Will UTSA schedule a 12th game this year?

Earlier this week, Florida State and Louisiana-Monroe announced that they would be playing on December 2, a weekend typically reserved for conference championships and Sun Belt finales, finally rescheduling their matchup from September 9 that was postponed due to Hurricane Irma.

With Florida State staring down a 5-6 record if they can take care of Delaware State and Florida, scheduling this game became paramount to retaining their streak of 35 consecutive bowl games.

In addition to FSU and ULM, we’ve seen Indiana replace their canceled game against FIU with an FCS opponent (Charleston Southern), made possible by the fact that they didn’t already have an FCS game scheduled and that Charleston Southern also had a cancellation due to the hurricane.

There’s also a tentatively scheduled game between FIU and UMass, who both had games canceled due to Hurricane Irma, to be played on December 2 as long as FIU is not in the Conference USA Championship game.

So where does that leave UTSA after losing their opening game against Houston due to Hurricane Harvey? Is there anyone left for us to play? Is there anything to gain by playing a 12th game? Anything to lose? Here’s a look at some of our options.

GEORGIA TECH

Much like Florida State, the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets may need a 12th game if they want to earn bowl eligibility, after having their game at UCF canceled on September 16. Currently at 4-4, and with tough games against ranked Virginia Tech and Georgia remaining, they’ll likely have to win their games over Duke and a hypothetical 12th opponent if they want to make a bowl.

This is where UTSA comes in. The Roadrunners are one of only a handful of teams who still haven’t made up their canceled game, and who won’t be contenders for a conference championship on December 2, like Miami and UCF.

There’s been a push from Georgia Tech fans to make this game happen, and it just makes a ton of sense. The most likely scenario would have Georgia Tech paying UTSA for a one-off game at Bobby Dodd, but other possibilities could include leveraging this for a 1-for-1 or 2-for-1 deal with the Yellow Jackets coming to the Alamodome, either this year or in the future.

Either way, both schools should have had plans in place for a potential conference championship game on December 2, either home or away, so the logistics shouldn’t be as complicated as finding an open date during the regular season.

If anything is working against UTSA, it’s the fact that we still don’t have an Athletic Director. That’s what makes me think a one-off game is most likely, with the current administration avoiding any long-term decisions until we get a new AD in place.

FLORIDA

Another team that is apparently in search of a 12th game is Florida, who had their game against Northern Colorado canceled on September 9. If they can find two wins in their next three games (@ South Carolina, vs UAB, @ Florida State), then they will be 5-6 and looking for that sixth win for bowl eligibility.

The Gators are reportedly trying to reschedule their game against Northern Colorado for December 2, but if that doesn’t work out then there aren’t a whole lot of other options available, and they may be reaching out to UTSA with an offer for a one-off payday for a trip to The Swamp.

NORTHERN COLORADO & SOUTH CAROLINA STATE

If Florida doesn’t get Northern Colorado to come to them, then why not have them come to San Antonio instead? This may be the most pragmatic use of our 12th game. UTSA gets a sixth home game, and the ticket sales that come with it, and some added insurance to our bowl chances.

If the Roadrunners lose their next three games, they’ll be 5-6, likely missing out on a bowl game unless the NCAA grants a waiver for teams affected by hurricanes to be selected above 5-7 teams this year.  But we could take our fate into our own hands with a sixth win, even if it’s against an FCS opponent. That’s because, by rule, a 6-6 team with two FCS wins will be selected ahead of teams with most other exemptions (Hawaii Rule, FBS reclassification) and 5-7 teams.

There weren’t as many FCS teams affected by the hurricanes as FBS, so there aren’t many other teams available, but it appears another option would be South Carolina State, who had their September 9 game against Charleston Southern canceled.

Some might question whether we deserve a bowl in this hypothetical scenario where we close out the year with four straight conference losses, but you have to take the bowl game, and all the money and extra practice time that comes with it, when you can get it.

