamar Jordan completed 7-of-11 passes for 72 yards, and led the team with 106 yards and a touchdown on nine carries
- UTSA QB Blake Bogenschutz completed 10-of-16 passes with a pick
Game Rating: C-
Sept. 27 at Florida Atlantic 41, UTSA 37
And You Care Because … Down ten with five minutes to play, Florida Atlantic rallied with a 75-yard drive culminating in a 21-yard Lucky Whitehead touchdown catch, and after getting the ball back, went 93 yards in nine plays with a 15-yard Nate Terry scoring grab with 20 seconds to play for the win. UTSA couldn’t put the game away, settling for two Sean Ianno field goals in the fourth quarter. FAU got back in the game in the second quarter on a Cre’von LeBlanc pick six, and took the lead with a 24-yard Jaquez Johnson touchdown dash with 22 seconds to play in the first half, but UTSA had all the momentum with a 53-yard Kenny Harrison touchdown catch with four seconds to play in the first half and the second of two Tucker Carter touchdown runs in the third. But that was it – the Roadrunners couldn’t get back into the end zone.
What Else? FAU QB Jaquez Johnson completed 24-of-34 passes for 295 yards and three touchdowns, and ran 15 times for 37 yards and a score
- UTSA QB Tucker Carter completed 20-of-39 passes for 272 yards and a touchdown with two interceptions, and ran seven times for 12 yards and two touchdowns
- The two teams combined to convert 18-of—32 third down chances.
- UTSA RB David Glasco II ran 18 times for 85 yards and a score
Game Rating: A-
Sept. 13 at Oklahoma State 42, UTSA 13
And You Care Because … Oklahoma State scored 27 straight points for a big lead before UTSA fought back with a 24-yard scoring run from Blake Bogenschutz and Sean Ianno’s second field goal. Just when it seemed like the Roadrunners were about to make it interesting, OSU scored 17 unanswered points finished off by a 50-yard pick six from Ashton Lampton.
What Else? In place of a banged up J.W. Walsh, Daxx Garman completed 16-of-30 passes for 315 yards and two scores.
- UTSA quarterbacks combined to complete 15-of-29 passes for 133 yards with a pick.
- Oklahoma State only averaged 3.3 yards per run, and UTSA averaged 2.1 yards per try.
- UTSA converted just 3-of-17 third down chances.
Game Rating: D+
Sept. 4 at Arizona 26, UTSA 23
And You Care Because … Arizona survived a battle with ten third quarter points on field goals from 44 and 28 yards out by Casey Skowron, and had to hold on in the final minutes. UTSA took a 16-14 lead in the first half on a safety, but Arizona scored 13 straight points for a ten-point lead. The Roadrunners came back with a three-yard David Glasco II touchdown run midway through the fourth, but the Wildcat held on.
What Else? The two teams kept stalling in key moments. They combined to convert 7-of-27 third down chances.
- UTSA was held to 121 yards rushing on 39 carries with two scores, while Arizona’s Nick Wilson ran 30 times for 174 yards and a touchdown.
- Arizona PK Casey Skowron hit four field goals from 38, 23, 44 and 28 yards out.
- Arizona QB Anu Solomon completed 17-of-32 passes for 231 yards and a score, hitting Cayleb Jones for a 85-yard score on the team’s first play from scrimmage.
Game Rating: B
Aug. 29 UTSA 27, at Houston 7
And You Care Because … UTSA took advantage of six turnovers and a stifling pass rush to pull off the shocker. Davis Glasco ran for two scores, Jarveon Williams ran for an 11-yard score, and Sean Ianno hit two field goals and the defense did the rest on the way to a 27-0 lead and an easy win. Houston didn’t finally get on the board until the final minute.
What Else? UTSA will take the win without a problem, but it was hardly a thing of beauty. The Roadrunners committed 14 penalties for 115 yards, and Houston couldn’t stop giving the ball away with John O’Korn throwing four picks.
- It’s not like the UTSA offense did much of anything. The running game went almost nowhere, and the passing attack was pedestrian, but the defense teed off with three sacks and several pressures to confuse O’Korn.
- Conference USA got a huge win while the American Athletic suffered a massive setback. Houston has some rebuilding to do, but not like this.
- The Cougar defense actually wasn’t that bad. LB Derrick Matthews made 16 tackles and a sack, but the offense couldn’t stop screwing up.
Game Rating: D+
The Roadrunners are off and running under the watchful eye of former Miami head coach Larry Coker. Meep meep.
UTSA not only proved that they belong in Conference USA in 2013, but they finished above .500 and on a five-game winning streak to close out the year. Coker has his players and the local San Antonio community believing that this program can blossom into a heavyweight, by the mid-major measuring stick. And he and his staff have done it at warp speed.
What began as a dream only a few years ago, major college football in the Alamo City, has bloomed into reality practically overnight. The Roadrunners have played just 34 games—ever—yet they’re already playing in their second conference. Two years after sipping a cup of coffee as a provisional member of the now-defunct WAC, UTSA has made a soft landing in Conference USA, where it shockingly went 7-5 to finish a game out of first place in the West Division.
