After the Louisiana Tech game, UTSA head coach Jeff Traylor talked about the opportunities for success available to players on the UTSA football team.
“I tell my current team – Some team is going to change the standard around here, where we’re never picked last again, we never don’t have a player on preseason all-conference, that the standard is [the media] wearing me out about which bowl are we going to, not ‘Are we going to a bowl?’. We know we’re not there yet… but we know we have a chance to make this something very special.”
Two weeks later, it’s evident that if they aren’t there, the team is at least headed in the right direction.
On a wet, rainy day in San Antonio, the UTSA offense flooded the Alamodome with their 2nd consecutive 600+ yard performance, breaking the record they set just a few weeks back against UTEP on Homecoming. The Roadrunners had 635 offensive yards today as they put up 49 points to beat the Mean Green 49-17 on Senior Night.
For a game that started a little slow, with the first score coming when Frank Harris ran 19 yards up the middle for a touchdown with 2:35 left of the clock, the levy of the North Texas defense bent severely in the second quarter when the Mean Green defense allowed 21 points.
Coach Traylor knows his team is a run-first offense, and when Sincere McCormick started the game with 95 yards on 11 carries just two minutes into the second quarter, it made the game plan that much easier to execute, though the scoring hadn’t yet matched the yardage, with UTSA only having that seven-point lead. The special teams had a couple of misses early on punting and with a missed field goal, but when I asked him about it after the game, he wasn’t really concerned by it.
“Were you watching the same game I was?,” Coach Traylor joked, “I’d say we did pretty well.”
The Roadrunners did do pretty well, especially once things got rolling in the second quarter. After UTSA scored early in the second frame to go up 14-0, North Texas responded with a one-play, 75-yard strike from Jason Bean to Jaelon Darden who out-ran a tackle attempt by Antonio Parks on his way to the end zone to bring the game within a single score.
The Mean Green looked to be back in it for barely 30 seconds before Sincere McCormick scored quickly for UTSA on the second play of the ensuing drive with a 65-yard run. The run would be a large piece of McCormick’s 188 yards at half time, 9 yards shy of his school record 197-yard performance in the season-opener against Texas State.
Sincere did break his record in the second half, and would finish the game with 251 rushing yards on 23 carries for two scores, trucking into the fourth quarter. He averaged a first down per rush with an average of 10.9 yards per carry in a performance that put him back on top of the national rushing yards list, and puts him just 65 yards shy of UTSA’s career rushing record in just his second season.
— UTSA Football 🏈 (@UTSAFTBL) November 28, 2020
Coach Traylor said after the game that running Sincere so late in the game wasn’t about record chasing or where his running back ranks nationally, it was about putting the game away, saying “We’re out here to win. I’m not trying to be on ESPN for losing a game like this in the Alamodome.” McCormick’s presence definitely gave him the best chance to do that after Sincere’s second touchdown run early in the fourth quarter put UTSA up 42-10.
The run game also got a huge boost from quarterback Frank Harris who had a great game completing 19 of 24 pass attempts, and responsible for 257 total yards and 3 total scores. Harris was a major part of the run game with 113 of his total yardage coming on the ground.
In 2020, it’s really easy to gush over offense, and I know I’ve done my fair share even in just this article, but the “Triangle of Toughness” needs execution on special teams and tough defense to be complete, and both were present.
— UTSA Football 🏈 (@UTSAFTBL) November 28, 2020
The defense did allow 401 yards of total offense for North Texas, including 184 yards on the ground, but the “bend don’t break” unit had two interceptions, including one by Rashad Wisdom, and sacked North Texas’ quarterbacks three times for a total of -24 yards. The Mean Green had 3-and-outs on 33% of their drives (4/12), and the Roadrunner special teams stuck North Texas with an average starting field position of the North Texas 23-yard line.
It was a team win, and the team stepped up as a unit to send off the 23 seniors on the roster with a great experience in what was possibly their final game as Roadrunners.
UTSA may have one more regular season game left if the postponed contest against Rice from earlier this month does get rescheduled. There’s also the matter of a potential conference title game which the Roadrunners are currently in position to represent the West Division based on winning percentage, but that could change depending on how UAB finishes out their season. UAB would own any tie-breaker after beating the Roadrunners earlier this season.
With seven wins on the year, UTSA is also bowl-eligible, but an invitation needs to be extended first.
— UTSA Football 🏈 (@UTSAFTBL) November 29, 2020
For the seniors, in addition to the potential games, they also may take advantage of the extra year of eligibility being offered to seniors due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the way this season came together.
With so much undetermined, what’s next for the seniors and the Roadrunners as a whole is yet unknown, but what is known, is that in a wild year, things are changing for UTSA football, and Coach Traylor seems to be at the front of it. After year-one, the standard already looks different. Hopefully, however, there’s another chapter or two left in this story-book season for UTSA football.
Final Offensive Stats