UTSA traveled to Birmingham to take on the UAB Blazers on Saturday. Unfortunately, they suffered their first loss of the season after a 21-13 defeat. Check out UTSA Suffers First Loss to see what went wrong.
UTSA Suffers First Loss
UTSA put their 3-0 record on display against UAB with hopes of leaving with another victory. However, UAB had other plans. The Roadrunners were on the brink of victory, but UAB’s stingy defense refused to give up the lead. UTSA now has a 3-1 record and sits in third place in Conference USA West. UAB is now the sole leader at the top of the division.
The Roadrunners started the game with quarterback Frank Harris on the sidelines. The previous week, Harris sustained a knee strain and he remained out for the game against UAB. However, the Roadrunners had a solid replacement in the form of Josh Adkins. The New Mexico State product led the Roadrunners to victory in the previous week and was looking to repeat. Unfortunately, Adkins’s playing time was cut short after he sustained an injury on the first play from scrimmage. Adkins was later seen wearing a sling on his throwing side.
The Roadrunners looked to Jordan Weeks to replace Adkins. Weeks drove UTSA down the field for an opening drive field goal and a 3-0 lead. UAB responded later with a touchdown with just over three minutes remaining in the first quarter. Six minutes later UAB scored another touchdown increasing their lead to eleven points. UTSA soon got another field goal from Hunter Duplessis just before the half.
UTSA was forced to play catch-up for the majority of the second half. UAB then scored their third touchdown with just over a minute remaining in the third quarter. At this point, Jeff Traylor elected to have Lowell Narcisse finish the game at quarterback for the Roadrunners. UTSA put up their first touchdown of the game following a Trevor Harmanson interception. However, neither team would score for the remained of the game as UAB walked away with a 21-13 victory.
What Went Wrong
UTSA was scrambling to find answers at the quarterback position following Adkins’ injury. This is not something new for the Roadrunners. UTSA used both Weeks and Narcisse last year following Harris’ season-ending injury. Traylor elected to go with Weeks to carry UTSA. However, Weeks only completed seven of his 19 passes for 57 yards and an interception. UTSA had 57 total passing yards with the third quarter about to end. Traylor elected to go with Narcisse to finish the game with just over a quarter remaining. Narcisse would go on to complete two of his five passes for 33 yards. Although, he did follow this up with seven rushes for 42 yards.
Passing was the biggest issue for the Roadrunners against UAB. Completing only nine of 25 passes for 90 yards is not enough to win a game. This caused UTSA to rely heavily on their running game which only produced one touchdown.
What Went Right
Although the UTSA passing game was nonexistent, Sincere McCormick stepped up in a big way. UTSA would have been held to even fewer points if it was not for McCormick. He led the rushing attack with 22 carries for 150 yards and one touchdown. McCormick is still this season rushing leader with 527 yards through four games.
UTSA’s defense was the other factor that gave them a chance in this game. The Roadrunners forced four turnovers. This gave the offense a chance to score. But more importantly, it kept the UAB offense off the field. UAB has been averaging 417 yards/game and 33.7 points/game. The Blazers were still able to put up 409 yards, however, UTSA held them to only 21 points. When the Blazers would get momentum, the Roadrunner defense was able to shut it down and keep the score tight. This is a promising sign moving forward, knowing that the Roadrunners can keep a high-powered offense at bay.
A Look Ahead
UTSA will travel to Provo, Utah next week to take on the BYU Cougars. This will be a big test for the Roadrunners as they will look to take down the 22nd ranked team in the country. The Roadrunners will have their hands full in this matchup as they are only given a 2% chance to win. The health of Harris and Adkins will be important to note towards the end of the week as their appearance this game will be crucial to the success of the offense.