Now that the toughest stage of the build-from-scratch football program is completed, Coker & Co. will begin addressing the finer details of the overall blueprint. At a rudimentary level, the Roadrunners still must improve at the basics, from creating depth to getting bigger, stronger and faster. Although the recent on-field success might indicate otherwise, it’s important to remember how new UTSA is as a football program.
The Roadrunners return a staggering 55 letterwinners and more starters than any other FBS team. The foundation is set as 2014 approaches. But one of the departures is a critical one, Eric Soza. Soza wasn’t just UTSA’s starting quarterback. He’s the only quarterback to start a game in the school’s brief history. The D desperately needs to take the next step against the pass. Sure, everyone is back, including all-star FS Triston Wade. It won’t matter, though, unless the unit can turn the corner after ranking No. 12 in Conference USA, while intercepting a mere eight passes.
If a few nagging holes can be plugged between now and the opener at Houston, UTSA has a chance to compete for a title just three years after leaving college football’s womb to play in its first-ever game. One meticulous rung at a time, Coker and his Roadrunners are on the verge of going from birth to bowl berth in record time.
What to watch for on offense: David Glasco to become UTSA’s first-ever 1,000-yard rusher. QB Eric Soza and RB Evans Okotcha are gone, and the entire O-line is back. What does that equal? More reps and more holes for Glasco. The team’s leading rusher the past two seasons has carried the ball more than 20 times in a game just one time during his career. And he responded by going for 135 yards last Nov. 2 against Tulsa. Glasco better be in the best shape of his life this year, because his touches and production are liable to double.
What to watch for on defense: The D-line will emerge as a team strength. In stark contrast to last year, the Roadrunners are flush with proven experience up front. Three different linemen earned honorable mention All-Conference USA in 2013, including the up-and-coming bookend of Codie Brooks and Robert Singletary. After scratching the surface of their potential, the former walk-on and the former Baylor Bear, respectively, could combine for 15 or more sacks this fall. UTSA, especially the defensive backfield, needs to surpass the 21 sacks it had a season ago.
The team will be far better if … the secondary performs like a unit returning all five starters. There are a lot of familiar faces back in the defensive backfield. It’s the familiar results that the Roadrunners are hoping to avoid. Over the past two seasons, UTSA has given up 44 touchdown passes and intercepted only 18 balls. It’s been that inability to slow down quality quarterbacks that’s prevented the Roadrunners from hanging with the tougher opponents on the schedule.
The Schedule: The Roadrunners start out with three road games in the first four, and the home date is against ARizona, but the rest of the slate eases up a bit with winnable games against New Mexico and FIU are part of a nice run of four home games in six. There's no Marshall on the slate, and the Rice game is on the road, but closing out at WKU and facing North Texas won't be easy.
Best Offensive Player: Senior WR Kam Jones. Jones is the Roadrunners’ all-purpose athlete, the kind of player who’ll be in myriad different ways by the staff. While listed as a wide receiver, he’ll also take different handoffs, run the ball on sweeps and serve as the primary kick returner. Now that QB Eric Soza has departed, Jones is the new leader of the offense. He’ll be counted on take some pressure off Soza’s successor, who has never started a game at the collegiate level.
Best Defensive Player: Senior FS Triston Wade. At 5-11 and 165 pounds, Wade is still small. And, yet, he’s still the biggest component of an improving Roadrunner defense. He’s a fluid all-around athlete whose team-high 94 tackles in 2013 indicate a willingness to throw his modest weight around. UTSA is subpar, though on the uptick, against the pass. If not for Wade, who’s been named all-conference in two different leagues, the situation in San Antonio would be far worse.
Key player to a successful season: Senior QB Tucker Carter. Determining UTSA’s ceiling this season could be as simple as following the trajectory of Carter. The Roadrunners have never had a starting quarterback other than Eric Soza, so this year will be uncharted territory for the program. At 6-3 and 225 pounds, Carter looks the part, even more so than his predecessor. But he hasn’t played significant minutes since transferring from Trinity Valley (Tex.) Community College, which is the biggest concern of the coaching staff.
The season will be a success if ... UTSA makes its first postseason appearance. It’s the next logical step for a program that’s been steadily moving forward since first deciding to play football. The Roadrunners were good enough to bowl in 2013, but were technically ineligible in their second year of reclassification to the FBS. Now that the provisions have been lifted, and the roster is teeming with upperclassmen, UTSA is poised to still be playing in December.
Key game: Nov. 8 at Rice. The Roadrunners lost by six points to the Owls last Oct. 12, which was the difference in the West Division race. When the teams meet in Houston this fall, a spot in the Conference USA title game may once again be at stake. While Rice is the defending champ, it’s also breaking in a bunch of new starters this season. UTSA, on the other hand, is a seasoned team that will not be rattled by this pivotal trip into hostile territory.
2013 Fun Stats:
- Rushing yards per game: UTSA 175.4 – Opponents 143.1
- Touchdowns passes: UTSA 13 – Opponents 20
- Time of possession: UTEP 32:24 - Opponents 27:36
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