The UTSA Roadrunners are up on the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders 10-0 at halftime as the two schools open up their Conference USA schedules today. A lead, however, should feel more positive than it really does.
— UTSA Football 🏈 (@UTSAFTBL) September 18, 2021
Quarterback Frank Harris had quite the first half, completing 16 of his 22 pass attempts for 185 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. His favorite target of the afternoon has been Zakhari Franklin who is on pace for a record-setting afternoon. With his second 100-yard game of the young season, Franklin is just four receptions shy of tying his single-game record set last season against Army. He is also just 74 yards away from tying the school’s single-game record of 186 yards set by Greg Campbell Jr. in 2018.
The Roadrunners have done a lot of good, especially on defense. They held MTSU to just 56 yards of offense through the first half. UTSA has lived in the backfield, recording six tackles for loss, three of which were sacks. When the Roadrunners have needed a big stop, players have stepped up. One notable moment was a Corey Mayfield Jr. interception of Middle Tennessee’s quarterback Bailey Hockman in the endzone for a touchback.
Not All Positive
As good as the play has been, there have also been a lot of miscues. UTSA has been penalized five times for 50 yards, one of which was a facemask penalty that canceled out a Brenden Brady touchdown. That set off an unfortunate sequence of events that resulted in a Frank Harris interception that was returned 56 yards by MTSU cornerback Quincy Riley, setting up the Blue Raiders’ best field position of the day.
Zakhari Franklin is four catches shy of tying his single-game record set last year against Army (12)
He's also just 72 yards away from tying the school record for receiving yards in a game (186) set by Greg Campbell Jr. in 2018. #BirdsUp🤙
— Jonas Clark (@jarkclonas) September 18, 2021
Head coach Jeff Traylor expects more out of his players and will likely harken things back to his five pillars, one of which tasks each young athlete to take accountability as they take the field for the second half.
One thing to watch for will be the use of running back Sincere McCormick who has had a quiet afternoon. As the Roadrunners look to salt this game with their 10-point lead, look for the rushing attack to play a bigger part. McCormick has 12 carries for 57 yards, the longest of which was an early 13-yard run.