Texas San Antonio
After making a bowl Game in 2013, UTSA struggled to do anything the past two seasons and so enters new head coach Frank Wilson, who comes over from LSU where he was mainly the running backs coach. The Roadrunners only had three wins last year, but stayed competitive in most Games and they’ll look to turn some kind of corner with Wilson leading the way.
Quarterback will be an ongoing assessment between last year’s starter Dalton Sturm and incoming graduate transfer Jared Johnson. Sturm did okay last season, but the offense averaged just 22.6 points per Game so he doesn’t have the starting gig locked down by any means. The Roadrunners are a run-first team and bringing in a RB coach should keep things the same way. Both Sturm and Johnson are plenty mobile, which helps.
But it’s running back Jarveon Williams (1,042 yards, 8 TDs) that’s going to take the lead in this offense. Expect him to get more touches than he did a year ago (173) with Jalen Rhodes (242 yards, 3 TDs) backing him up. The offensive line wasn’t good in pass protection, but was fine in run blocking and they return three of those guys, all juniors.
Until quarterback is decided, the passing Game will remain an unknown following last season when they didn’t even throw for 200 yards per Game. Kerry Thomas (52 receptions, 541 yards, 4 TDs) is the top returning receiver with JaBryce Taylor (472 yards, 3 TDs) and Derrick Dick the other expected starters.
To complement a less-than-average offense, the defense was in the same category, allowing 33.8 points per Game in 2015. Due to a lot of seniors on the 2014 squad, the unit dropped off a decent amount, and that’s still the case with only two seniors as projected starters.
UTSA will still run its 4-2-5 scheme and has the most experience along the defensive line with Marcus Davenport at end and tackles Kevin Strong and Jonathan Tuiolosega providing experience. The strong point of this team was its run defense, so that’s a positive. Linebacker is a bigger question as is corner where mostly new faces fill out the roster. But to help, safety looks set with two returning starters and a freshman that won the role with great spring play.
The Roadrunners couldn’t win a non-Conference Game last year due to a rough Schedule, but that should change this season with Alabama State in the opener. Unfortunately, their other three Games will likely result in losses. The problem for UTSA this year is that its Conference USA Schedule is unfriendly. OUtside of home Games against North Texas and Charlotte, it’s hard to find a win on the slate, especially when they have a road gauntlet late in the year at MTSU, LA. Tech and Texas A&M. Getting Southern Miss and UTEP at home as well doesn’t help.
The Roadrunners could be a little better this year and should have a solid ground Game, but once again with a suspect passing attack and poor defense, it’s hard to see them surpassing Four wins.
2016 UTSA Roadrunners Football Schedule
Sept. 3 vs. Alabama State
Sept. 10 at Colorado State
Sept. 16 vs. Arizona State
Sept. 24 at Old Dominion
Oct. 8 vs. Southern Miss
Oct. 15 at Rice
Oct. 22 vs. UTEP
Oct. 29 vs. North Texas
Nov. 5 at Middle Tennessee
Nov. 12 at Louisiana Tech
Nov. 19 at Texas A&M
Nov. 26 vs. Charlotte