Jeff Huehn/UTSA Athletics

UTSA to host Army on Saturday in Military Appreciation Game

UTSA Roadrunners (1-1) vs. Army Black Knights (1-1)
2:30 p.m.  |  Sept. 14, 2019
Alamodome (36,582)  |  San Antonio, Texas
NFL Network
Radio: Ticket 760 AM

Opening drive
• UTSA and Army will meet for the first time on Saturday in the annual Military Appreciation Game.
• The Roadrunners are 5-2 in September at home under Frank Wilson.
• UTSA will not leave the state of Texas until Nov. 9 at Old Dominion (Norfolk, Va.).
• Sophomore QB Frank Harris leads C-USA in completion percentage (.717).
• Saturday's game will be televised nationally on NFL Network, marking the 75th straight UTSA game to be broadcast.

Setting the scene
UTSA will look to bounce back from its first loss of the season when it hosts Army West Point on Saturday, Sept. 14, in the annual Military Appreciation Game. Kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m. at the Alamodome and NFL Network will televise the game nationally. The Roadrunners and Black Knights will enter their first meeting with identical 1-1 records on the year.

Tuning in
The game will be televised nationally on NFL Network. Rhett Lewis (play-by-play), Max Starks (analyst) and Molly Sullivan (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 12:30 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, as well as SiriusXM Internet channel 979.

C-USA breaks new ground with NFL Network deal
Conference USA broke new ground earlier this year when Commissioner Judy MacLeod and the NFL announced a new four-year contract for a 10-game package of C-USA football games that will be televised nationally on NFL Network. The deal makes C-USA the first league to enter into a broadcast agreement with the network. The network aired its first college game last Saturday with Louisiana Tech's home contest against Grambling State and this Saturday's game between UTSA and Army will mark its second collegiate broadcast.

Military City USA
Home to one of the largest concentrations of military bases in the United States, San Antonio is Military City USA and it is only fitting that UTSA will host a football game against one of the service academies this weekend at the Alamodome. Joint Base San Antonio consists of three installations — Fort Sam Houston, Lackland Air Force Base and Randolph Air Force Base — and it is the largest joint base in the Department of Defense. UTSA's game against Army is presented by USAA and designated as the annual Military Appreciation Game with numerous activations and ceremonies planned to honor the military.

Tickets for troops
UTSA Athletics, in partnership with the UTSA Office of Veteran and Military Affairs, is holding a Ticket for Troops cause for this Saturday's Military Appreciation Game against Army. To recognize and show appreciation to those who defend our country, Tickets for Troops can be purchased for $10 each. UTSA will work with local military and veteran affairs offices to provide each of those tickets to local active-duty and veteran military members to attend the game.

Who's counting?
Saturday's inaugural meeting with Army will mark the 97th game in UTSA history and its 49th home contest. Now in their ninth year of play, the Roadrunners are 42-54 overall and 25-23 at the Alamodome. By comparison, Army has been playing football since 1890 and boasts three national championships, a trio of Heisman Trophy winners and an all-time record of 693-517-51 in 1,274 games.

Scouting Army
The Black Knights fell to 1-1 on the year with a double-overtime setback at No. 7 Michigan on Saturday in Ann Arbor. Army opened the 2019 campaign with a narrow 14-7 home win against Rice on Aug. 30. Senior quarterback Kelvin Hopkins Jr. has run for 121 yards and three touchdowns on 39 carries to lead a rushing attack that is averaging 215.5 yards per game. He also has completed 5 of 12 passes for 96 yards and a TD. Senior linebacker Cole Christiansen is the top tackler with 19 stops and a forced fumble, while senior defensive back Elijah Riley has 17 tackles, three tackles for loss, a pair of sacks, one pass breakup, one forced fumble and a fumble recovery. Head coach Jeff Monken is 36-29 in his sixth season at the helm.

Series history
Saturday's game will be the first meeting between UTSA and Army, an FBS Independent that was a member of Conference USA from 1998 to 2004.

Defend the Dome
The Roadrunners will be back in the friendly confines of the Alamodome for the second time in three weeks when they host Army on Saturday. UTSA routed UIW 35-7 in the season opener on Aug. 31 to run its record to 5-2 in the month of September at the Alamodome under fourth-year head coach Frank Wilson.

Staying close to home
UTSA's 2019 schedule will keep them close to home, as the first eight games on the slate all will be played in the state of Texas. The Roadrunners will not leave the Lone Star State until Nov. 9 when they travel to Norfolk, Va., to face Old Dominion, and the only other regular season contest outside the state borders will be against Louisiana Tech on Nov. 30 in Ruston.

