The UTSA Roadrunners have been playing football at the Division I level since 2011 when the team went 4-6 in its first year. In the four years since it's opening game, the program is 23-23 under coach Larry Coker, who Oklahoma State fans might remember as a former coach in Stillwater. Coker, who was one of the coaches who originally wanted to give current OSU coach Mike Gundy the starting job back in the day, holds a 0-2 record against the Cowboys and will have this one more time to try and beat OSU this season.
Zach Collums reached out to Jared Kalmus of Underdog Dynasty to get some information on the third team on the Cowboys schedule in 2015.
2014 UTSA Roadrunners (4-8 overall, 3-5 C-USA)
- At Oklahoma State (13-43)
- At Louisiana Tech (20-27)
- At Arizona (23-26)
- At Florida Atlantic (37-41)
2014 Stat Leaders
Tucker Carter - QB
David Glasco II - RB
Marcellus Mack - WR
1) So UTSA's football program has only been around since 2011. How has the team progressed from it's first year up to this upcoming season? How has Larry Coker, a former OSU coach, developed this young program?
The birth of UTSA's program has been so much fun to follow. Coker has proven himself to be the perfect man for the job as his hiring provided an immediate sense of legitimacy to the program. Each season the level of athleticism in the program rises greatly and new benchmarks are set each year.
2) Tell us a little bit about your football team: uniform schemes, returning juniors or seniors, big question marks, star players, and anything thing else you would think to include.
Well UTSA is an Adidas program but the three stripes have always been very generous to UTSA, treating it with the same uniform options as major programs. The Roadrunners really caught some eyes during their nationally-broadcasted game against Arizona last year as UTSA sported all-orange digs with some sharp chrome numbering.
Almost all of UTSA's major returning playmakers come on the defensive side of the ball. Jason Neill (DE), Drew Douglas (LB) and Bennett Okotcha (CB) were all announced to CUSA first team defense this offseason. OSU fans might also remember Kenny Bias, the streaky wide receiver that scored three touchdowns against OSU in 2013. He'll be entering his senior season with a new-found maturity and leadership directive.
The biggest question mark for the team this season is undoubtedly at quarterback. Blake Bogenschutz, a young quarterback that lead a touchdown drive against OSU last season, returns but will need to battle Michigan transfer Russell Bellomy to hold the job. Bogenschutz proved to be a major talent last season but the coaching staff has always placed a premium on experience.
3) I know we played your team last season, but just for a refresher, what's playing style? Do you guy run out of the I or the shotgun? Heavy pass or heavy run? Spread out or two tight end sets?
For UTSA's first four seasons the offense was a very balanced, multiple scheme. The Roadrunners would substitute frequently, often shifting from four-wide sets to a power run set. All of that changes this year as UTSA will be modernizing their offense with an up-tempo attack. It remains to be seen how often UTSA will run the ball out of this high speed offense but they will definitely be getting snaps off more quickly.
UTSA employs a strong 4-2-5 defense that is modeled after TCU's scheme. They often drop the "Dawg" linebacker/safety hybrid back into coverage with a three man front on long passing downs to give a "SWAT" look.
4) Seeing as how UTSA plays OSU in Boone Pickens, how do you think the team will perform on the road in such loud environment? How does UTSA usually play on the road?
I don't know if UTSA really has the talent to make it matter much against OSU but UTSA does traditionally play fairly well on the road. With that being said, the team definitely came out very flat in Stillwater last season. Maybe getting past their first exposure to the paddle people will prove beneficial.
5) What's the expectations for the season? Any big time recruits coming in? Returning players that could make a difference?
Expectations are definitely low given that UTSA graduated a gaudy 37 seniors and return only five starters. Yes, just five. Considering UTSA's results last season some attrition may be overdue. Many fans, myself included, felt that younger and more talented athletes weren't given a fair shot at playing time over their senior counterparts last season.
While UTSA will be grossly under experienced they will be bigger and faster at the skill positions. Linemen will be young with room to grow but will boast a higher level of quickness and flexibility. The current group of sophomores and freshmen are the first recruiting classes UTSA had at the CUSA level. Last year's seniors were recruited when UTSA was expected to compete in the Southland Conference. The difference in skill level is enormous.
The incoming recruiting class is strong overall but lacks a true homerun signing. True freshmen like Josiah Tauaefa, Halen Steward, and Daryl Godfrey should see some playing time in 2015. JUCO transfers Vontrell King-Williams and Lakel Bass really impressed in spring ball and will be immediate starters. Baylor transfer Austin Jupe will also provide stellar depth in the secondary.
Several returning players are probably due for breakout performances, especially talented offensive players like Jarveon Williams and Kerry Thomas who simply didn't get enough touches last season. I think this will also be the year that Dawg safety Michael Egwuagu elevates from a UTSA fan favorite to a respected all-conference player in CUSA. Tight end David Morgan is the best tight end in Conference USA when he's healthy.
6) From an OSU fan's perspective, many would think that UTSA wont put up the best competition. What's the thought with UTSA fans about this game? Do you guys think you just have a chance or think you could surprise the nation?
I would be highly shocked if UTSA keeps this game within three scores. Besides all of the new starters, UTSA will also still be in the storming phase of installing a new offense. OSU will have a major advantage in the trenches as well as having the home crowd on their side. I think UTSA's goal in this game should be simple-- put some points on the board against a Big XII defense and find a way to cause some turnovers on defense. A solid losing performance could instill some confidence that will pay dividends in conference play for the Roadrunners.
There you have it, that's the last of the SB Nation Q&A that we can get for the nonconference schedule. OSU could very well go 3-0 against the first three teams, and they should, but the biggest worry should be health, something the Cowboys struggled with last year.