The UTSA vs Army showdown was the first of its kind for the ‘Runners. The UTSA Roadrunners hosted the Army Black Knights in a Military City Showdown. Unfortunately, the Roadrunners did not bring their troops to handle Army as they lost 31-13, bringing their record to one win and two losses. This much-anticipated matchup only led to heartbreak as the Roadrunners hoped to bounce back from a crushing loss to the Baylor Bears. UTSA vs. Army Showdown.
UTSA vs. Army Showdown
The Roadrunners looked to take advantage of a non-conference team that had less talent than the likes of Baylor. However, the ‘Runners seemed to have taken this task too lightly. This was a perfect opportunity for UTSA to have a redemption game, but they were unable to take advantage. As conference play nears ever closer, the Roadrunners need to define what kind of team they really are. If not, a year similar to last season’s could be the result. There are few teams who can be successful without clearly defining who they are. Unfortunately, the reality is that the current ‘Runners do not have the superstar talent to go with the flow. It is time to go back to the drawing board and establish a system that will work when it matters.
A Style of Their Own
UTSA knew entering this game that they had the talent to beat the Black Knights. Army is an option-oriented offense, so expecting them to run the ball would be an understatement. For that season, Army has completed seven of its total 14 passing attempts. Before Saturday, the Black Knights only averaged six and a half passing attempts per game and completed two and a half of those. Army is a run-heavy offense, so the defensive game plan should have been to stop the run. The Black Knights only passed the ball two times in Saturday’s game, yet were still efficient in moving the football. The Roadrunners needed to stop one aspect and that was the run game.
The Black Knights ran the field and could not be stopped. In the opening minute, Army was able to force its way into the end zone with ease. Following the opening score, the Roadrunners played from behind the whole game. Unfortunately, one of the Roadrunner’s shortcomings is that they struggle to battle back when they go down. This year the Black Knights average 215 yards on the ground, but on Saturday afternoon, they busted it open against UTSA. They ran for 340 yards and four rushing scores en route to crushing the Roadrunner spirit. Obviously, if the Roadrunners could have halted the rushing attack, they could have likely come out with a win.
Since the breakout game in the team’s opener, Frank Harris has been unable to get much offensive production. The first game was against an FCS opponent. However, Harris has looked completely different in the last two weeks. Placing the success of the team on a first-year starter may seem unfair, but much is expected out of this young quarterback.
Against Army, Harris completed 23 of 31 passes for 187 and an interception. For two straight weeks, Harris came up short in throwing a touchdown and has not looked like the leader that was seen in week one. Harris is also renowned for having the ability to escape defensive pursuit but has been unable to get it going in the running department. On Saturday, he had 14 rushing attempts and gained only one yard. Harris can extend plays with the best of them, so now that he is being contained, his offense seems limited. He must get back to his ways and play with a reckless abandon to help the team.
The Roadrunners have a balanced attack between rushing and passing, however, their production in this department seems nonexistent. They are capable of scoring out of the backfield but seem unable to accrue yardage. Against Army, there were a total of 27 rushes made by six different players for a total of 51 yards, 14 of which came from Harris. The team needs to rely on its true runners to get the ball moving rather than just their dual-threat quarterback. Sincere McCormick has been solid for the team as he has three rushing scores in three games. UTSA needs something reliable to go to when Harris gets shutdown.
The team also needs to make a running back their main starter. For a while, the Roadrunners have loved to experiment with lots of different position players. However, this season making McCormick their man in the backfield is the smart move. He has proven to be their most reliable weapon although he’s a freshman. Brenden Brady was thought to be the team’s best option. However, the Roadrunners need to look at the production and go with McCormick.
Next week, the Roadrunners will travel to Denton, Texas to take on the North Texas Mean Green. Last season, North Texas gave UTSA some trouble, however, the two have the same record coming in to the game. This will be one of the most important games of the year as the Roadrunners look to overcome their two-game losing streak. If they can avoid a third loss next week, the ‘Runners will rise to .500 and start off conference play with a win.