The 2019 football season is a mere four days away for the UTSA Roadrunners. With this being the case, it only seems appropriate to preview what will be the program’s eighth season. In years past, optimism for the season was always high. Unfortunately, more times than not they would disappoint. However, hopes are higher this year as the team should only improve from an abysmal three win and nine loss season in 2018. So, what is UTSA’s 2019 season outlook?
UTSA’s 2019 Season Outlook
2019 is undoubtedly a season of redemption for the struggling Roadrunners. The team was less than unimpressive in its 2018 campaign. The ‘Runners seemed to be playing from behind in almost every aspect last year. The team desperately tried numerous schemes last season in an attempt to spark the offense. The team featured four different quarterbacks in 2018 and none proved to be a valuable asset. Combined they totaled three wins and less than 2,000 passing yards combined.
The Rise of Frank Harris
After the not-so-great offensive showing last season, the Roadrunners believe that they have found a quarterback for the future in Frank Harris. The dual-threat athlete was sidelined due to an ACL injury in 2018 and was expected to fight for the position then. Now that he is healthy, he has won the heart of both Head Coach Frank Wilson and his supporting staff. As of August 26th, Harris was officially named the starting quarterback for UTSA’s opener against the University of Incarnate Word. KSAT 12 got the story from Wilson.
This will be a great opportunity for the young Harris to prove himself. The talent at Incarnate Word is not as high as that of UTSA. So, an opening victory would be huge for the team’s confidence moving forward. This will also be an evaluation period for Harris. He has not seen real game action since his senior year of high school in 2017. It will be a sight to admire if he still has the same explosiveness on the ground after his second ACL injury. However, only time will tell if the Roadrunners have found their starter for the next four years.
Surprisingly enough, Harris could also be the savior for the ‘Runner defense. Without any consistency on the offensive side in 2018, the defense found themselves on the field a lot. The team ranked 87th in allowed points per game in 2018. However, a stronger threat in the pocket could mean less time for the defense and more time of possession. In years past, the defense was the focal point for the Roadrunners. Although, they took a step back in the 2018 season and it showed. It would beneficial for the team if they could get back to their roots.
It should be expected that with more rest between drives, the Roadrunner defense will only benefit. This will also provide defensive coordinator Jason Rollins valuable time to scheme and fix play calls. The most valuable asset to anyone is time, so hopefully, the Roadrunners make good use of it.
UTSA continues to find ways to strengthen their non-conference games. The Roadrunners will once again play the Baylor Bears in Waco on September 7th. This matchup is looked forward to due in part to the miracle the Roadrunners pulled off in 2017. UTSA opened its season against the Bears and were able to pull off a 17-10 upset.
The Roadrunners will also face up against the Army Black Knights on September 14th in
San Antonio. This will be the schools’ first meeting against each other. There will be a great atmosphere surrounding the game as San Antonio is known as Military City, USA. Due to this expect quite a few Army fans to be in attendance.
UTSA will then go against the University of Alabama-Birmingham at the Alamodome on October 12th. This game is so crucial for the season because it comes towards the beginning of conference play. Further, UAB finished 2018 with an 11-3 record and won the conference. They are once again projected to compete for the C-USA West title. A win against the Blazers would be huge for the future of the Roadrunner season.
One of the most exciting matchups this season will come against the No. 12 ranked Aggies. UTSA will travel north to College Station with hopes to upset Texas A&M on November 2nd. Playing nationally ranked teams is huge for the organization’s exposure to higher talent. Also, a victory against Texas A&M would give the team a spike in confidence as they finish out the remainder of conference play.
The part that everyone wants to know is where the Roadrunners will end up by the end of the season. Unfortunately, the addition of Harris may only contribute to an additional win or two from the 2018 season. The fact of the matter is that the Roadrunners did not add anyone season changing to their squad. Expecting to reach a bowl game in 2019 is a stretch. In fact, finishing in the top four of the Conference USA-West division would be viewed as a total success for the year. I predict a season win-loss total to be five wins and seven losses. But, injuries happen and breakout stars can alter a season. With this being said. UTSA, make me eat my words.