UTSA to renew H-E-B I-35 Showdown with Texas State on Saturday at Alamodome

SAN ANTONIO — UTSA (0-3) will renew the H-E-B I-35 Showdown with Texas State (1-2) on Saturday, Sept. 22. Kickoff for the third meeting between the two teams is scheduled for 6 p.m. at the Alamodome and the game will air on ESPN+ and on Ticket 760 AM. The Roadrunners have won both previousmeetings with the Bobcats, including a 44-14 victory last Sept. 23 in San Marcos. UTSA scored a 38-31 triumph in the inaugural meeting with Texas State on Nov. 24, 2012, in San Antonio. The Roadrunners are looking to snap a four-game losing skid that dates back to last season. UTSA has won five of its last eight games played at the Alamodome, including a 9-7 victory against Marshall in the 2017 home finale.

UTSA Roadrunners (0-3)
Texas State Bobcats (1-2)
6 p.m.  |  Sept. 22, 2018
Alamodome (36,582)  |  San Antonio, Texas
Radio: Ticket 760 AM San Antonio  |  XM 387 (Internet 966)
Opening drive
• Saturday's game will mark the third meeting between UTSA and Texas State.
• The Roadrunners have won both previous meetings with the Bobcats, including a 44-14 victory last year in San Marcos.
• UTSA scored a 38-31 victory in the inaugural matchup with Texas State on Nov. 24, 2012, at the Alamodome.
• The Roadrunners have won five of their last eight home games.
• Through the first three games, UTSA has had 17 first-time starters and 26 players make their debut.
• UTSA leads Conference USA and ranks fifth nationally in kickoff coverage, allowing just 10.43 yards per return.
• The Roadrunners are perfect in the red zone this year, with 5 touchdowns and one field goal in six trips.
• Saturday's game will air on ESPN+, marking the 64th straight UTSA game to be broadcast.
Setting the scene
UTSA (0-3) will renew the H-E-B I-35 Showdown with Texas State (1-2) on Saturday, Sept. 22. Kickoff for the third meeting between the two teams is scheduled for 6 p.m. at the Alamodome and the game will air on ESPN+ and on Ticket 760 AM. The Roadrunners have won both previous meetings with the Bobcats, including a 44-14 victory last Sept. 23 in San Marcos. UTSA scored a 38-31 triumph in the inaugural meeting with Texas State on Nov. 24, 2012, in San Antonio. The Roadrunners are looking to snap a four-game losing skid that dates back to last season. UTSA has won five of its last eight games played at the Alamodome, including a 9-7 victory against Marshall in the 2017 home finale.
Tuning in
The game will air on ESPN+ (subscription required). Lincoln Rose (play-by-play), LaDarrin McLane (analyst) and Megan Birdsong (sideline reporter) have the call. The contest will air live on the Roadrunners Sports Network and can be heard in the San Antonio area on Ticket 760 AM. Andy Everett (play-by-play), Jay Riley (analyst) and Pat Evans (sideline reporter) will call all the action. The pregame show will begin at 4 p.m. and there will be a 45-minute postgame show. The broadcast also can be heard live online at goUTSA.com and Ticket760.com and via the free iHeartRadio app. Additionally, the radio broadcast will be available on XM Radio channel 387 (Internet channel 966).
About ESPN+
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Game 87
Saturday's matchup with Texas State will mark the 87th game in UTSA football history and its 43rd home contest. Now in their eighth season of play, the Roadrunners are 38-47 overall and 22-20 at the Alamodome. By comparison, this will be the 1,034th game in the Bobcats' history, which dates back to 1904. Texas State owns a 535-465-33 all-time record.
Home sweet home
UTSA has won five of its last eight games at the Alamodome and totes a 22-20 all-time record at home. The Roadrunners dropped a 37-20 decision to Baylor on Sept. 8 in their home opener but posted a 9-7 triumph over Marshall for their last home victory on Nov. 18, 2017. UTSA is 7-5 at home under the direction of third-year head coach Frank Wilson.
