The 2018 UTSA Roadrunners are Frank Wilson's guys. After two seasons and three recruiting cycles, the majority of UTSA's roster are Wilson recruits. They are talented, but they are young. They also don't have time to grow up in 2018. Three Power Five teams await to start the year off. There is no Southern or Alabama State to buffer the load; it's on from the start.
Let's take a look at the three week run the Runners face to start the season.
At Arizona State September 1
What are the chances Herm Edwards assumes college football has a two-minute warning? Arizona State's controversial coaching hire makes his Tempe debut with the Roadrunners coming to town. UTSA will have a new quarterback, new receivers, and a rebuilt offensive line making this a must watch if only to see who has their shit together, or better said, more together. The Devils could be ripe for the picking, but with inexperience we doubt UTSA can do the harvesting.
Baylor September 8
The first Texas P5 team to visit the Roadrunners in San Antonio is another unknown, those pesky Baptists. UTSA beat Baylor in a historic, momentous win for the Road Runners. Baylor finished 1-11 last season, thank God for Kansas. Chances are UTSA will get to meet Charlie Brewer, one of the most talented sophomore quarterbacks in the country. Brewer was the Big 12's Co-Offensive Player of the Year, completing 68% of his passes with eleven touchdowns and four picks in four starts. As a senior at Lake Travis, he completed 75% of his passes. Yes, he's efficient. He's also a big reason why Baylor is picked by many to challenge for six wins in 2018. We aren't buying that, but we do think the Bears will be improved.
At Kansas State September 15
The three-week P5 march concludes in Manhattan where 78-year-old Wizard Bill Snyder continues to sit on the throne. As an aside, read up on the Kansas State power struggle on the transition after Snyder leaves. The in-fighting makes the Trump cabinet seem stable. No one in the Big 12 wants to play Kansas State, especially in Manhattan. You don't want to travel to Manhattan looking for your first win. Kansas State returns almost their entire offensive two-deep and most of their defense.
Wilson's teams have never shied away from big game hunting. The Roadrunner scared the hell out of Arizona State in 2016 and beat the Bears in Waco last year. If UTSA can pick off one of these three, the win could be a signature point for the rest of the 2018 season.
On the other hand, UTSA is attempting to run a gauntlet of teams that are, on paper, bigger, deeper, more experienced, and better than the Roadrunners. Stat maven Bill Connelly puts the chances of UTSA winning any of those three games at less than 30%. Luckily for Wilson's new look squad, after K-State, the next three weeks serve up Texas State, UTEP, and Rice - three teams that totaled three wins in 2017.