Within the past three years, UTSA has been able to significantly strengthen their schedule against non-conference opponents. This initially began to take place in the 2013 season when the Roadrunners faced opponents from both the Big 12 and PAC 12 conferences. However, in order for this small Conference USA university to gain recognition, it was determined that they must continue to push themselves and pursue more formidable foes to test their talents against. As a result, UTSA has pushed the envelope and have created schedules against Power Five conferences. Today, we look at UTSA’s increasing schedule strength.
UTSA’s Increasing Schedule Strength
UTSA created a 2013 schedule that was stacked with far more talent than what their 2011-2012 schedule had provided. The Roadrunners primarily played FCS opponents in their inaugural season. In their second season, their schedule strength increased slightly, however, they continued to play lower-tier FBS schools. In their third season, UTSA decided to take a leap and challenge stronger opponents. This has resulted in the exposure they need to play against teams from the top conferences.
2013 and 2014 Seasons
These two seasons saw the Roadrunners playing Oklahoma State and Arizona to kick off their non-conference schedule. The Roadrunners lost to Oklahoma State 56-35 and also lost to Arizona 38-13 in the 2013 season. This did not come as a surprise because these were the first games against a Power Five school for the young team. However, the ‘Runners matched up against the same two teams in the 2014 season and the results were the same. Oklahoma State crushed UTSA 43-13, however, in their matchup against Arizona, the Roadrunners lost by only a field goal in a 26-23 contest. The Roadrunners went 0-4 in their first four games against solid opponents; however, this opened the gates for matchups against stronger teams in the near future.
The 2015 season saw UTSA playing Oklahoma State and Arizona once again. However, there was a new addition in the form of Big 12 opponent Kansas State. The Roadrunners once again lost Oklahoma State and Arizona in their matchups. This brought their record to 0-3 against both of these teams. This season also saw the Roadrunners lose to Kansas State in blowout fashion. They walked away from the Alamodome with a 30-3 loss against the Wildcats. Many believed that this exposure against far better teams would have an adverse effect on the Roadrunners. However, it continued to give them the experience needed in order to perform in their conference games.
The 2016 season saw the Roadrunners play Arizona State and Texas A&M rather than Oklahoma State and Arizona. UTSA, unfortunately, fell short in their efforts against the #22 ranked Aggies, as they left Kyle Field with a 23-10 defeat. This UTSA loss was seen as a moral victory even though they lost. The Roadrunners also lost to Arizona State in a 32-28 loss. This defeat brought their record to 0-9 against Power Five schools.
UTSA started their 2017 season off with a bang as the Roadrunners defeated the Baylor Bears in a 17-10 upset victory. This victory was their first against a Power Five Conference. This brought their overall record to 1-9 and came as a surprise to many. Of all the victories that Roadrunner fans remember, the win against Baylor is undoubtedly in their top three. Their success against Baylor opened the door to playing more Power Five schools.
UTSA played Arizona State, Baylor, and Kansas State in the 2018 season. Unfortunately, they lost against all three opponents in this season. Against the Sun Devils, the Roadrunners lost 49-7. In Baylor’s redemption game, the Bears defeated the Roadrunners 37-20. Lastly, against the Wildcats, UTSA lost 41-17, and as a result, brought their record against Power Five schools to 1-12.
2019 Season and the Future
UTSA vs. Texas
COMING SOON#BirdsUp ?
— UTSA Football ? (@UTSAFTBL) May 10, 2019
In 2019, UTSA will once again face off against Baylor and Texas A&M which will undoubtedly be some of the highest anticipated games in the schools’ history. The Roadrunners will be looking to take a lead in the series against Baylor. As for Texas A&M, the Roadrunners will once again look to take the Aggies the distance and challenge them in an attempt to get their first victory against an SEC school. As for the future, the Roadrunners have games lined up against the University of Texas. Starting in 2022, the Roadrunners will play the Longhorns every other season in Austin, Texas. This matchup is highly anticipated and is expected to soon be a rival for the small San Antonio school. Having this matchup against a great team from the Big 12 will likely bring more support to the Roadrunners who are always looking for the underdog victory. UTSA’s increasing schedule strength will only continue to make the team better and help bring them more recognition.