College football tends to be twelve knee-jerk reactions followed by sweeping generalizations and then signing day. This week the OC sucks, next week the back-up quarterback is the key, a week after that the music in the stadium was too loud or the fans let the team down. The reality is we know very little about teams through the first few weeks of the season. Young players will develop, injuries will ravage the depth chart, coaches will (hopefully) understand what works and what doesn’t and the schedule levels out.
For UTSA, we don’t know a ton about the Roadrunners other than they’d have a tough time winning the Pac 12 or Big 12. Better said, UTSA didn’t fare well against programs whose revenue is roughly $40 million higher than the ‘Runners.
Playing P5s is fun. If you’re Troy or North Texas you make history, similar to what UTSA did last year in Waco. You play in front of big crowds, usually on real channels, and in better time slots. Those games showcase your program, and pay the bills. They also get you beat up and they expose you, ask Houston.
Realistically UTSA’s chances of coming out of the three-game gauntlet with a win was remote. Arizona State, as it turns out, wasn’t the dumpster fire everyone expected with the Herm Edward hiring. Baylor found a quarterback and a fleet of receivers. And Kansas State found its offensive groove and played its typical stingy defense. That’s not even factoring in the rebuilt Roadrunner offensive line, new quarterback, new receivers, new corners, and new coordinators.
If you can catch 'em on the right day, you can steel and win and make a P5 pay you that money too. But that’s the exception to the rule. Widely so.
Now the real work for UTSA begins. How do the Roadrunners fare against a level playing field? After Texas State, UTSA starts CUSA play where they’ve been competitive under Wilson’s watchful eye.
Against Texas State and CUSA opponents the Roadrunners’ advantages on the defensive front and in the offensive skill department should start to bear fruit. UTSA came out of its first three games reasonably healthy. Their new starting quarterback was thrown to the wolves. The new look offensive line played against bigger, better athletes, and UTSA’s young receivers competed against outstanding coverage players. Those matchups should benefit UTSA as the season carries on.
Realistically UTSA sits precisely where most thought they would after ASU, Baylor, and Kansas State. Now this Roadrunner team gets to define itself.