During playoff expansion talks, the idea was floated in discussions about the Group of Five breaking away to make their own playoff. The 2021 Frisco Bowl matchup undoubtedly would be a playoff game in a world with an exclusive Group of Five bracket.
MEEP MEEP Conference USA
The Roadrunners from San Antonio only began their football program only ten years ago. Prior to this season, they had never won more than eight games in a season. However, heading into the 2020 season, UTSA took a chance on a new head coach to guide this program. They brought on a man who had established himself as a successful high school coach in the state of Texas. Head Coach Jeff Traylor has man a bigger impact in his first two years than anyone could have imagined.
Traylor turned heads after leading UTSA to seven wins in his first season, a feat that hadn’t been accomplished by the Roadrunners since 2013. But 2021 has been a historic year for UTSA. They finished the season 12-1 with a C-USA championship. Traylor’s name began to circulate as a front runner to be the next head coach for Texas Tech. But just as quickly as the flame was ignited on West Texas plains signaling they had their next coach, UTSA stomped those flames out.
This team’s success was in large part due to All-American running back Sincere McCormick. He was selected to the third team by the Associated Press and became the first player in UTSA history to be named an All-American by the AP. McCormick rushed for 1,479 yards and 15 touchdowns this season but has opted out of the bowl game as he has declared for the NFL draft. The Roadrunners will need someone to step up on offense against a very good Aztec defense
Not Just A Team With A Punt God
The best player on this San Diego State team truly could revolutionize football. But this team is more than a special teams marvel. And it starts with a very stingy defense. San Diego State ranks 13th nationally in total defense and 16th in scoring defense. However, it does come into this game having a very uncharacteristically bad performance in the Mountain West championship game. Utah State thumped San Diego State by a score of 46-13. This defense should be motivated to make a statement to close out this season.
San Diego State is not going to be confused as an early 2010’s Big 12 team. In their last eight games, the Aztecs never scored more than 28 points. But they welcome an opportunity to grind this game down. While they never broke the 28 point mark in those last eight games, they still went 7-1 in those contests. The Aztecs ranked 20th in time of possession as they are averaging controlling the ball for 31 minutes per game.
Players To Watch
S Rashad Wisdom, UTSA: Wisdom is a hunter at the safety position. He finished the season with 87 tackles and always seems to find the ball. While he didn’t pick off any passes this season (he had four last year) he still was able to break up six passes.
RB Brenden Brady, UTSA: Brady will be the back likely to shoulder the load with McCormick. Can he step up in the brightest stage UTSA has been on to date? He has shown some flashes this year as he had 67 rushing yards and two touchdowns in the opener against Illinois. He is the only other man in the running back corps to go over 20 rushing yards or record a touchdown this season,
P Matt Araiza, San Diego State: Araiza has become something more of folklore than a football player. The Ray Guy award winner has launched footballs into orbit all season, averaging 51.4 yards per punt. He’s also is a solid placekicker as he is 17-of-27 field goals and all a perfect four-of-four of his extra points.
WR Jesse Matthews, San Diego State: This team does rely heavily on its stellar defense. But there is some semblance of a passing attack, and it goes through Matthews. He lead the team this season with 47 receptions for 482 yards and seven touchdowns.
2021 Frisco Bowl Prediction
Anyone looking to bet on this 2021 Frisco Bowl might find the best bet for the over/under. Currently, Vegas has the total set at 49 points. Between these two teams with good to great defenses, and the best offensive player not playing, it will be hard to see either team scoring more than 21. UTSA has been a terrific college football story. But the Aztecs should have a bounce-back performance against the Roadrunners that stifles UTSA and gives San Diego State the victory.
San Diego State 20, UTSA 10