The UTSA Roadrunners put on a disappointing performance against Marshall on Saturday. That performance is indicative of the 2018 season. The Roadrunners lost by more than 20 points for the third consecutive game and their offense looked completely over matched. The success of the team has faltered in the last few weeks and the team is just looking to finish the season with a healthy roster. Having a complete team going into next year is the only takeaway that the Roadrunners will get from this season. Their conference and bowl aspirations are officials out of reach.
Frank Wilson: Career in Review
This year was inconsistent. The team had a stretch of three games where they seemed to get the ball rolling and eventually evened out their record. However, they became complacent and, as a result, were handed loss after loss. The team believed that they had corrected their mistakes but that clearly wasn’t the case. The Roadrunners did enough to get by some mediocre talent, but when they played more successful teams, they were over matched. This can all be boiled down to one thing: the coach.
Frank Wilson’s Past
Frank Wilson was never a head coach in the NCAA before his tenure at UTSA. He began his college coaching career at Ole Miss where he was the team’s running back coach. He would remain there for two years before he left for Southern Mississippi in Conference USA. Wilson stayed at Southern Miss for only a year and would soon spend time with Tennessee under Lane Kiffin and LSU under Les Miles. Frank Wilson gained the majority of his attention from LSU. Here he was the running backs coach and recruiting coordinator.
In his time at LSU, he was recognized for his great ability to recruit top talent to the university. LSU has been a football superpower for some time now, and Wilson contributed to their success during his stint in Baton Rouge. Wilson was named National Recruiter of the Year in 2011 and in 2014 was named the top recruiter in all of college football. Wilson was named SEC Recruiter of the Year in 2015 and helped secure LSU with a top-five recruiting class in the nation. From the 2011 season to the 2014 season, LSU had 29 players drafted to an NFL team, trailing only Alabama. From 2010-2015, LSU had an overall record of 61 wins and 17 losses with Wilson as their recruiting coordinator. He notably helped lead them to the BCS Championship, Cotton Bowl, and Chick-Fil-A Bowl in his five years there.
Frank Wilson at UTSA
Wilson was introduced as the head coach of the UTSA Roadrunners on January 14th, 2016. He has been underwhelming in his time at the school. His one glimmer of success came in his first year, when he led the Roadrunners to the New Mexico Bowl. This was the team’s first bowl appearance; however, they came up short and lost to New Mexico. Other than this, Wilson has struggled to find his footing. He has led the team to an overall record of 15-20 in his three seasons. Many were optimistic of the success that he would bring to the young program, however, he has come up short on expectations.
Frank Wilson in 2018
Wilson has disappointed this season. Unfortunately, he has set his players up for failure with horrendous playcalling. Wilson has repeatedly called the wrong plays in the wrong moment. Wilson especially struggled this season to find an effective run/pass balance on offense. In the post-Dalton Sturm era, the Roadrunner offense simply couldn’t put together a viable scoring threat against good competition. The inability to integrate the running backs into the offense scheme proved to be undoing of UTSA’s promising season.
He has also made poor decisions at the quarterback position. The inconsistencies at quarterback have plagued the Roadrunners all season. He has started four different players at the position, none of whom have proven to be the answer. Cordale Grundy started for far too long. While he did helm the team to three wins, his efficiency was poor. Wilson then threw Jordan Weeks into the spot in order to revitalize the offense. The freshman was unable to lead his team to victory. He then tried D.J. Gillins, which went south fast as he threw for 107 yards and four interceptions in his only start. He then started Bryce Rivers on Saturday against Marshall. At this point, Wilson is just testing potential options for next year.
Speaking of next year, Wilson is going to need to make some immediate changes to his play calling and roster decisions if he hopes to keep his job. This season was clearly a step in the wrong direction and one that was disadvantageous for his career. As the season comes to a close, Frank Wilson will need to think long and hard about his team in order to secure the job he worked so hard for. This last game will not only test the grit and determination of the team but also of Wilson himself.
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