The Sun Devils offense exploded for 652 total yards and 68 points to down Texas Tech on Saturday night in Tempe, and they will now travel to San Antonio to take on a team with far less firepower on either side of the ball than the Red Raiders.
Just five short years ago, the University of Texas at San Antonio didn’t even have a collegiate football program.
Thanks to athletic director Lynn Hickey and former head coach Larry Coker , the university was able to not only create a team, but have the program get promoted to Division I FBS football in under a decade, as the Roadrunners are now members of Conference USA.
However, the last two years the program has gone 7-17, and has begun to look in a new direction handing the reigns over to former LSU running backs coach Frank Wilson.
Although Wilson has never been a coordinator, let alone a head coach, the program believes he will be able to bring some of that Baton Rouge recruiting prowess to San Antonio.
Wilson has made many strong signings through transfers and recruiting, and we’ll get a good look at the coaches new squad on Saturday.
Josiah Tauaefa - Linebacker
While the UTSA defensive line has struggled early on to make a difference in their first two games, the talented 6 foot 1, 230-pound freshman from Corinth, Tex., has burst on to the scene as an unexpected leader for this Roadrunner defense.
He leads the team in tackles, tackles for loss, and sacks through the first two games. The freshman could cause the Sun Devils inexperienced offensive line some problems, and will no doubt be the number one option in run stopping department, even if it may seem extremely futile to try and stop Kalen Ballage.
Dalton Sturm - Quarterback
While stirring up little action on the bench for Larry Coker’s team last season, the junior QB has started hot this season completing 35 of 48 passes for 450 yards and 4 touchdowns.
In a game where the Devils are favored big, don’t be surprised if Frank Wilson’s squad lets Sturm air it out, especially against a Sun Devil secondary that has yet to prove it’s not the same FBS-worst unit we saw last year.
Michael Egwuagu- Strong Safety
Egwuagu will have a tough task in the secondary defending what has been a stellar passing attack from Manny Wilkins and the Sun Devil wideouts thus far. However, the 6-foot, 220 pound senior is a hard hitter with a strong ability to tackle in the open field.
He finished second on the team last year with 62 tackles and his 3 interceptions led him to an All-Conference USA Honorable Mention. Egwuagu should have some intriguing battles with N’Keal Harry and Cameron Smith on screen plays and eventually in the open field.
JaBryce Taylor - Wide Receiver
Frank Wilson inherited a plethora of personnel issues in his first year in San Antonio, but his receiving core seems to have a lot of potential. Last year in his first year with the Roadrunners the former SMU and Navarro Junior College wideout caught just 29 passes for 472 yards.
That’s an average of over 16 yards per catch, by far the largest on the team. This wasn’t by chance either, as the 6-foot-2 220- pound senior creates matchup issues with his size and speed down the field. Kareem Orr and Armand Perry will again face a tough task in stopping a talented UTSA receiving core, as they look to avoid getting peppered for 360 plus yards for the third week in a row.