Win the day. It’s been the mantra of UTSA football this season, and one of the rocks that the program has used to stay firm in a year of so much uncertainty and fluidity.
Speaking with the non-profit San Antonio Sports organization as their guest on “Motivation Monday” this week, UTSA first-year head football coach Jeff Traylor once again credited the three-word statement as the driving force this season, expanding, ““Did we get up and control the controllables, trust the process, and did we win the day?”
“Control the controllables.” That’s been another mantra to come out of the program, with a number of UTSA’s players using the phrase down the stretch of the season when asked by the media about possibly playing for a Conference USA title, or if they felt they deserved a bowl game.
The team’s seven wins of course make them bowl eligible, but the team has to be invited, which likely won’t happen until after the conference championship, should the Roadrunners be participating. Senior linebacker Charles Wiley echoed the team’s sentiment last week ahead of the North Texas game, telling the media,
“You don’t want to get your hopes up and then something bad happens. You just never know what can happen. If something’s out of your control, you try and not concern yourself with it. You control what you can control, and move forward with what we can move forward with.”
From Saturday's game program, senior linebacker Charles Wiley has emerged as a force for a physical Roadrunners defense.
— UTSA Football 🏈 (@UTSAFTBL) November 28, 2020
For Coach Traylor, he doesn’t yet know when or who his kids will be playing, if they play another game this season at all. Speaking with the media Monday, Coach Traylor said that he and his team are preparing for any and all circumstances that could come into play, and with the way the season has gone, it is nothing new to the team to prepare for an opponent on short notice. In his Monday media round table, Coach Traylor gave a glimpse at his approach,
“I’ve got two coaches looking at Marshall, we’ve already played FAU, so we already have a good beat on them unfortunately. We’re looking at bowl projections – I’ve got one guy on one team, one guy on another team, one guy on another team, one guy on another team, and the rest of us are working on UTSA. We are literally everywhere right now trying to get ready.”
It’s been a year of opportunity or adversity for the Roadrunners this year, and they’re turned that into a 7-4 (5-2 C-USA) season while rewriting the record books. The team can’t control if they’ll play again, or who they’ll play if they do. What they can do is continue to win each day and make sure they’re prepared no matter what.
There’s no game this weekend or next for the Roadrunners while the rest of Conference USA catches up on finishing their regular season schedules. Much of UTSA’s future is in the hands of UAB (4-3, 2-1), who have the chance to top the Roadrunners in win percentage to represent the West Division in the conference title game.
Coach Traylor and the Roadrunners aren’t sitting around waiting, however. The team practiced Wednesday and will practice Friday and Sunday as well to stay ready for their next opportunity. There’s still at least five more days before we’ll know more. That’s five more wins that each player on the team can wrack up this season. Can they control their controllables? Can they win the day?