GEORGIA STATE & ARKANSAS STATE

The only other teams with 11-game schedules, and who won’t be playing in conference championship games, are Georgia State, Arkansas State, and Houston. With the Sun Belt scheduling regular season games on December 2, and both Georgia State and Arkansas State likely reaching 6 wins anyways, a makeup game with either of them is off the table.

HOUSTON

So what about Houston? You know, the team that put us in this situation in the first place? They already have six wins, so they don’t need this game, per se, but they will be free on championship weekend, and they reportedly offered this makeup date to UTSA before the game was officially canceled.

This could be an opportunity to make up our game and perhaps donate some of the proceeds to hurricane relief efforts. A win-win, no?

 

Ultimately, it seems like we’ll have a few options for a 12th game on December 2, and at this point, I would almost be more surprised if we don’t schedule a game than if we do. This could be a great opportunity for either a payday and a trip to a well-known P5 program, or a sixth home game and some extra bowl insurance.

Hopefully, even in the absence of an AD, President Eighmy and the rest of the athletics department can make one of these scenarios a reality for the Roadrunners.

 

NFL Preseason Preview: Jarveon Williams – Cincinnati Bengals

Jarveon Williams left UTSA as the program’s all-time leading rusher and a key piece of the Roadrunners’ offense on the way to the team’s first bowl game.

Williams was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Cincinnati Bengals on April 29, joining Jordan Moore as UTSA’s only undrafted free agent signings this offseason.

JARVEON WILLIAMS

  • Team: Cincinnati Bengals
  • Position: Running Back
  • Experience: Rookie (Undrafted)

 

Williams has been injured for the bulk of training camp, and was finally cleared to practice last week. According to UPI, he did not participate in OTAs or rookie mini-camp either.

CINCINNATI BENGALS RUNNING BACK DEPTH

  • Jeremy Hill, 3 years experience
  • Giovani Bernard, 4 years experience
  • Joe Mixon, Rookie (Drafted, Round 2)
  • Cedric Peerman, 7 years experience (NFI)
  • Tra Carson, 1 year practice squad experience
  • Jarveon Williams, Rookie (Undrafted)
  • Stanley “Boom” Williams, Rookie (Undrafted)

 

It will be extremely tough for Williams to break through the Bengals’ depth chart to earn a spot on the 53-man roster, with the Bengals likely only keeping four running backs.

2nd-round pick Joe Mixon and returnees Hill and Bernard are locked in for the top three spots, while Cedric Peerman should be selected for his special teams abilities as long as he can return from injury prior to the September 2nd roster cuts.

Cincinnati will likely sign one running back to their practice squad as well, so Jarveon will be competing for that final spot with practice squad returnee Tra Carson and fellow undrafted free agent Boom Williams.

Odds to make 53-man roster: 1%

Odds to make practice squad: 10%

 

You can watch Williams in the Bengals’ four preseason matchups, including a nationally-televised game against the Washington Redskins in Week 3, which will air on FOX.

CINCINNATI BENGALS PRESEASON SCHEDULE

(all times Central)

Friday, Aug. 11
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Cincinnati Bengals, 6:30 p.m.
– NFL Network re-air: Saturday, Aug. 12, 12:00 a.m. Midnight

Saturday, Aug. 19
Kansas City Chiefs at Cincinnati Bengals, 6 p.m.
– NFL Network re-air: Monday, Aug. 21, 9:00 a.m.

Sunday, Aug. 27
Cincinnati Bengals at Washington Redskins, 3:30 p.m. (FOX)
– NFL Network re-air: Monday, Aug. 28, 3:00 a.m.

Thursday, Aug. 31
Cincinnati Bengals at Indianapolis Colts, 6 p.m.
– NFL Network re-air: Saturday, Sep. 2, 6:30 a.m.

 

NFL Preseason Preview: David Morgan – Minnesota Vikings

David Morgan entered the NFL last season as UTSA’s first ever draft pick and ended the year with 12 games and 63 offensive snaps under his belt.

