When Jeff Traylor came to UTSA in early 2020, the program was known as a mid-tier upstart university that only ever had one bowl appearance in its existence. Now, the Gilmer, Texas native has led the Roadrunners to three straight bowl appearances and back-to-back conference championship wins.
Coach Traylor’s team has given San Antonio the college program the seventh most populous city in the country deserves, and it will only continue to grow. With a move to the American Conference taking effect next season, San Antonio should be proud to have such a fast-growing and exciting program right in the heart of their city. If you are a student, faculty member, fan, or anyone involved with the school or city, what a time to be alive! UTSA has won their 2nd straight conference USA championship.
UTSA is your Conference USA Champions
A dominating 48-27 win on Friday, December 2nd showed that the Birds were poised to leave Conference USA on a high note. The Roadrunners were poised to bring back another trophy in front of 41,412 fans, the third-highest attended home game in UTSA’s history. With the crowd being around 98% UTSA fans, this “neutral-site” game was only neutral by name, as the fans were behind the orange and blue.
Quarterback Frank Harris continued to extend his phenomenal season, going 32-37 with 341 yards passing with four touchdowns. Harris also had 16 carries for 49 yards and another touchdown. That takes him to nearly 4,000 passing yards on the season with another game upon us. Another big talking point was the running back situation, with the young Kevorian Barnes getting the start due to the injury to senior running back Brendan Brady. Barnes immediately stepped up as he has done all season, as he rushed for 28 carries for 175 yards and a touchdown. UTSA has had a recent spark in running back production, and Barnes looks to be the next great running back to come out of UTSA.
Putting the defense to Zleep
Zakari Franklin has been a phenomenal target for Frank Harris over the past two seasons. “Z” showed why he has the talent to potentially play at the next level, with 10 receptions for 144 yards and three touchdowns. His trademark Z celebration was in full effect in the stands of the Alamodome Friday night as he burned the North Texas Secondary. Joshua Cephus also had a productive night as he had 11 catches for 84 yards while fan-favorite Oscar Cardenas had six catches for 84 yards and a touchdown. The passing offense for UTSA has been full of domination this season, despite losing a big-time playmaker in De’Corian Clark to injury. If this was many of their last home games, they certainly put on a show for the 210.
So What’s Next?
The 25th-ranked UTSA Roadrunners will now be looking forward to a top-25 matchup in the Duluth Trading Cure Bowl against #24 Troy. Both teams have big-time winning streaks on the line and one team will end up having it broken at Exploria Stadium in Orlando. This is the second earliest bowl game being played this season, as it is slated for a 3:30 P.M. kickoff on December 16th.
Still, this is a big-time opportunity for UTSA to get more national attention as the Conference USA champion will take on the Sun Belt Conference champion. UTSA fans should not underestimate Troy, as it is a very hot football team that just blew out a very strong Coastal Carolina squad on Saturday. This will be a great experience for the team and the fans as they get to face a team very similar to them as they are two of the best group of five teams in the nation.
San Antonio will celebrate the UTSA Conference USA championship victory in a parade on December 9th.