Coming into early Saturday night, the UTSA Roadrunners were in need of a win to inch them closer to a .500 record. That’s exactly what they got as they downed the Owls 31-27 in a thrilling match-up for UTSA’s homecoming victory against Rice. Coming into the game the Owls were 0-5, sitting in last place in Conference USA. However, the Roadrunners were given all they could handle in this four-point victory.
UTSA’s Homecoming Victory Against Rice
Before the game even started this winless Rice team was projected to have a 61 percent chance of winning. This is not a good look for a UTSA team who has only two wins themselves. Being an underdog to a team that has yet to win a game is never a good sign. However, projections are exactly that, projections. UTSA was able to pull away in their homecoming victory against Rice and bring their Record to 3-4.
Who Is UTSA’s Quarterback?
It seems as if every week there is something new in the development of a UTSA quarterback. Earlier in the week, it was learned that redshirt sophomore, Frank Harris, will miss the remainder of the season with an injury. This injury was sustained in the game versus North Texas. Harris was the future of the UTSA program. However, with this injury, his future is in jeopardy. This is his second season-ending injury, the first occurring his freshman year when he tore his ACL. The program must progress and has chosen Lowell Narcisse to take the reins of the offense.
In the past few games, Narcisse’s ability to throw the ball has come under close scrutiny. He is revered for his rushing ability; however, his pass accuracy raises eyebrows. On the contrary, against Rice, Narcisse seemed to be a different passer. He was fitting passes into tight windows he would have otherwise missed weeks ago. For the game, Narcisse completed 19 of 29 passes for 212 yards and two touchdowns. While these numbers are not eye-popping, the stats are promising from the LSU transfer. They are encouraging for a productive future. Against El Paso and Alabama-Birmingham, Narcisse combined for a total of 140 yards passing. His inefficiency in these games was cause for serious concern. But, against Rice, he seemed comfortable in the pocket and more knowledgeable of the UTSA playbook. Expect Narcisse, to be the starter for the remainder of the year and put your faith in him.
UTSA has been criticized in the past for their inability to overcome any adversity in games. For the most part, when the team starts losing, there is little resiliency. Surprisingly, against Rice, UTSA did not get discouraged and were able to put drives together to draw the game closer. Each time Rice put a drive together that resulted in points, UTSA found themselves scoring as well. At the end of the half, UTSA saw themselves down three. Then 10 seconds into the third quarter, Rashad Wisdom intercepted a pass, returning it 34 yards to the house.
From this point on, UTSA and Rice would be involved in a battle that would last all the way until the last drive. Rice would retake the lead twice, the final of which being with nine minutes left in the fourth quarter. UTSA was down three, however, Lowell Narcisse put a decisive drive together that resulted in a game-winning touchdown with just over five minutes remaining. Seeing the Roadrunners put drives together and stay headstrong through the game’s entirety was a sight for sore eyes. While the Roadrunners may not make a bowl game this season, a winning team is always something to get excited about.
The Decline of Frank Wilson
Whether we want to believe it or not, Franks Wilson’s time as head coach of the Roadrunners is limited. If UTSA were to lose to Rice, Wilson’s tenure would have been in serious jeopardy. While the win helps, his track record at UTSA in the last two years has been disheartening. In his first season as head coach, he lifted the Roadrunners to a six-win and seven-loss record, while leading them to their first and only bowl appearance. In 2017 he coached the ‘Runners to a six-win and five-loss season that was devoid of another bowl appearance. Unfortunately, since his promising start at the university, his success has only declined.
In his 2018 campaign, he coached the Roadrunners to a putrid three win and nine loss season. 2018 marked Wilson as a potential liability at head coach. This season may once again prove that he is not the man for the job. In his four years will the university, Wilson has won 17 of his 25 games, leading the Roadrunners to a poor .405-win percentage. Before signing on to UTSA, Wilson was a great player recruiter for LSU. In his time at LSU, Wilson recruited three of the nation’s best classes between 2010 and 2014. Unfortunately, this success has not transferred over to his coaching performance at UTSA. With the future of Frank Wilson in the balance, it will be interesting to see what direction the Roadrunners will take in the coming months.
Look Ahead to Next Week
Next week will mark UTSA’s second bye week. They will take this time to prepare for the toughest match-up in their schedule, the Aggies of Texas A&M. UTSA will travel to College Station, Texas on November 2nd for the second edition between the two schools. The last time the Roadrunners played the Aggies was in 2016, a game in which Texas A&M was ranked 22nd in the nation and won the game 23-10. This game is projected to be another blowout in Texas A&M’s favor, but only time will tell for this much-anticipated matchup.