UTSA Roadrunners Preview 2022: Previewing, predicting, and looking ahead to the UTSA season with what you need to know and keys to the season.
UTSA Roadrunners Preview
Head Coach: Jeff Traylor, 3rd year at UTSA, 19-7
2021 Preview: Overall: 12-2, Conference: 7-1
Keys To The Season
Season Prediction, What Will Happen
UTSA Top 10 Players | UTSA Schedule
UTSA Roadrunners Preview 2022
Head coach Jeff Traylor is putting together a powerhouse.
UTSA has been strong since entering life in the FBS world with five winning seasons since 2012 and three bowl appearances in the last six years. But it was Traylor – a first time head coach when he took over just before the 2020 season – who solidified the style.
Tough lines, balanced attack, aggressive defense that gets into the backfield, and no mistakes. UTSA was first in Conference USA in fewest penalties per game and No. 1 in turnover margin.
This year’s team might not have quite the same magic, but it’s got more than enough talent and returning all-stars to repeat as the Conference USA champion before going to the American Athletic Conference in 2023.
2022 is about to prove 2021 wasn’t a fluke – it was a jumping off point.
UTSA Roadrunners Preview 2022: Offense
The offense was tough, efficient, and it should be every bit as good again with eight starters expected back. The Roadrunners averaged 439 yards and 37 points per game, the ground game was the second-best in Conference USA, there weren’t a ton of turnovers, and moving the chains wasn’t a problem. As long as the downfield passing game is a wee bit stronger, expect even more production even though …
The star of the show is gone. Sincere McCormick was one of the nation’s most productive backs over the last few years, but he left early for the NFL – eventually getting picked up by the Las Vegas Raiders, but No. 2 back Brendan Brady returns after running for 308 yards and four scores.
McCormick, though, ran for close to 1,500 yards and 15 touchdowns – that heavy lifting will likely be done by Trelon Smith, a veteran back from Arkansas who ran for over 1,300 yards and ten scores with the Hogs.
Everything works behind a line that should be among the best in Conference USA. Four starters are back – three of them were all-stars – around Second Team All-Conference USA center Ahofitu Maka as the anchor of a massive interior.
Frank Harris is back for what seems like his 14th year with the program – it’s his fourth year as the Roadrunner quarterback – coming off a Second Team All-Conference USA season throwing for close to 3,200 yards with 27 touchdowns and six picks, and finishing second on the team with 561 rushing yards and six touchdowns – he caught a TD pass, too.
He’s got a loaded group of receivers to work with. Zachari Franklin is back after catching 81 passes for 1,027 yards and 12 scores, Joshua Cephus caught 71 passes for 819 yards and six scores, and De’Corian Clark caught 52 balls for 755 yards and seven touchdowns. Include the return of TE Oscar Cardenas, and the passing game has its targets.
UTSA Roadrunners Preview 2022: Defense
The defense wasn’t as strong as the offense, but it did a phenomenal job against the run, allowed an okay 25 points per game, and it comes back strong with five all-stars and enough depth and transfers to play around with the alignment.
The secondary should be a plus. Tariq Woolen and his 4.2 speed at safety are gone to the Seattle Seahawks, but Rashad Wisdom is one of the nation’s best safeties who still flies under the radar.
He led the team with 88 tackles, the corner combination of Corey Mayfield and Ken Robinson made plenty of plays, and on the way is Nicktroy Fortune from West Virginia at corner and safety Quinton Cage from LSU to help fill in the gaps.
The inside linebacker combination of Jamal Ligon and Trevor Harmanson made 106 stops last year and should be a rock against the run again. They’re back along with Dadrian Taylor on the weakside to form one of the better groups in Conference USA.
Up front is 305-pound Brandon Brown on the nose – he held up with 23 tackles as the anchor of the line, and Trumane Bell is back on one end after finishing second on the team with five sacks.