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UTSA to host East Carolina for Homecoming on Saturday afternoon

Roadrunners look to stay in AAC title race with inaugural meeting with Pirates

UTSA Roadrunners (4-3, 3-0)
East Carolina Pirates (1-6, 0-3)

2:30 p.m. | Saturday, Oct. 28
Alamodome | San Antonio, Texas

Series History: First meeting 

• UTSA and East Carolina will meet for the first time on Saturday afternoon in the annual Homecoming game.
• The Roadrunners have won their last four Homecoming games and are 8-4 all-time in such contests.
• UTSA is tied with SMU and Tulane at 3-0 atop the American Athletic Conference standings.
• The Roadrunners have won 11 straight regular season conference games and 13 consecutive contests against conference foes when including the 2021 and 2022 Conference USA Championship Games.
• Under head coach Jeff Traylor, UTSA boasts a 23-3 (.885) record in regular season conference games and a 25-3 (.893) mark versus league competition when including the two C-USA Championship Games.
• The Roadrunners have won 18 of their last 20 home games and are 20-3 (.870) at the Alamodome under Jeff Traylor.
• UTSA is 34-13 (.723) in the Jeff Traylor era, the most wins and best winning percentage by a UTSA head coach.
• UTSA redshirt sophomore OLB Trey Moore leads the league in sacks (1.29) and tackles for loss (1.6) per game, categories in which he ranks third and sixth, respectively, in the FBS. Additionally, he is the only FBS player to register three-plus sacks in multiple games this season.

Winners of three straight games, UTSA will look to keep pace in the American Athletic Conference title race when it hosts East Carolina on Saturday, Oct. 28, for the annual Homecoming game. Kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m. and the game will air on ESPN+ and Sports Radio AM 760 The Ticket. The Roadrunners ran their record to 4-3 on the season and 3-0 in The American with a 36-10 road win over Florida Atlantic last Saturday night. UTSA is tied with SMU and defending champion Tulane atop the league standings. The Roadrunners have won 18 of their last 20 home games and they have been victorious in their last four Homecoming contests.

Saturday’s game will air on ESPN+ and via the ESPN mobile app. Ted Emrich (play-by-play), Doc Holliday (analyst) and Smacker Miles (reporter) will call the action. The game will air live in the San Antonio area on Sports Radio AM 760 The Ticket, online at and via the free iHeartRadio app. Andy Everett (play-by-play), Jay Riley (analyst) and Pat Evans (reporter) have the call. There will be a two-hour pregame and 45-minute postgame show.

The Roadrunners have won their last four Homecoming games and are 8-4 all time in such contests. In the Jeff Traylor era, UTSA has beaten North Texas last year (31-27), Rice in 2021 (45-0) and UTEP in 2020 (52-21) on Homecoming.

UTSA’s Homecoming Games






W, 54-7


San Jose State

L, 24-52



W, 52-31



W, 16-13


Old Dominion

L, 31-36



L, 49-52 (5OT)



W, 20-7


Louisiana Tech

L, 3-31



W, 31-27



W, 52-21



W, 45-0


North Texas

W, 31-27

UTSA has been tough to beat at the Alamodome during the Jeff Traylor era. The Roadrunners have won 18 of their last 20 home contests and are 20-3 (.870) at the facility since his arrival prior to the 2020 season. UTSA reeled off a school-record 10-game win streak at home that started with a 27-26 victory over Louisiana Tech on Oct. 24, 2020, and ran through the 49-41 win against WKU in the 2021 Conference USA Championship Game before it was snapped in triple overtime against No. 24 Houston in the 2022 season opener. The Roadrunners have won eight of the last nine at home and are 46-30 (.605) all-time in the Alamodome.

UTSA fans have packed the Alamodome over the past two-plus seasons, as five of the program’s nine-largest home crowds have been recorded during that span. Two of the past four home games now rank second and fourth on the all-time chart, as 49,342 fans watched UTSA beat Texas State in the 2023 home opener to mark the second-largest crowd in program history. In the final home contest last season, the Roadrunners raced past North Texas, 48-27, to capture their second straight Conference USA Championship in front of 41,412 fans, which now ranks fourth on the list of largest home crowds. That figure edged the 41,148 fans who watched UTSA outlast WKU, 49-41, in the 2021 C-USA Championship Game, now the fifth-largest home attendance. The 2022 season opener against 24th-ranked Houston drew 37,526 fans, which ranks eighth all-time, just ahead of the 34-31 thriller against UAB in front 35,147 fans in 2021. The UTSA/Texas State crowd is the second-largest in the American Athletic Conference this season behind South Florida’s home game versus Alabama that drew 65,138. UTSA ranks third in The American, seventh among state of Texas FBS schools and 68th nationally in average home attendance (33,429). UTSA led C-USA in average home attendance in each of the past two seasons, averaging 28,917 per game last fall and 26,643 in 2021. A total of 465,400 fans have filed into the Alamodome to watch the Roadrunners since the return from COVID-19 protocols for the 2021 season. UTSA set NCAA modern startup program records in its first season by drawing 56,743 fans to the inaugural game against Northeastern State on Sept. 3, 2011, and by averaging 35,521 fans for six home contests.