The Power (5) open
UTSA opened the season with three consecutive games against Power 5 conference opponents. The Roadrunners debuted at Arizona State on Sept. 1 and hosted Baylor one week later before closing the stretch with a road matchup against Kansas State on Sept. 15. BYU is the only other non-Power 5 team that opened the season with three straight Power 5 opponents (at Arizona [Sept. 1], vs. California [Sept. 8], at Wisconsin [Sept. 15]). Additionally, this marks the second time in four seasons that UTSA faced three consecutive Power 5 teams to open the season, as the 2015 squad played No. 22 Arizona, Kansas State and No. 25 Oklahoma State during the first three weeks.
A look at Texas State
The Bobcats fell to 1-2 on the year after South Alabama rallied from a 14-point deficit for a 41-31 victory in Mobile, Ala., on Saturday night. Texas State opened with a 35-7 defeat at Rutgers on Sept. 1 before picking up a 36-20 home win versus Texas Southern one week later. The Bobcats are scoring 24.7 points and averaging 362.7 yards per game, while allowing 32.0 points and 385.3 yards per outing. Sophomore dual-threat quarterback Willie Jones has completed 41-of-79 passes for 517 yards and three touchdowns and he has rushed for a team-high 198 yards and a score on 49 carries. His favorite target has been senior tight end Keenen Brown, who has hauled in 10 passes for 132 yards and a TD. Junior linebacker Bryan London II paces the defense with 28 tackles, two tackles for loss, two forced fumbles, one pass breakup and a quarterback hurry. Sophomore cornerback Kordell Rogers has picked off a pair of passes to go along with a team-best three PBUs. Head coach Everett Withers is 5-22 in his third season at the helm.
Series history
Saturday will mark the third all-time meeting between UTSA and Texas State. The Roadrunners have won the previous two matchups, including a 44-14 triumph last Sept. 23 in San Marcos and a 38-31 decision on Nov. 24, 2012, at the Alamodome.
Last meeting
Jalen Rhodes rushed for a career-best 174 yards and UTSA registered a school-record 569 yards of offense and held Texas State to 198 in a 44-14 victory on Sept. 23, 2017, at Bobcat Stadium in San Marcos. The Roadrunners stormed out to a 27-14 halftime lead en route to their second win in as many meetings with the Bobcats. UTSA piled up a program-record 357 yards on the ground and possessed the ball for 35 minutes and 21 seconds. Tyrell Clay also posted a career high with 72 yards and a TD on 13 totes, while Brett Winnegan made the most of his one carry, racing 71 yards to paydirt late in the contest to provide the final margin. Meanwhile, the defense tied a school record with 11 tackles for loss, led by three from Kevin Strong Jr. and two each by Marcus Davenport and La'Kel Bass. Davenport and C.J. Levine led UTSA with six tackles apiece, while Josiah Tauaefa added five stops and the first defensive score of the season.
Last time out
Kansas State used a big-play offense and a stingy defense to down UTSA, 41-17, in non-conference action on Saturday afternoon at Bill Snyder Family Stadium. The Wildcats (2-1) piled up 449 yards of offense and averaged 7.1 yards per play, and they limited the Roadrunners (0-3) to 300 yards in the second meeting between the two teams. K-State quarterback Skylar Thompson completed 13-of-18 passes for 213 yards and two touchdowns and he ran for 66 yards and an additional score. His favorite target was Isaiah Zuber, who caught seven passes for 144 yards and a pair of TDs. UTSA signal-caller Cordale Grundy completed 14 passes for 108 yards and a touchdown, while Jalen Rhodes and B.J. Daniels paced the ground game with 53 and 47 yards, respectively. Greg Campbell Jr. led the receiving corps with six catches for 41 yards and a TD. Defensively, Darryl Godfrey led the way with eight tackles, including 2.5 for loss and a sack. Les Maruo added six stops, while C.J. Levine posted five. Josiah Tauaefa registered six tackles, two behind the line of scrimmage, and he forced a fumble.
Big crowd takes in home opener
UTSA welcomed 42,071 fans to the Alamodome for the home opener against Baylor on Sept. 8. The attendance figure marked the second-largest home crowd in UTSA history behind the 56,743 fans who watched the inaugural game on Sept. 3, 2011. It also ranks as the largest home attendance figure in Conference USA this season. The next closest is 29,519 for the North Texas home contest against SMU on Sept. 1. It also was the biggest crowd to take in a UTSA game at the Alamodome since the 2013 game against Oklahoma State when 40,977 fans filed into the facility. The Roadrunners now have drawn 1,161,670 fans for 42 all-time home games, an average of 27,659 per contest.
