With both teams coming off wins over FCS opponents, UTSA and Baylor face off for the third time in three seasons, this time in the rubber match at McLane Stadium.
When UTSA has the Ball
Frank Harris was a revelation last week in his first start for UTSA at quarterback. The redshirt sophomore from Schertz Clemens rushed for 123 yards and threw for 206 against Incarnate Word. The Roadrunners will use multiple running backs including true freshman Sincere McCormick, sophomore Brenden Brady, and junior B.J. Daniels. McCormick rushed for 82 yards in his debut.
The rest of UTSA’s skill talent focuses on tight end and Kansas State transfer Carlos Strickland along with receivers Blaze Morehead and Tykee Ogle-Kellogg. Harris threw to his backs more frequently last week, in part because of pressure. Brady and McCormick each caught five passes out of the backfield.
UTSA’s rebuilt its offensive line from last season when the unit was a liability. New starting center Ahofitu Maka seemed to influence the rushing game as UTSA ran for 284 yards, their best rushing day in nearly two seasons. The rushing game will be key and Harris’ contribution to it as well. Baylor has to factor for his legs as much as his arm.
The UTSA line will have its hands full with a bigger defensive line from Baylor, led by James Lynch and Bravion Roy. The Baylor linebackers are athletic and versatile as DC Phil Snow moved to an odd-man front in 2019. Clay Johnston is a tackling machine. Raleigh Texada and Grayland Arnold lead the secondary.
When Baylor Has the Ball
The Bears dominated SFA last week thanks to their rushing attack. Rhule’s program is built on their ability to play physical at the line of scrimmage and run the ball. Last season we saw that plan at times, this season with a physical offensive line, the Bears hope to implement Rhule’s vision more consistently.
Charlie Brewer is back to run the BU offense. He’s efficient as always for the Bears, completing 21 of 31 passes last week. Baylor uses a three-headed monster at running back with John Lovett, JaMycal Hasty, and Tristan Ebner. Last week the Bears rushed for 7.2 yards per carry. Denzel Mims returns at receiver where he’s one of the better pass catchers in the Big 12.
The strength of UTSA’s defense is it’s front. Lorenzo Dantzler had two sacks last week against UIW, and Jaylon Haynes added another tackle for loss. The Roadrunners start two new linebackers in LaDarian McFarland and Andrew Martel. Martel moves to linebacker from safety.
Last week UTSA held Incarnate Word to just 28 yards rushing in the Roadrunner’s victory.