Week 2 of the college football season sees the UTSA Roadrunners make their home debut for the 2018 campaign. After suffering a blowout loss to Arizona State last Saturday, UTSA is looking to bounce back in front of what is expected to be a sold-out crowd at the Alamodome. We caught up with Stephen Whitaker (@StephenWhit89) of BirdsUp.com (@UTSARivals) to get the 411 on UTSA’s next opponent, the Baylor Bears. So, let’s dive right in, shall we?
- 1 – (1A210) Baylor started off their season with a 55-27 home win over Abilene Christian. What stood out to you the most from the Bears’ win last Saturday?
(SW) To me, the thing that stood out the most was the fact that Baylor gave up 27 points to Abilene Christian and that 20 of those points came in the first half. The Baylor defense is likely more improved than it was last season but it still has a long way to go. It bodes well for UTSA that if they can get their offense going against Baylor and, more importantly, get what is supposed to be a large home crowd going early they have a good chance to make it two wins in as many seasons over the Bears.
- 2 – The last time these two teams got together, it was a defensive battle. Since then, a lot has changed. What is one key difference with the Roadrunners since these two played up in Waco?
The key difference for UTSA in this season’s meeting is that they will be without Defensive End Marcus Davenport, who now plies his trade with the New Orleans Saints and Defensive Coordinator Pete Golding who parlayed the Roadrunners top-ten defense last year into a job on Nick Saban’s staff at Alabama this season. The cupboard isn’t entirely bare for the Roadrunners as the defensive coordinator this year, Jason Rollins, was on the staff last year and they still have some excellent players on defense like defensive tackle Kevin Strong and Linebacker Josiah Tauaefa.
- 3 – Last season Baylor struggled as they went 1-11 overall, including 1-6 on the road. The Bears are looking to get off on the right foot and UTSA is trying to prove the doubters wrong. How big of a game is this on Saturday for both teams?
As far as early season games go, this is big for both teams. For Baylor, it is a chance to double their win total from last season before the third weekend in September. For UTSA it’s a chance to claim their second ever win over a power-five opponent and also a chance to put the lopsided loss at Arizona State behind them. A win for either team would be a jumpstarter. On the other hand, if Baylor loses to UTSA they miss out on one of their few easy chances at a win. If UTSA loses to Baylor the fanbase will become more nervous than they would with a win. In the grand scheme of things, the Roadrunners will be judged more on their conference record.
- 4 – This will be the second meeting all-time between UTSA and Baylor, with the Roadrunners winning the lone meeting last season. Who wins on Saturday? What will be the difference?
My heart leans toward UTSA, after all, it is my alma mater. My head is leaning toward Baylor based on the fact that they will be hungering to avenge the home loss last season. It will be a close game like last season but Baylor will win close, 21-17. But don’t be surprised if the home crowd helps lift the Roadrunners.
- 5 – Tell us something we should know about Baylor.
They used to share Waco with Texas Christian University. TCU was in Waco from 1895-1910. Baylor moved to Waco from Independence, Texas in 1885. TCU started football in 1896 and Baylor started in 1899 which means from 1899-1910 the two teams battled for supremacy over Waco.
UTSA Roadrunners – L
Baylor Bears – W
Position in Standings
UTSA Roadrunners: 0-1, 7th C-USA West
Baylor Bears: 1-0, 1st Big 12
UTSA is 1-0 against Baylor all-time, with the Roadrunners winning the lone meeting 17-10 up in Waco in 2017.
Baylor Bears (1-0) at UTSA Roadrunners (0-1)
Kickoff 6 pm Central Time
Where to Watch: ESPN +
Keys To The Game
After UTSA’s defense gave up 45 points to Arizona State last weekend, they will likely be tested against a Bears offense that put up 55 points on Abilene Christian University. The Roadrunners struggled to contain a high octane offense under the direction of new Head Coach Herm Edwards as a key missed tackle led to the first touchdown of the game. defensive tackle Kevin Strong and linebacker Josiah Tauaefa both struggled to fill the hole left by former Roadrunner Marcus Davenport.
On the offensive end, quarterback Cordale Grundy had his first pass of the game intercepted and returned for a touchdown. The rest of the opening quarter, he did seem to settle into his own but the fact is the offense had little flow. Credit the Sun Devils’ defense and the Bears will probably present a tougher challenge than Arizona State did.
While UTSA did defeat Baylor in Waco in 2017, we think the Bears return the favor and beat the Roadrunners in their own building this time.
UTSA Roadrunners – 10
Baylor Bears – 31