Along the way, he received praise from his coaching staff and media alike. So much so that the Vikings were willing to let incumbent blocking tight end Rhett Ellison move on to the New York Giants during the offseason.

DAVID MORGAN

  • Team: Minnesota Vikings
  • Position: Tight End
  • Experience: 1 year

MINNESOTA VIKINGS TIGHT END DEPTH

  • Kyle Rudolph, 6 years experience
  • David Morgan, 1 year experience
  • Bucky Hodges, Rookie (Drafted, Round 6)
  • Kyle Carter, 1 year practice squad experience
  • Nick Truesdell, Rookie (3 years in AFL)
  • Josiah Price, Rookie

 

7th-year man Kyle Rudolph will retain his spot as the #1 tight end heading into the season, and Morgan is the obvious choice to replace Ellison as the first-choice blocking tight end, earning snaps alongside Rudolph in two-TE sets.

Ellison saw action on about 18 offensive snaps and 12 special teams snaps per game while getting targeted in the passing game a total of 14 times in 15 games. We can expect to see similar numbers from Morgan this year.

It will be interesting to see what happens with the depth chart below Rudolph and Morgan, with four guys who are all primarily pass-catching tight ends competing for one or two spots on the 53-man roster.

Odds to make 53-man roster: 100%

 

After kicking off their preseason with a visit to Buffalo tonight, the Vikings will head to Seattle and then return to face the 49ers in back-to-back nationally televised games before hosting the Dolphins in their preseason finale.

MINNESOTA VIKINGS PRESEASON SCHEDULE

(all times Central)

Thursday, Aug. 10
Minnesota Vikings at Buffalo Bills, 6 p.m.
– NFL Network re-air: Friday, Aug. 11, 3:00 a.m.

Friday, Aug. 18
Minnesota Vikings at Seattle Seahawks, 9 p.m. (NFL Network)

Sunday, Aug. 26
San Francisco 49ers at Minnesota Vikings, 7 p.m. (NBC)

Thursday, Aug. 31
Miami Dolphins at Minnesota Vikings, 7 p.m.
– NFL Network re-air: Friday, Sep. 1, 9:00 a.m.

 

NFL Preseason Preview: Ashaad Mabry – New Orleans Saints

Two years after signing with New Orleans as an undrafted free agent, Ashaad Mabry is looking to finally make his way onto the Saints active roster in 2017.

The Saints reaffirmed their commitment to Mabry in January, signing him to a futures deal and keeping him in New Orleans for a third year, after two successful campaigns spent on the practice squad.

ASHAAD MABRY

  • Team: New Orleans Saints
  • Position: Defensive Tackle
  • Experience: 2 years on practice squad

 

The Saints defensive line took a huge hit over the offseason when starting tackle Nick Fairley was diagnosed with a heart condition that will keep him out this season, and potentially end his career.

Meanwhile, New Orleans looked to free agency for some added depth, signing 11-year veteran Tony McDaniel, a former starter in Seattle.

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS DEFENSIVE TACKLE DEPTH

  • Sheldon Rankins, 1 year experience
  • Tyeler Davison, 2 years experience
  • David Onyemata, 1 year experience
  • Tony McDaniel, 11 years experience
  • Ashaad Mabry, 2 years practice squad experience
  • Justin Zimmer, 1 year practice squad experience
  • Devaroe Lawrence, Rookie (Undrafted) (injured)

 

Sheldon Rankins should be a shoo-in as a starter in his second season after being drafted 12th overall a season ago. He missed the first half of his rookie year with a broken leg, but upon his return proved why he was worth a 1st-round draft pick.

Preliminary depth charts have Davison as the other starter, but reports out of training camp have Onyemata taking more of the first-team reps. The pair seem to be 2A and 2B in the pecking order for the time being.

With only four defensive tackles likely making the 53-man roster, that leaves one spot left that Mabry will be fighting for. It will take an inspired preseason performance for either Mabry or Zimmer to beat out the veteran McDaniel, so the practice squad will be his most likely landing spot once again.

