After BYU football officially announced they will host the UTSA Roadrunners on Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020 at LaVell Edwards Stadium, ESPN 960’s Ben Criddle spoke with JJ Perez of InsideRunnerSports.com to get to know the team BYU will be facing.
UTSA is a relatively young football program — their first season was in 2010. The Roadrunners spent one year as an independent, before joining the Western Athletic Conference, and then Conference USA. The team made it to the New Mexico Bowl in 2016, which they lost.
Perez said there is still a lot of uncertainty surrounding this year’s team, with a new coaching staff and competition at the quarterback position.
“The Roadrunners have a first-year head coach in Jeff Traylor, he comes to UTSA from Arkansas,” Perez said. “The big question is who is going to be quarterback. UTSA has four guys on the roster that have started college football games, and they believe they can win with any of the four guys. It’s just a matter of the team identifying themselves. It’s going to be a little bit of learning on the fly and dumbing down the offense initially.
“Last year’s quarterback, Frank Harris, is a true dual-threat quarterback but he has had injuries. He suffered a season-ending injury in the second game of last season. People are saying he is better and faster than when he suffered the injury though. It’s a question of whether he can stay healthy to produce.”
Perez said the offense does have strength at the running back position, with sophomore Sincere McCormick returning following a nearly 1,000-yard season last year.
“Freshman All-American Sincere McCormick can probably play on any level,” he said. “He came out of a dominant program here in San Antonio, it was a surprise that he decided to stay here. There are a lot of expectations on his shoulders. He leads a strong running back group.”
BYU Director of Athletics Tom Holmoe has announced the addition of two home games to the 2020 schedule.
— BYU FOOTBALL (@BYUfootball) August 26, 2020
UTSA’s coordinators are both in their first year. Defensive coordinator Tyrone Nix was a positional coach at Ole Miss last season and is transitioning the Roadrunner defense to a 3-4. Perez said the defensive line has some talent but there are still a lot of questions about the secondary. Not much is known about UTSA’s offense, as practices have been restricted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Last season the team ran a pro-style offense, but Perez said he expects to see a lot more spread elements added this year.
Perez said the fanbase in San Antonio has been quick to support the team. UTSA was expected to play LSU in Baton Rouge, Louisiana to start the season, but Perez said fans are just as excited to be able to face the Cougars in October.
“Initially, you think of BYU’s history and the scenic stadium in the mountains,” Perez said. “When I first had it described to me, I had it described to me as a power 5 matchup. The general consensus among the fanbase is that trading the LSU game for a BYU game is pretty even in terms of what the program is going to get out of it. If they allow fans at all, I think Roadrunner fans will really enjoy October in Utah.”
Written by Bridger Beal
Bridger is a student at Utah Valley University where he studies journalism and mass communication. He is the sports editor of the on-campus newspaper, The Review. Bridger is a life-long Cougar fan and college football enthusiast.