Wilson in third year at helm
Frank Wilson is in his third season as head coach of the Roadrunners. The New Orleans native has guided UTSA to back-to-back seasons of being bowl eligible, including leading the program to its first-ever postseason appearance at the 2016 Gildan New Mexico Bowl, as UTSA tied the NCAA modern startup program by reaching a bowl game in its sixth season of play. He has coached 13 All-Conference USA selections and a pair of Freshman All-Americans in his first two years at the helm. Wilson came to San Antonio after a six-year stint as the running backs coach and recruiting coordinator at LSU, where he also was the associate head coach in 2012-15. Armed with more than a decade of coaching experience in the Southeastern Conference, Wilson also has been an assistant coach at Tennessee (2009), Southern Miss (2008) and Mississippi (2005-07). He has coached or recruited 36 individuals who have made it to the NFL, including 2018 NFL First Round Draft pick Marcus Davenport of the Saints.
Youth movement
UTSA boasts a youthful team in 2018 with 66 underclassmen, which equates to 60.6 percent of its roster. The Roadrunners have 38 freshmen (21 true/17 redshirt) and 28 sophomores on the 109-man squad list. In the season opener at Arizona State, 24 players made their UTSA debut, including eight who started. Additionally, there were 13 first-time starters (8 offense/5 defense) and 15 total freshmen (8 true/7 redshirt) saw action in the contest. In the home opener versus Baylor, running back B.J. Daniels, left guard Jacob Graner and wide receiver Kirk Johnson Jr. all drew their first start, while linebacker Lawrence Jackson saw his first action in a UTSA uniform. In week three, true freshman wide receiver Tykee Ogle-Kellogg made his first start and sophomore offensive lineman Bosah Osakwe saw his first action, giving UTSA a total of 17 first-time starters and 26 debuts this season. Fifteen total freshmen have seen action this season, including eight true freshmen. Left guard Spencer Burford is one of just nine true freshmen in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) to have started on the offensive line this season.
UTSA quartet on national award watch lists
Four Roadrunners have earned their way onto several preseason watch lists for national awards. Senior running back Jalen Rhodes appears on three different watch lists:  Allstate AFCA Good Works Team, Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award and Wuerffel Trophy. Junior linebacker Josiah Tauaefa joins Rhodes on the Wuerffel Trophy watch list and the junior linebacker also is a candidate for the Polynesian College Football Player of the Year Award. Jared Sackett is one of 30 players on the Lou Groza Award watch list one year after the sophomore place-kicker was one of 20 semifinalists for the award. Yannis Routsas was added to the Ray Guy Award watch list on Sept. 20. The senior punter was one of 10 semifinalists for the award last season.

Red zone perfection
The UTSA offense is perfect in the red zone this season. The Roadrunners have scored five touchdowns and one field goal in their six trips inside their opponents' 20-yard line through the first three contests. UTSA is one of 30 FBS teams to score in each visit to the red zone this fall.

Degree in hand
Six current Roadrunners already have earned their undergraduate degree. That list includes safety Carl Austin III, cornerback Stanley Dye Jr., quarterback D.J. Gillins, linebacker Les Maruo, running back Jalen Rhodes and punter Yannis Routsas.
TV birds
All 12 of UTSA's regular season games this fall have been selected for broadcast across a total of seven networks, including CBS Sports, ESPN and Fox Sports networks. The Roadrunners, who have seen their last 63 outings appear over the airwaves, will make it 72 straight televised/streamed appearances by the end of the season.
Few can call a dome home
The Roadrunners are one of only two FBS teams to play their home games indoors. UTSA, which boasts a 22-20 all-time mark inside the Alamodome, joins Syracuse (Carrier Dome) as the only FBS programs to play in enclosed facilities.
Up next
UTSA will open Conference USA play when it hosts UTEP on Saturday, Sept. 29. Kickoff is slated for 6 p.m. at the Alamodome and the game will air on ESPN+. Tickets are on sale by calling or texting 210-458-UTSA (8872) or visiting http://goUTSA.com.