Best UTSA Offensive Player
RB Jalen Rhodes, Sr.
Small, compact, and productive, the 5-9, 200-pound Rhodes averaged close to five yards per carry with 659 yards and five scores, and was a solid receiver out of the backfield for the middling offense. His role was reduced over the second half of last season, but second-leading rusher Tyrell Clay is gone – Rhodes will have to do more. B.J. Daniels – last year’s star recruit – looks like he’s about to be fantastic.
2. QB Bryce Rivers, Soph.
3. RB B.J. Daniels, Fr.
4. WR Tariq Woolen, Fr.
5. WR Tykee Ogle-Kellogg, Fr.
Best UTSA Defensive Player
LB Josiah Tauaefa, Jr.
The leading tackler from two years ago – cranking up 115 tackles and six sacks in an all-star season – suffered a knee injury midway through last season and was limited the rest of the way. The 6-1, 240-pounder only finished with 29 stops and didn’t do enough to get into the backfield, but when he’s healthy, he’s among the best defensive players in Conference USA.
2. DE Kevin Strong, Sr.
3. DE Lorenzo Dantzler, Soph.
4. P Yannis Routsas, Sr.
5. S Carl Austin, Sr.
Key Player To A Successful Season
QB Bryce Rivers, Soph.
Dalton Sturm was better than he ever received credit for. He wasn’t all that big, and he didn’t have a live arm, but he was a baller who did what he could in a limited attack. Now it’s up to Rivers to be as accurate, and as careful with the ball, and as productive on the ground, all while making the offense do a whole lot more.
The 6-2, 220-pound Rivers got to school early in his freshman year and got his feet wet with a little bit of time. He’s not the runner Sturm was, but he’s a power passer who should take to the shift in offensive philosophies.
Key Game To The UTSA Season
Louisiana Tech, Oct. 13
Losers of four straight to the Bulldogs, this time around, it might just be for the Conference USA West title. The regular season ender against North Texas will matter, and the road game against Southern Miss will be a problem, but lose to Louisiana Tech at home – UTSA dropped the regular season finale 20-6 last year – and forget about the division with the tougher league games to come.
2017 UTSA Fun Stats
– 3rd Quarter Scoring: Opponents 38 – UTSA 36
– Red Zone Scoring: UTSA 28-of-34 (82%) – Opponents 18-of-25 (72%)
– Rushing Yards: UTSA 2,030 – Opponents 1,405