The UTSA Roadrunners opened their inaugural season in front of 56,743 fans last week with a convincing 31-3 victory over the Northeastern State RiverHawks. The star of the show was undoubtedly sophomore quarterback Eric Soza, who led the Roadrunners to three touchdowns on each of their first three drives, rushing for the first and passing to Jake Wanamaker and Kam Jones for the next two.
We could see more of the same from Soza this week as UTSA’s next opponent, the McMurry War Hawks, are coming into San Antonio hoping to bounce back from the 82-6 thrashing given to them by Stephen F. Austin.
McMurry is a private university located in Abilene, Texas with an enrollment of just under 1,500 students, less than 5% of the student body at UTSA. The War Hawks currently compete at the Division III level as a member of the American Southwest Conference, but will move up to D-II in 2012-13 and compete as an independent in football, while other sports join the Heartland Conference.
The War Hawks are a team that is built around their passing game, led by quarterback Jake Mullin, who was named a first-team Preseason All-American by Consensus Draft Services. He threw for 2,859 yards and completed 61% of his passes last season, while throwing for 35 touchdowns and only two interceptions.
The pressure will be on the Roadrunners secondary once again, as they look to duplicate their impressive performance against a good RiverHawks passing attack, allowing only 39 yards in the first half. Watch to see if starting CB Darrien Starling can repeat his seven tackle performance from last week, and if Crosby Adams and Jeremy Hall can stay mistake-free after each gave up big pass interference penalties against the RiverHawks.
While McMurry might be able to put some points on the board with their passing attack, they don’t have the weapons to stop Soza and the UTSA offense, which was evident last week when they allowed 744 yards and 82 points to the Lumberjacks.
The Roadrunners will likely try to improve on their rushing performance from last week, after starting tailback Chris Johnson amassed zero total yards, mostly due to a negative 14 yard rush on 3rd and 1 near the start of the 2nd quarter, which forced UTSA to punt and ended their streak of three straight scoring drives.
If Johnson fails to deliver once again, David Glasco II has shown that he’s ready to fill in and take the starting role from him, after scoring UTSA’s fourth and final touchdown of the game on a seven yard option run, while leading the running backs with 26 yards on four carries.
This should be an easy week for the Roadrunners and we’ll likely see many of the backups get plenty of playing time. I’m projecting a 41-14 victory for UTSA over McMurry.
This week’s game will also mark the first time in program history that a UTSA football game will be nationally televised. Earlier today, ESPN officially announced a deal to air the final five UTSA home games on the Longhorn Network, starting with this weekend’s matchup.
Also of note from the deal is that the kickoff times were changed for the Oct. 8 South Alabama game (4:30 pm) and Oct. 29 Georgia State game (12:30 pm). The start time of the Nov. 19 Minot State game is listed as TBA, so that one might change as well. See our updated 2011 schedule for more details.
In other news from today, we learned that WR Earon Holmes and TE Cole Hubble are recovering from their shoulder injuries more quickly than expected, and will likely make their return in the homecoming game against Bacone College on September 24, two weeks earlier than initially expected.
I would like to remind everyone to follow RowdyReport.com on Twitter and Facebook, so that you can get the breaking news as it happens, such as the aforementioned Longhorn Network deal and injury updates.
Thanks to the UTSASource.com crew, I got to take a look at some game film that they had recorded at the inaugural game, and I was very impressed with the team’s execution of Coach Bush’s offense. The offensive line had some problems, as you’d expect from a group composed entirely of redshirt and true freshmen, but the offense was set up to take advantage of option runs and short dump offs, which puts the ball in the hands of our playmakers and takes some pressure off the line.
If you’re interested in winning a blue #11 UTSA jersey, UTSASource.com is giving one of them away to the rowdiest fan at Saturday’s game. Click here for the details and to find out how to make your nomination for the “RowdyFan of the Week.” It looks like they’ll be giving away prizes at each of the future home games as well, so check them out and, more importantly, get rowdy on Saturday!