UTSA’s Top 10 Home Crowds






Northeastern State



Texas State






North Texas



Western Kentucky



Oklahoma State



Texas State










UTSA held Florida Atlantic to a season low for total yardage and the Roadrunners piled up 437 yards in a 36-10 win over Florida Atlantic on Saturday night in American Athletic Conference action at FAU Stadium. The Roadrunners limited the Owls to a season-low 162 yards of offense behind a stiff rush defense, surrendering only 20 yards on the ground and registering 13 tackles for loss, including five sacks. Jamal Ligon made five tackles, including 1.5 for loss, while Ken Robinson also posted five stops on the night. Trey Moore logged 1.5 sacks, while Joe Evans, Ronald Triplette and Tai Leonard turned in a sack apiece. Offensively, Frank Harris completed 26 of 35 passes for 261 yards and two touchdowns. His favorite target was Joshua Cephus, who had seven receptions for 57 yards, while Devin McCuin made five grabs for 64 yards. The three-headed backfield monster of Kevorian Barnes, Rocko Griffin and Robert Henry combined to rush for 162 yards and a pair of TDs. Barnes carried 10 times for 56 yards, Henry had 53 yards and a score on 10 attempts and Griffin rushed 16 times for 53 yards and a touchdown.

The Roadrunners have won their last 13 games against conference opponents. The streak began with the 49-41 victory over Western Kentucky in the 2021 Conference USA Championship and continued with a perfect 8-0 regular season league slate in 2022 before extending the stretch to 10 with a 48-27 triumph over North Texas in the 2022 C-USA Championship Game. UTSA made its American Athletic Conference debut a successful one, racing past Temple, 49-34, on Oct 7 before beating UAB, 41-20, on Oct. 14 and scoring a 36-10 road triumph over Florida Atlantic last Saturday night. The Roadrunners have won 23 of their last 24 contests against conference competition dating back to a three-game win streak that closed out the 2020 C-USA schedule in Jeff Traylor’s first season. In fact, UTSA boasts a 23-3 (.885) record in regular season conference games and a 25-3 (.893) mark against league foes in the Traylor era.

The Pirates fell to 1-6 overall and 0-3 in the American Athletic Conference with a 10-7 home setback to Charlotte on Saturday. East Carolina is 17.4 points and 276.9 yards per game while allowing 24.1 points and 331.3 yards per contest. Julius Wood leads the defense with 49 total tackles and an interception, while Chad Stephens has registered 7.5 tackles for loss, including 1.5 sacks. Alex Flinn (72-143-6, 718 yards, 2 TD) and Mason Garcia (48-95-2, 408 yards, TD) both have seen action at quarterback in all seven games. Rahjai Harris has rushed for 249 yards and four touchdowns, while Garcia has added 227 and a pair of scores on the ground. Chase Sowell is the top receiver with 25 catches for 295 yards. Head coach Mike Houston is 23-30 in his fifth season at the helm.

Saturday will mark the first meeting on the gridiron between UTSA and East Carolina. The two teams were both members of Conference USA for the 2013 season before the Pirates left to join the American Athletic Conference.

Now in their 13th season of play, the Roadrunners will play the 154th game in program history on Saturday when they host East Carolina. UTSA is 79-74 all-time and 46-30 at home. By comparison, East Carolina has been playing football since 1932 and owns an all-time record of 463-450-11.

UTSA outside linebacker Trey Moore was named American Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Week for the second time this season on Oct. 16 following his performance in the 41-20 win against UAB at the Alamodome. He registered a career-high 3.5 sacks as part of five total tackles to go with a forced fumble, fumble recovery and quarterback hurry. The Smithson Valley High School product’s strip-sack of Jacob Zeno early in the first quarter helped stake the Roadrunners to a 14-0 lead in a contest they never trailed. His 3.5 sacks are tied for the third-most in a game by an AAC player in league history and it marks the second time the sophomore has posted three-or-more sacks in a game this fall. Moore also earned the league’s weekly award on Sept. 11 after a three-sack effort in the 20-13 victory over Texas State. Chase Allen also was honored after the win against the Bobcats after he made field goals from 46 and 43 yards and both extra-point attempts.