Odds to make 53-man roster: 10%

Odds to make practice squad: 80%

 

Mabry and the Saints will be in action tonight against Cleveland, followed by a nationally televised game as they visit the new-look Los Angeles Chargers and their 27,000-seat MLS stadium.

 

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS PRESEASON SCHEDULE

(all times Central)

Thursday, Aug. 10
New Orleans Saints at Cleveland Browns, 7 p.m.
– NFL Network re-air: Friday, Aug. 11, 9:00 a.m.

Sunday, Aug. 20
New Orleans Saints at Los Angeles Chargers, 7 p.m. (NFL Network)

Saturday, Aug. 26
Houston Texans at New Orleans Saints, 7 p.m.
– NFL Network re-air: Sunday, Aug. 27, 4:00 a.m.

Thursday, Aug. 31
Baltimore Ravens at New Orleans Saints, 7 p.m.
– NFL Network re-air: Saturday, Sep. 2, 9:00 a.m.

 

NFL Preseason Preview: Brian Price – Green Bay Packers

Brian Price may be the most intriguing NFL prospect hailing from UTSA this year.

After a 2016 season that saw Price earn a very brief stint on the gameday roster, along with extended time on the Packers’ practice squad, things are looking up for the second-year defensive tackle.

Price was rewarded last season, with Green Bay bumping his salary from the practice squad minimum $6,900/week up to $26,465/week following an attempt from the Colts to sign him late in the year.

He was also signed to a futures deal at the conclusion of last season, guaranteeing his spot in Green Bay heading into this year.

BRIAN PRICE

  • Team: Green Bay Packers
  • Position: Nose Tackle
  • Experience: 1 year

 

The Packers released defensive tackle Letroy Guion earlier this week amidst concerns about a DWI over the summer, in addition to an unrelated 4-game suspension that he would have served to begin the season.

GREEN BAY PACKERS DEFENSIVE LINE DEPTH

  • Mike Daniels, 5 years experience
  • Kenny Clark, 1 year experience
  • Dean Lowry, 1 year experience
  • Ricky Jean Francois, 8 years experience
  • Christian Ringo, 2 years experience
  • Brian Price, 1 year experience
  • Montravius Adams, Rookie (Drafted, 3rd Round) (injured)
  • Izaah Lunsford, Rookie (Undrafted)

 

Defensive coordinator Dom Capers likes to rotate guys along the three-man front, and the Packers typically carry seven defensive linemen on their 53-man roster, giving Price a very good shot at making the cut this year.

Daniels, Clark, and Lowry currently look to be the likely starters heading into the regular season, while veteran Ricky Jean Francois should also be a lock to make the roster coming off the bench.

Christian Ringo looks to retain his roster spot from last season and will be in competition with Price and Adams for the fifth spot on the depth chart.

Highly-touted 3rd-round draft pick Montravius Adams is currently injured and may miss the start of the season, which could lead Green Bay to also retain Lunsford or just go with six guys on the line until Adams gets healthy.

Odds to make 53-man roster: 95%

Odds to make practice squad: 5%

 

Green Bay, unfortunately, doesn’t have any nationally televised games this preseason, but you can watch Price and the Packers in action on NFL Network when they replay the games, or by subscribing to NFL Game Pass.

GREEN BAY PACKERS PRESEASON SCHEDULE

(all times Central)

Thursday, Aug. 10
Philadelphia Eagles at Green Bay Packers, 7 p.m.
– NFL Network re-air: Friday, Aug. 11, 3:00 p.m.

Saturday, Aug. 19
Green Bay Packers at Washington Redskins, 6:30 p.m.
– NFL Network re-air: Sunday, Aug. 20, 6:00 a.m.

Saturday, Aug. 26
Green Bay Packers at Denver Broncos, 8 p.m.
– NFL Network re-air: Sunday, Aug. 27, 10:00 a.m.

Thursday, Aug. 31
Los Angeles Rams at Green Bay Packers, 6 p.m.
– NFL Network re-air: Saturday, Sep. 2, 7:00 p.m.