Harris, defense lead UTSA rout of UIW in Hometown Showdown
Making his first career start, sophomore quarterback Frank Harris passed for 206 yards and three touchdowns and ran for 123 yards, while UTSA held UIW to 209 yards of offense in a 35-7 victory on Aug. 31 at the Alamodome. Meanwhile, the defense created havoc all night long in limiting the Cardinals to 209 total yards, including just 28 on the ground. UIW did not convert a third down in 10 tries and UTSA sacked quarterback Jon Copeland four times, including two by junior defensive end Lorenzo Dantzler. UTSA showed off a balanced offensive attack, as the Roadrunners piled up 284 rushing yards, the top rushing total since they ran for 314 yards in a 20-7 victory against Rice on Oct. 21, 2017. The 490 yards of offense marked the program's best output since a school-record 569-yard effort in the 44-14 win at Texas State on Sept. 23, 2017, which also is the last time UTSA topped the 200-yard mark in both rushing and passing yardage in the same game. The ground game helped the Roadrunners run 84 plays — the most since running 85 in a win against Charlotte on Nov. 26, 2016 — and hold the ball for 40 minutes and two seconds.

Worth the wait
It had been more than 1,000 days since UTSA quarterback Frank Harris last played in a game, but the sophomore left-hander made the most of his long-awaited debut on Aug. 31. The Schertz Clemens High School product produced 329 yards of offense to lead the Roadrunners to a 35-7 victory against UIW. Harris completed his first 13 passes — a school record — and finished 28 of 36 for 206 yards and three touchdowns through the air. He fired touchdown strikes of 16 yards to Carlos Strickland II, five yards to Gavin Sharp and 36 yards to Tykee Ogle-Kellogg and completed passes to 11 different receivers. He also set a new standard for rushing yards by a quarterback with 123, eclipsing the previous mark of 102 set by Eric Soza in UTSA's inaugural game on Sept. 3, 2011. Harris completed 15 of 24 passes for 93 yards against Baylor and now is 43 of 60 (71.7%) on the year, which puts him atop Conference USA and 21st in the country in completion percentage.

Sincere success
UTSA tailback Sincere McCormick has enjoyed a successful start to his collegiate career. He has rushed 24 times for 161 yards and a pair of touchdowns through the first two games and is averaging 6.7 yards per carry and 80.5 yards per contest, marks that rank second and fourth, respectively, in Conference USA. As the first true freshman to start at the position in a season opener since the inaugural game in 2011, McCormick gained 74 yards on 12 totes with a long of 47 in the 35-7 victory over UIW. He followed that performance with 87 yards and two scores on 12 rushes, including a 54-yard TD scamper, against Baylor. McCormick, who rushed for 3,407 yards and 43 touchdowns during his prep career at Converse Judson High School, also had a 2-yard TD plunge versus the Bears and caught five passes in the win against UIW.

Controlling the clock
UTSA has had a history of controlling the clock in the Frank Wilson era. Two years ago, the Roadrunners averaged 33 minutes and 13 seconds of possession time per game and that followed a 31:27 average in his debut campaign in 2016. This season's opener saw UTSA hold the ball for 40:02 in the 35-7 win against UIW and for 31:31 versus Baylor. The Roadrunners are averaging 35:46 of possession time per game, which leads Conference USA and ranks eighth among all FBS teams.

Dominant defensive display in opener
UTSA displayed a dominant defense in the season-opening home victory over UIW, limiting the Cardinals' high-powered offense to only 209 yards of offense on 53 plays (3.9 yards per play), including just 28 yards on the ground. The Roadrunners got off the field on all 10 third-down snaps and all three fourth-down conversion attempts, and UIW only had possession of the football for 19 minutes and 58 seconds.

Creating havoc
UTSA has become known for its attacking defense during the Frank Wilson era, as the Roadrunners have posted 228 tackles for loss, 73 sacks and 83 quarterback hurries combined during the past three seasons. In surrendering just 209 yards of offense in the season-opening win against UIW, the Roadrunners continued that trend by recording seven tackles behind the line of scrimmage, including four sacks, and pressuring the quarterback seven times. UTSA tallied five stops for loss, including a sack by Rashad Wisdom, against Baylor and now is averaging six tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks per outing this season, marks that rank in the top half of the conference.

New birds
In the season opener against UIW, 25 players made their UTSA debut and eight players drew their first starting assignment as a Roadrunner. Quarterback Frank Harris set a school record by completing his first 13 pass attempts in his debut, while Sincere McCormick became the first true freshman to start at tailback in a season opener since the inaugural game on Sept. 3, 2011. Tight ends Carlos Strickland II and Leroy Watson and center Ahofitu Maka also drew their first starts in a UTSA uniform on the offensive side of the ball. On defense, senior linebacker LaDarian McFarland, junior safety SaVion Harris and true freshman Rashad Wisdom all made their first starts, while senior Andrew Martel started his first game as a linebacker after previously making two starts in the secondary during his career. In the road opener at Baylor, freshman wide receiver De'Corian Clark, junior safety Antonio Parks and junior linebacker Dominic Sheppard all made their UTSA debut, while freshman Joshua Cephus drew his first starting assignment at wide receiver. The Roadrunners now have 28 debuts and nine first-time starters through the first two contests.

