Jeff Huehn/UTSA Athletics

UTSA to face Baylor for third straight season on Saturday

UTSA Roadrunners (1-0) at Baylor Bears (1-0)
3 p.m.  |  Sept. 7, 2019
McLane Stadium (45,140)  |  Waco, Texas
Fox Sports Networks
Radio: Ticket 760 AM

Opening drive
• UTSA and Baylor will meet for the third time — all in the last three seasons — on Saturday.
• The series is tied at 1-1 with each team victorious on the road.
• The Roadrunners are 4-4 all-time in road openers.
• UTSA improved to 7-2 all-time and 3-1 under head coach Frank Wilson in season openers.
• Saturday's game will air on Fox Sports Networks, marking the 74th straight UTSA game to be broadcast.

Setting the scene
Fresh off a convincing 35-7 season-opening win against UIW in the Hometown Showdown at the Alamodome, UTSA will travel to Waco, Texas, to face Baylor (1-0) on Saturday, Sept. 7. Kickoff is set for 3 p.m. and Fox Sports Networks will televise the game. The Roadrunners and Bears have split their previous two meetings with each team victorious on the road. UTSA scored a 17-10 win on Sept. 9, 2017, for its first triumph over a team from a Power Five conference, while Baylor evened the series with a 37-20 win in San Antonio last season.

Tuning in
The game will be televised regionally on Fox Sports Networks. Please check local listings for availability in your area. Eric Collins (play-by-play) and Jordan Palmer (color analyst) 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 1 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 989.

Returning to the scene of a historic win
When UTSA returns to Waco on Saturday, it will be the program's first visit to McLane Stadium since posting one of the most historic wins in school history. Nearly two years ago to the day, the Roadrunners upended Baylor by a 17-10 count for the program's first win against a team from a Power Five conference. Dalton Sturm threw for 155 yards and ran for 98 more, while Jalen Rhodes rushed for a game-high 103 yards to help lead UTSA to its first win against a Big 12 Conference program. Carl Austin III registered six tackles, including 2.5 for loss, to pace a defense that limited the Bears to 274 total yards and their fewest points since 2010.

Who's counting?
Saturday's road opener against Baylor will mark the 96th game in UTSA history and its 48th contest away from home. Now in their ninth year of play, the Roadrunners are 42-53 overall and 17-30 on the road. By comparison, Baylor's football program is in its 121st year of existence and 118th season of play. The Bears have played 1,215 games and boast an all-time record of 597-574-44.

Scouting Baylor
The Bears opened the season with a 56-17 victory against Stephen F. Austin on Saturday in Waco. Baylor piled up 518 yards of offense — 268 rushing and 250 passing — and held the Lumberjacks to 277 yards. Charlie Brewer completed 21 of 31 passes for 199 yards and three touchdowns, while John Lovett dashed for 108 yards and a score on just eight carries. Bravvion Roy led the defense with six tackles. Head coach Matt Rhule is 9-17 in his third season at the helm and he owns a 37-40 career record in six-plus seasons.

Series history
Saturday's game will mark the third meeting between UTSA and Baylor, all in the last three seasons. Each team has won on the road, with the Roadrunners scoring a 17-10 victory on Sept. 9, 2017, in Waco and the Bears posting a 37-20 triumph last year in San Antonio. UTSA has faced two other current members of the Big 12 Conference, Kansas State (0-2) and Oklahoma State (0-3).

Last meeting
B.J. Daniels rushed for a game-high 90 yards, but it was not enough in a 37-20 setback to Baylor on Sept. 8, 2018, in front of 42,071 fans at the Alamodome. Daniels carried 16 times for a career-best 90 yards and a touchdown to pace the offense. The Melbourne, Fla., native had a career-long 36-yard dash in the first quarter and his 2-yard TD plunge late in the second stanza helped pull UTSA to within 20-13 at halftime. Cordale Grundy completed 18-of-33 passes for 157 yards, including a 10-yard TD pass to Blaze Moorhead early in the fourth that made it a 27-20 contest. The Bears responded with 10 unanswered points on a 38-yard field goal by Connor Martin and a 1-yard plunge by JaMycal Hasty with 1:29 left to close out the 17-point win and even the all-time series at one apiece. Charlie Brewer passed for 328 yards and three TDs, while Jalen Hurd (136) and Denzel Mims (133) each topped 100 receiving yards to lead the Baylor offense.

UTSA/Baylor Series History
Date - Score -  Location
Sept. 9, 2017 - UTSA 17, Baylor 10 - Waco
Sept. 8, 2018 - Baylor 37, UTSA 20 - San Antonio

Roadrunners in road openers
UTSA has split its previous eight road openers, including the 17-10 win against Baylor two years ago in Waco. The Roadrunners are 1-2 on their first road contests of the season in the Frank Wilson era. UTSA scored its first road win of any kind in the 2012 season opener at South Alabama with a 33-31 victory thanks to a late field goal by Sean Ianno in Mobile.

