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Texas San Antonio made its first bowl game in school history last year so there’s not much to criticize Frank Wilson for in his first season as head coach. The Roadrunners have the talent to do better than six wins with 15 starters returning including at quarterback. While non-conference will be tough, this team could contend for the West division title if all goes well.

Dalton Sturm (20 TDs, 6 INTs) was fine in his first full season as starter, but there’s plenty of room for improvement. His top wide outs return in Josh Stewart (682 yards, 5 TDs), Kerry Thomas Jr. (555 yards, 8 TDs) and Brady Jones, but the offensive line needs some work. The three in the middle return with both projected tackles to be underclassmen. If the Roadrunners can overcome some new pieces on the line, they should be much more consistent overall and more than 30 points per game can be expected. Jalen Rhodes (827 yards, 9 TDs) will take over as the lead running back and there should be no problems with that as long as he stays healthy with Tyrell Clay in waiting.

UTSA was mediocre on the defensive side last year and that could be the case again, which isn’t a huge deal if the offense shows improvement. Seven starters return to the group that allowed 27.9 points per game, a good rate in Conference USA. Josiah Tauaefa is back for just his sophomore season after garnering 115 tackles and six sacks. He’ll lead the front six with a couple other seniors helping out in end Marcus Davenport and linebacker La’Kel Bass. The secondary will be the biggest question with a couple new faces, although seniors Austin Jupe and Nate Gaines should keep them from falling apart.

UTSA will have a couple early-season tests before getting some games that will actually be winnable. Maybe most important will be an early conference game against Southern Miss that could shoot them to the top of the standings. Three of their C-USA road games are winnable and could put them in a good spot with a trip to Louisiana Tech in the regular season finale.

If the offense can find some consistency and the defense matches what it did last year, the Roadrunners should be headed to another bowl. The best scenario would be finishing with just two conference losses, which could lead to eight wins overall. That may be pushing it, but UTSA should at least be in the seven-win range with Marshall and FIU their opponents from the East division. That said, the bookmakers are unsure what to do with the Roadrunners, giving them +850 odds (at 5Dimes Sportsbook) to win the C-USA, alongside Southern Miss in the West division with an over/under at 6.5 wins.


2017 UTSA Roadrunners Football Schedule

Sept. 2 vs. Houston
Sept. 9 at Baylor
Sept. 16 vs. Southern
Sept. 23 at Texas State

Oct. 7 vs. Southern Miss
Oct. 14 at North Texas

Oct. 21 vs. Rice
Oct. 28 at UTEP

Nov. 4 vs. Florida International
Nov. 11 vs. UAB
Nov. 18 vs. Marshall
Nov. 25 at Louisiana Tech

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