Jeff Traylor, UTSA’s coach, said that the Roadrunners suffered from the pressure of being undefeated as well as being the overwhelming favorite. The Roadrunners won a narrow victory against Southern Miss last week.
Now, the pressure is really on the rise.
UTSA will host UAB, Conference USA champion on Saturday at Alamodome. The Roadrunners’ dream season and the league’s West division title are on the line. No. No.
CLICK HERE TO VIEW MORE SPORTS OVERAGE FROM FOXNEWS.COM
“To be a champ, you’ve got to beat the champs and the champs are coming here Saturday,” Traylor said. “To win a first one is always the most difficult.”
UAB has won the C-USA West title three times in a row and two of its three previous conference championships.
The Roadrunners are now in their 10th season and have already set program records for wins and total points. They are also bowl eligible for the second consecutive season. Only three FBS teams are undefeated: UTSA, Georgia, and Cincinnati.
The Roadrunners haven’t won a conference title or division title, but momentum is building for this matchup.
“They’ve had an unbelievable season,” Blazers coach Bill Clark said. “Coach Traylor’s done an amazing job. This thing is growing.”
UTSA’s only victory against UAB came in 2013, the Roadrunners’ second season and first in C-USA. The Blazers won four straight games with an average 20.3 points, including a 52-3 win in 2018.
Roadrunners receiver Zakhari Benjamin said, “I would rather have that type of pressure than not have any pressure at all.” “It’s a time in my life that I won’t forget, forever.”
To do this, UTSA will need to give a better effort than the one it gave Nov. 13 against Southern Miss. The Roadrunners trailed 17-10 at the end of the third quarter, but were able to rally to win against the Golden Eagles (17-17, 0-6).
“I think our kids feel the burden and the weight of this city and knowing the responsibility they have in getting this program turned around and that shouldn’t be on 18 to 23-year-old men,” Traylor said. “Those kids should have the time of their lives.”
Traylor suggested that UTSA could streamline their game plan and play against UAB faster to relieve the pressure.
The Roadrunners will be relying on an offense that has scored 386 point this season, surpassing the school record of 379 points in 13 games in 2016. Frank Harris, UTSA quarterback, has rushed 1,150 yards and 11 touchdowns. Junior Sincere McCormick also has rushed 1,306 yards and 20 touchdowns.
Clark stated that they are “offensively very dynamic.” “They’ve got the great running back. Now they have a quarterback who can do it all. He can run and he can throw. They are explosive, big up front, big tight end, big receivers.
The Roadrunners average 446.1 yard per game, while the Blazers limit their opponents to 321.3.
“They’re very physical, they’re big, they’re a top 25 defense statistically in every category,” Traylor said. “It’s going to be an absolute whale of a ball game Saturday.”
DON’T EAT THE CHEESE
Preseason polls of media members showed that UTSA finished second to UAB West. UTSA said that the heightened expectations were a warning to not “eat the cheese” or fall into a trap.
Traylor warned Roadrunners not be complacent after their 51-48 win over Texas State on September 12, 2020.
Traylor stated, “It was an entirely different way of questioning back in those days.” “Once Texas State was upset we bought rattraps for everyone. It was a scam.
The Roadrunners adopted the “Don’t eat the cheese” mantra entering this season. Pictures of cheese blocks, mice eating cheese and rat traps are abundant in UTSA’s training facility.
CLOSED FOR THE GAMES
UTSA senior tight end Leroy Watson has become one of the most popular players in the program’s history. He’s funny, selfless — and he can cook: Watson’s wings and cajun chicken alfredo dishes have become huge favorites among UTSA’s players and coaching staff.
Watson laughed and said, “(His co-workers) decided to come over and steal food one of these days.” “They said I should probably try and sell. I decided to sell.
Watson formed an LLC and opened, “Leroy’s Kitchen.” This season, Watson’s business is on hiatus as the Roadrunners seek to win their first C-USA championship.
“They’ve been mad at me,” Watson said. “I haven’t been able to (cook) since we’ve been winning so much, but I’ll probably start doing it next month.”
UAB’s lone C-USA defeat was against Rice, 30-24, in the Blazers’ homecoming game Oct. 23. UTSA defeated Rice 45-0 at the Alamodome in its season’s seventh game.
MAN OF THE PEOPLE
Traylor, as per his tradition before the home games, gave treats to UTSA student this week. After handing out pizza, tacos, and cookies in the past, Traylor handed out slices of pie this week.
Source: Fox News