UTSA All-Time Road Openers (4-4)
Date - Opponent - Score
Sept. 17, 2011 - Southern Utah - L, 22-45
Aug. 30, 2012 - South Alabama - W, 33-31
Aug. 31, 2013 - New Mexico - W, 21-13
Aug. 29, 2014  - Houston - W, 27-7
Sept. 3, 2015 - #22 Arizona -  L, 32-42
Sept. 10, 2016 - Colorado State -  L, 14-23
Sept. 9, 2017 -  Baylor -  W, 17-10
Sept. 1, 2018 - Arizona State - L, 7-49

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 in the Hometown Showdown on Saturday before 26,787 fans 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 piled up 284 rushing yards, led by Harris and Sincere McCormick, who dashed for 74 yards on just 12 carries (6.2 avg.). The ground game helped the Roadrunners run 84 plays 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 in the Hometown Showdown at the Alamodome. Harris completed his first 13 passes — a school record for a debut — 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 currently ranks third in Conference USA and 25th nationally in total offense (329.0 avg.), third in the league and 22nd nationally in rushing yards per game (123.0) and fifth in C-USA and 52nd in FBS in passing efficiency (147.8).

Dominant defense
UTSA displayed a dominant defense in the season-opening victory over UIW last Saturday. UIW's high-powered offense averaged 34.3 points, 323.7 passing yards and 169.6 rushing yards per game in 2018, but the Roadrunners allowed only 209 yards of offense on 53 plays (3.9 yards per play) — 28 yards on the ground and 181 yards through the air — to the Cardinals, the defending Southland Conference champions. UTSA also held UIW without a third- or fourth-down conversion in 13 combined tries and the Cardinals only had possession of the football for 19 minutes and 58 seconds.

Balanced attack
The Roadrunners used a balanced offensive attack to register a 35-7 win against UIW in the season opener last Saturday at the Alamodome. Behind the arms and legs of sophomore quarterback Frank Harris, UTSA tallied 284 rushing yards and 206 passing yards en route to 490 total yards, the program's best offensive 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. Harris's 123 rushing yards set a school record for a signal-caller, while true freshman Sincere McCormick dashed for 74 to help UTSA pile up 284 yards on the ground, the top rushing total since the Roadrunners ran for 314 yards in a 20-7 victory against Rice on Oct. 21, 2017. UTSA ran 84 plays — the most since running 85 in the bowl eligibility-clinching win against Charlotte on Nov. 26, 2016, and averaged 5.8 yards per snap in the Hometown Showdown triumph.

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. The season opener last Saturday saw UTSA hold the ball for 40:02 in the 35-7 win against UIW. That mark currently leads Conference USA and ranks third among all FBS teams for time of possession behind Kansas State (41:09) and Boise State (40:03). Part of that success in controlling the clock in the first game can be attributed to converting 8 of 14 third downs and 2 of 3 fourth downs.

Creating havoc
UTSA has made a name for itself over the past three seasons for an attacking defense and its performance in the season-opening win against UIW continued that trend. In holding the Cardinals to just 209 yards of total offense, the Roadrunners recorded seven tackles behind the line of scrimmage, including four sacks for a total loss of 22 yards, and they pressured the quarterback seven times. Junior defensive end Lorenzo Dantzler posted two of the four sacks, while junior defensive tackle Jaylon Haynes and junior end DeQuarius Henry also took down UIW quarterback Jon Copeland in the backfield. Haynes, senior linebacker LaDarian McFarland and redshirt freshman Trumane Bell II each had a pair of pressures, while junior transfer end Clarence Hicks had the other QB hurry.

Getting off the field
The Roadrunners defense did not spend much time on the field in last Saturday's 35-7 victory over UIW. UTSA did not surrender a single third- or fourth-down conversion and the Cardinals only held the ball for 19 minutes and 58 seconds. The UTSA defense got off the field on all 10 third-down snaps and all three fourth-down conversion attempts. The Roadrunners also forced a turnover, as one of the third-down stops came when junior safety SaVion Harris picked off a pass to thwart a UIW drive late in the third quarter.

New birds
In the season opener against UIW, 24 players made their UTSA debut, including eight first-time starters. 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 since the inaugural game on Sept. 3, 2011. Tight ends Carlos Strickland II and Leroy Watson and center Ahofitu Maka also drew their first starting assignments 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 as Roadrunners, while senior Andrew Martel started his first game as a linebacker after previously making two starts in the secondary during his career.

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 last Saturday 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 24 career games and has drawn 20 starts. Meanwhile, Winnegan holds UTSA career records for kickoff returns (62) and kickoff return yardage (1,360) and he has averaged 21.94 yards per return. The Pearland Dawson High School product, who missed all of the 2018 season due to injury, has appeared in 33 career contests, primarily as a returner and running back, and is 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, which used a three-man rotation along much of the defensive line for extended portions of the season-opening win against UIW, welcomed back for this season 11 defensive linemen who have seen previous action for the Roadrunners. Leading the way and now with 27 starts in 34 games played is senior defensive tackle Baylen Baker. Fellow senior Jarrod Carter-McLin started all 12 contests at defensive end last fall and again drew the start in the season opener for his 36th career contest. The senior duo of end Eric Banks and tackle King Newton has played in 37 and 33 career games, respectively, giving that senior quartet a combined 138 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 76 players who hail from the state of Texas, while the next-closest state is Louisiana with 11. 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 73 outings appear over the airwaves, likely will make it 84 straight televised/streamed appearances by the end of the regular season.

Filling seats
UTSA has made a name for drawing big crowds for its 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 less 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 return home to host Army West Point (1-0) on Saturday, Sept. 14. Kickoff is slated for 2:30 p.m. at the Alamodome and the game will be televised on the NFL Network.