We're just over halfway through the season, and it's probably a good time to take a look at how the Roadrunners have fared through seven games.
The Road so far
UTSA was the hot ticket early in the season, wins over Baylor, Southern, and Texas State had folks dreaming of running the table. Then came losses to Southern Miss and North Texas and the wheels teetering off. Last week the Roadrunner rebounded by doing just enough to beat Rice at home. At 4-2, everything is still in front of UTSA; they just need some help to get there now.
The Road Ahead
Three of UTSA's final five are road contests, at UTEP, FIU and Louisiana Tech. They get UAB and Marshall at home. Marshall and Louisiana Tech in back to back weeks to finish the season is a brutal run. The Herd are making last year's miserable season a distant memory, and Louisiana Tech in Ruston is never an easy task.
Can UTSA run the table in their five remaining contests? Doubtful, but they are capable of beat any team on their remaining slate. Eight wins and a nice bowl date aren't out of the question.
Frank Wilson has a saying; linemen lead the program. That's indeed been the case in 2017. The Roadrunner defensive front has been spectacular. Kevin Strong Jr., Marcus Davenport, Eric Banks, and Baylen Baker are versatile, quick and physical. They make the defense go. UTSA's defense is top three in CUSA against the rush.
Most CUSA can't boast of one defensive lineman the caliber of UTSA's starting front let alone four. The scary thing for Roadrunner opponents is three of the four will be back next year, a year bigger and better.
First Half MVP
We've had our doubts about Dalton Sturm, but this season the senior from Goliad has alleviated those concerns with his best season in San Antonio. How good has Sturm been? He's top ten in passer rating, top twenty in completion percentage, and has a 12-1 TD to interception ratio. He raised his QB rating thirty points from last year's numbers. He's also raised his completion percentage by ten points from last year.
Statistically, Sturm's impressive, but more impressive is the way he guides UTSA's offense. Instead of running a stat/quarterback-friendly system. Sturm's offense requires him to make line of scrimmage adjustments on his own and what we call pro-throws, via a fully developed route tree and into tight windows. As Sturm's season proceeds, we're excited to see where he goes
The Roadrunners average almost a yard and half more per play in 2017 (6.8) than in 2016 (5.4). UTSA's 2017 yards per play is 14th nationally and the fifth largest increase among FBS schools from 2016 to 2017.