Season-opening success
UTSA was victorious for the seventh time in nine all-time season openers with the 35-7 win against UIW in the Hometown Showdown on Aug. 31 at the Alamodome. The Roadrunners also improved to 3-1 in season lid-lifters under head coach Frank Wilson with the victory.

UTSA All-Time Season Openers (7-2)
Date - Opponent - Score
Sept. 3, 2011 -  Northeastern (Okla.) State - W, 31-3
Sept. 1, 2012 - at South Alabama -  W, 33-31
Aug. 31, 2013 - at New Mexico - W, 21-13
Aug. 29, 2014 - at Houston -  W, 27-7
Sept. 3, 2015  - at #22 Arizona -  L, 32-42
Sept. 3, 2016 - Alabama State -  W, 26-13
Sept. 9, 2017 - at Baylor - W, 17-10
Sept. 1, 2018 - at Arizona State -  L, 7-49
Aug. 31, 2019 - UIW - W, 35-7

Wilson in fourth year at helm
Frank Wilson is in his fourth season as UTSA head coach and now has guided the Roadrunners to season-opening wins in three of his four years in the Alamo City. The New Orleans native has coached 19 All-Conference USA selections and a pair of Freshman All-Americans during his tenure. He has twice guided UTSA to bowl eligibility, 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. 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 more than 40 individuals who have made it to the NFL, including 2018 NFL First Round Draft pick Marcus Davenport of the Saints.

Pair garners preseason all-conference recognition
Seniors Josh Dunlop and Brett Winnegan were named to the Preseason All-Conference USA Team as voted upon by the league's head coaches. Dunlop was chosen as one of five offensive lineman on the squad, while Winnegan received the nod at kickoff returner. A versatile offensive lineman who has logged time at both guard and tackle, the Zionsville, Ind., native has appeared in 25 career games and has drawn 21 starts. Meanwhile, Winnegan holds UTSA career records for kickoff returns (64) and kickoff return yardage (1,397) and he has averaged 21.8 yards per return. The Pearland Dawson High School product, who missed all of the 2018 season due to injury, has appeared in 34 career contests, primarily as a returner and running back before making the move to wide receiver this season.

UTSA picked fifth in C-USA West Division
UTSA was picked to finish fifth in the Conference USA West Division in in a preseason vote conducted by a panel of media members that cover C-USA schools. North Texas was the preseason favorite in the West, while Marshall received the nod for the East Division.


1.  Marshall (14)
2.  FIU (9)
3.  Florida Atlantic (3)
4.  Middle Tennessee
5.  WKU
6.  Old Dominion
7.  Charlotte

1.  North Texas (20)
2.  Southern Miss (4)
3.  Louisiana Tech
4.  UAB (2)
5.  UTSA
6.  Rice
7.  UTEP
(first place votes in parentheses)

Roadrunners on national award watch lists
A pair of Roadrunners have earned their way onto national award watch lists. Senior linebacker Andrew Martel is a member of the preseason watch list for the Wuerffel Trophy, which is awarded to the FBS player that best combines exemplary community service with athletic and academic achievement. Fellow senior Grant Merka, a second-team All-Conference USA pick in 2018, is one of 25 players chosen for the inaugural Patrick Mannelly Award watch list for the nation's top long snapper.

Award/Team (Player)
Wuerffel Trophy Watch List (Andrew Martel)
Patrick Mannelly Award Watch List (Grant Merka)

Experience up front
UTSA boasts one of the most-experienced offensive lines in the nation entering the 2019 campaign. The Roadrunners return a combined 46 starts from the 2018 season, which ranks 14th among FBS teams. Three of the returnees started all 12 contests last fall: Kevin Davis at center, Josh Dunlop at right guard and right tackle and Trevion Shannon at left tackle. Additionally, Conference USA All-Freshman Team honoree Spencer Burford made starts at left guard in all 10 games he was cleared to play, while Jalyn Galmore drew the starting assignment at right tackle in the first five contests before suffering a season-ending injury. Jacob Graner also is back after starting three games at guard. The experience up front is part of nine total offensive starters back this fall, which is tied for fourth among all FBS teams.