UTSA is no stranger to close contests in the Jeff Traylor era, as 29 of the 47 have been one-score ballgames in the fourth quarter. The Roadrunners own a 20-9 record in those games. Dating back to the 2021 campaign, UTSA has seen 16 of the last 26 contests decided in the fourth quarter or later. Additionally, the Roadrunners are 12-4 in games decided by eight points or less since 2021.

The Roadrunners have been picked to finish second in the American Athletic Conference Preseason Media Poll. UTSA received 440 total points and nine first-place votes ahead of its debut campaign in the AAC, good for second behind defending champion Tulane, which garnered 457 points and 20 first-place votes. SMU was projected to finish third, followed by Memphis, Florida Atlantic, East Carolina, North Texas, UAB, Navy, Temple, Tulsa, Rice, South Florida and Charlotte in the 14-team league.

American Athletic Conference Preseason Media Poll

 Team (First-Place Votes)


 1. Tulane (20)


 2. UTSA (9)


 3. SMU (3)


 4. Memphis (1)


 5. Florida Atlantic


 6. East Carolina


 7. North Texas


 8. UAB (1)


 9. Navy


 10. Temple


 11. Tulsa


 12. Rice


 13. South Florida


 14. Charlotte


Head coach Jeff Traylor has taken UTSA to new heights since taking over the program prior to the 2020 campaign. The Gilmer, Texas, native has turned around the program by instilling his 210 Triangle of Toughness culture, producing results on and off the field. Taking over a team that won a combined seven games in the two seasons prior to his arrival, he has led the Roadrunners to a 34-13 record, the most wins all-time and best winning percentage (.723) by a UTSA head football coach. In the Jeff Traylor era, the Roadrunners own a 23-3 (.885) record in regular season conference games and are 25-3 (.893) against league competition when including the 2021 and 2022 Conference USA Championship Games. Under Traylor’s direction, UTSA has won back-to-back conference championships, been nationally ranked in all three major polls in 2021 and 2022 and made three straight bowl appearances. The two-time conference coach of the year has coached six All-Americans, three national award finalists, 12 national award semifinalists, six conference superlative award recipients, 67 all-conference selections, two academic All-Americans and a pair of NFL Draft picks during his UTSA tenure. He was the 2021 AFCA Region 4 Coach of the Year and he has been a finalist for the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year twice in addition to being a finalist for the 2022 Paul “Bear” Bryant Awards Coach of the Year, 2021 AFCA National Coach of the Year and the 2021 George Munger College Coach of the Year.

One of the newest FBS programs and now in its first year as a member of the American Athletic Conference, UTSA is playing its 13th season of football in 2023. The Roadrunners started their program from scratch and, following a practice year in 2010, played their first season as an FCS Independent in 2011 before joining the Western Athletic Conference for the 2012 campaign. UTSA moved into Conference USA in 2013 and became a full-fledged FBS member starting with the 2014 season. The Roadrunners set NCAA modern startup program records in 2011 by drawing 56,743 fans to their inaugural game against Northeastern State and by averaging 35,521 fans for their six home contests that season. UTSA made its first postseason appearance at the 2016 New Mexico Bowl in its sixth season of play and registered its first win against a team from the Big 12 Conference the following season with a 17-10 victory over Baylor. The Roadrunners made history in 2021, opening the fall with a road win against Illinois of the Big Ten Conference, capturing their first conference championship with a 49-42 decision against WKU and capping a 12-2 ledger with their third bowl game. They repeated as league champions with a 48-27 win over North Texas in 2022 and made their third straight and fourth overall bowl appearance, ending the year with an 11-3 mark. UTSA has posted at least six wins in seven of the 12 complete seasons in program history and it has reached the seven-win plateau five times, including in each of the first three years of the Jeff Traylor era. The Roadrunners reached double-digit wins in back-to-back seasons (2021-22), joining Baylor and TCU as the only Texas-based FBS teams since 2012 to notch at least 10 wins in consecutive years.

The Roadrunners will hit the road to face North Texas on Saturday, Nov. 4. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. in Denton and the game will air on ESPN+ and Sports Radio AM 760 The Ticket.