UTSA didn’t do itself any favors with their schedule in 2018. The Roadrunners round out their first three games, all against Power 5 times, two of the three on the road, and ending in Manhattan, Kansas against Bill Snyder’s Wildcats.
The Continued Development of Cordale Grundy
UTSA first-year starter Cordale Grundy made some slight improvement from the opener to the Baylor game. His intangibles continue to impress. He appears unflappable running the UTSA offense, even when things aren’t going to plan. His internal clock and ability to feel pressure are well tuned, and he’s able to make plays with his legs, but he’s judicious in doing so. He’s usually on target and accurate.
If can get some help, he should continue to make improvements. The most glaring area is up front where the Roadrunners are giving up 6.5 sacks per game and lots of leakage. Grundy rarely operates out of a clean pocket. Other teams watch film, and you’ll see Kansas State dial up pressure like Baylor did, especially in obvious passing downs. How the line handles those efforts will go along way to how much Grundy can get out of the UTSA offense.
Two Quarterback Systems Don’t Work in Kansas Either
Frank Wilson tried to shoehorn a few D.J. Gillins series into the Arizona State game, the results stifled UTSA offensive efforts for a quarter or so. Last week Wilson settled on Grundy. At Kansas State, Bill Snyder has rotated Skylar Thompson and Alex Delton since 2017, to mixed results.
Snyder announced that the position is Thompson’s as of this week. Delton and Thompson both struggled last week against Mississippi State. On the season, neither quarterback is completing more than 48% of their attempts. Two of Delton’s eighteen attempts have ended up in the hands of the wrong team. Those turnovers might’ve sealed things for Snyder.
Thompson is a big-armed sophomore who most notably helped the ‘Cats beat Oklahoma State on the road last season, completing 10 of 13 attempts for 204 yards. His efficiency rating was the fourth highest in school history. His teammates voted him a captain this offseason. Snyder is hoping that giving Thompson more leash might help him recapture the form that led the Wildcats to three of four wins down the stretch last season.
The Youth Movement
On offense, the future is now for UTSA. B.J. Daniels is a feature back as long as injuries slow down Jalen Rhodes. At receiver sophomore, Kirk Johnson is establishing himself as a reliable every down option. Redshirt freshman Tariq Woolen and true freshman Tykee Ogle-Kellogg are both demonstrating athleticism and explosiveness. Both tight ends and two of the five offensive line starters are in their first or second year.
The future is bright, and players like true freshman Brennan Brady hasn’t even seen significant time yet. That also means the Roadrunners will frustrate fans at times as they endure growing pains. These three games have served as a trial by fire, and players like Daniels and Johnson are showing their metal. Roadrunner fans will have fun watching these young guys for years to come.
Dantzler’s Big Day
Speaking of youth, UTSA might’ve seen the results of a fully battle ready Lorenzo Dantzler last Saturday night. The sophomore from East Mississippi Community College contributed three tackles including a strip sack and another tackle for loss. Dantzler’s third sack came on kick coverage. Not many defensive ends are running down covering kicks, but Dantzler’s freakish enough to do it.
The sack was nice, but his tackle of JaMycal Hasty for a three-yard loss in the fourth showed his rocket-like get off. Look for more big things from Dantzler as the season moves on.