2012 WAC Football Conference Preview: Texas-San Antonio Roadrunners
2011 Record: (4-6, in Independents)
Head Coach: Larry Coker
OFF. COORDINATOR: Kevin Brown
DEF. COORDINATOR: Neal Neathery
The UTSA offense was very proficient and balanced in 2011. Junior quarterback Eric Soza passed for 2,148 yeards, 14 touchdowns and nine interceptions in ten games. He returns this season and so does a deep receiving corps that produced three different receivers with 28 catches or more – Kam Jones, Brandon Freeman and slot man Kenny Harrision. Redshirt freshmen Sean Hesler and Kenny Bias have high expectations.
Not only will the passing game be solid for Coach Coker’s team, but the ground game should be a strength in 2012. Coker and his assistants spent a good amount of time last fall trying to figure out which of their young rushers was ready to carry a heavy load. None stood out. Blocking running back Evans Okotcha turned into a strong threat, averaging 6.5 yards per carry, while freshmen David Glasco II, Brandon Armstrong and Tevin Williams had their moments. The three combined carried the ball 93 times for 413 yards. UTSA will have another option due to Georgia Tech transfer Marcus Wright.
Seven linemen with experience return for the Roadrunners: six sophomores, including tackles Drew Phillips, Scott Inskeep and center Nate Leonard who started all 10 games last year. The projected starting line is a bit undersized – 6-foot-4, 277 pounds.
Last season, the Roadrunners debuted with a speed-based 4-2-5 attack. They allowed fewer big plays and made less stops behind the line of scrimmage. Marlon Smith was a force up front with 8 sacks and seven pass break-ups. Linebacker Brandon Reeves had 8.5 tackles for loss along with six sacks, and strong safety Nic Johnston had nine tackles for loss including 2 forced fumbles. Johnston is a favorite to become UTSA’s first all-conference performer.
The Roadrunners may lack size on offense but on defense it won’t be a problem. Defensive tackles Richard Burge (6-foot-4, 270 pounds), Ashaad Mabry (6’3, 290 pounds) and Ferington Macon (6’0, 290 pounds) stand up well next to other DT’s in the WAC. If they can hold their own, the linebackers should be able to fly around and make plays. The focus for Coach Coker and defensive coordinator Neal Nethery has been on getting as much speed on the field as possible. Speed matters a lot, but so does size. UTSA has both.
Schedule: Texas-San Antonio Roadrunners
2012 Prediction: 4 – 8