Veteran D-line boasts depth, experience
Much like the offensive side of the ball, big men lead the defense. UTSA welcomed back for this season 11 defensive linemen who have seen previous action for the Roadrunners. Leading the way and now owning 28 starts in 35 games played is senior defensive tackle Baylen Baker. Fellow senior Jarrod Carter-McLin, who boasts 37 career appearances, started all 12 contests at defensive end last fall and has drawn the start in each of the first two games this season. The senior duo of end Eric Banks and tackle King Newton has played in 38 and 34 career games, respectively, giving that senior quartet a combined 140 games of experience.

UTSA quartet has NFL ties
Four UTSA players have significant family ties when it comes to relatives who have played in the National Football League. Senior defensive tackle King Newton is the son of Nate Newton, who was a three-time Super Bowl Champion (1992-93, '95) and six-time Pro Bowl offensive guard (1992-96, '98) for the Cowboys. Junior defensive end Solomon Wise is the son of Deatrich Wise, a defensive lineman for the Seahawks and Saints, and his brothers Deatrich Jr. (Patriots) and Daniel (Cowboys) currently play in the NFL. Senior fullback Halen Steward is the younger brother of Tony Steward, a linebacker who logged time for the Bills and Saints, while sophomore cornerback Corey Mayfield Jr.'s father was a defensive lineman for the 49ers, Buccaneers and Jaguars.

Roadrunners roster makeup
UTSA's 114-man roster features 23 seniors, 28 juniors, 29 sophomores and 34 redshirt or true freshmen. The roster lists 77 players who hail from the state of Texas, while the next-closest state is Louisiana with 10. There are six players from Mississippi, five from California and Florida, three from Tennessee and a pair from Indiana. UTSA has one player each from Georgia, Hawai'i, Massachusetts, Michigan and Oklahoma, while freshman punter Lucas Dean is the first Roadrunner from Australia.

Degree in hand
Thirteen current Roadrunners already have earned their undergraduate degree, the 11th-most number of graduates among all FBS rosters. That list includes Carl Austin III, Baylen Baker, Matthew Cluck, Brandon Garza, Nick Locken, Andrew Martel, Grant Merka, Blaze Moorhead, Antonio Parks, Dominic Sheppard, Halen Steward, Carlos Strickland II and Brett Winnegan.

Leadership council elected
For the first time in program history, UTSA has elected a Leadership Council made up of representatives from each position group.

QB — Brandon Garza and Frank Harris
RB — Halen Steward
WR — Kirk Johnson Jr. and Blaze Moorhead
TE — Leroy Watson
OL — Josh Dunlop
DL — Eric Banks and Jarrod Carter-McLin
LB — Andrew Martel
S — Carl Austin III
CB — Clayton Johnson
ST — Hunter Duplessis

TV birds
Eleven of UTSA's 12 regular season games this fall have been selected for broadcast and the Nov. 2 contest at Texas A&M is expected to picked up for television later this year. The Roadrunners, who have seen their last 74 outings appear over the airwaves, likely will make it 85 straight televised/streamed appearances by the end of the regular season.

Filling seats
UTSA has made a name for itself by drawing big crowds for home games at the Alamodome. The Roadrunners set an NCAA modern startup program record for inaugural game attendance when 56,743 fans watched a 31-3 victory over Northeastern State on Sept. 3, 2011. UTSA also established a startup standard by averaging 35,521 for home attendance that season. Now in their ninth season, the Roadrunners have drawn just fewer than 1.3 million fans to the Alamodome through 48 home contests. Last fall, UTSA led Conference USA in home attendance with an average of 24,710 and drew 42,071 fans for the home contest against Baylor, marking the largest home crowd in the league last season and the No. 2 all-time home crowd in program history. This season's home opener saw 26,787 fans take in the 35-7 victory over UIW in the Hometown Showdown.

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 25-23 all-time mark inside the Alamodome, joins Syracuse (Carrier Dome) as the only FBS programs to play in enclosed facilities. 

New playing surface unveiled
The Alamodome and UTSA unveiled on Aug. 26 a new playing surface that features the familiar roadrunner logo at midfield and end zones painted in navy blue with UTSA and Roadrunners word marks in the south and north end zones, respectively. The sidelines highlight the UTSA Athletics hashtag (#BirdsUp) and recognize San Antonio as Military City USA. Manufactured by Hellas Construction, the FusionH XP2 Synthetic Turf is composed of 60-ounce monofilament, slit film and thatch (Fusion HXP2 with thatch) with 1.75-inch pile height, SBR infill only and triple-layer backing with an additional k-29 backing.

Up next
UTSA will open Conference USA play on the road against North Texas on Sept. 21. Kickoff is slated for 6:30 p.m. in Denton and the league opener will air on Stadium on Facebook.

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