2013 UTSA Superlatives
Jared – No question this is Eric Soza. Outside of a rough patch in the middle of the season, Soza was accurate and intelligent both in the passing game and on the ground. Eric’s ability to progress through reads and quickly get the ball out helps his recruiting corps shine and keeps pressure off of the offensive line. While we all know Soza’s limits, his impact on the offense will not be easily replaced. Best of luck to Eric tonight as he will be honored as a Campbell award finalist.
Matty – Eric Soza. Numbers aren’t stellar, but most of the things he does for this team don’t show up on a stat sheet. Leadership and intangibles are through the roof. A true UTSA legend.
Eric Soza 2013 statistics: 62.6%, 2719 yards, 12 TD, 11 INT (Rushing) 369 yards, 7 TD
Jared – A little bit of a tougher call here than for the offensive side of the ball but I’m rolling with Ashaad Mabry. The 6’3″, 315 pound junior was unblockable in 2013, consistently shedding double-team blocks. At 315 pounds, Mabry was able to pursue sideline to sideline and apply constant pressure up the middle of the passing pocket. I think Arizona was the only team that was able to run up the “A” gap against UTSA and Mabry is the biggest reason for that. Mabry’s strength and fundamental finesse played an instrumental part in Kurfeh’s and Douglas’ success this season as Mabry was able to ensure that offensive linemen were not able to release to the second level to seal off linebackers. While Ashaad was just an honorable mention in Conference USA this season, I guarantee you that NFL scouts took notice of his play.
Ashaad Mabry 2013 statistics: 41 tackles, 2.5 TFL, .5 sacks
Matty – Steven Kurfehs. Again, he doesn’t put up huge numbers, but the defense got better as he got healthier. A three-down linebacker that played with speed from sideline to sideline. I could argue all day that he was the best defender in CUSA down the stretch.
Steven Kurfehs 2013 statistics: 82 tackles, 6 TFL, 3 sacks, 3 PBU, 3 passes defended, 3 QB hurries, 1 fumble recovery, 2 forced fumbles
Jared – Not many to choose from here but William Cavanaugh is a fine recipient. The burly sophomore moved from backup center to starting guard for the UTEP game and never let his grasp on the spot go. Cavanaugh is a guy that most fans weren’t expecting too much out of since he stands at just 6’1″ and wasn’t recruited very hotly out of high school. Today Will looks to be a three-year starter in Conference USA. I think this says a lot about the value of enrolling early in college, especially for linemen. Those few extra months in the weightroom can’t be replaced.
Matty – William Cavanaugh. Maybe it’s coincidence, but the running game went more towards a smash mouth, one cut style after he cracked the starting lineup. Moving him from center to guard was a masterstroke by the coaches.
Jared – Very tough competition here. Robert Singletary, Codie Brooks, Brian Price, Drew Douglas, and Mike Egwuagu all deserve some love but none had an impact on the defense as much as Bennett Okotcha. The Oklahoma transfer helped to turn around the weakest position unit on this UTSA squad with his size, speed, and swagger. Two more years of Bennett is definitely something for Runner fans to look forward to.
Matty- Bennett Okotcha. Had his struggles after coming back from a suspension, but his play the last half of the season was a true difference maker for this team. His ability to handle WRs on an island allowed the secondary to shade the other side of the field. That was huge.
Bennett Okotcha 2013 statistics: 29 tackles, 1 interception, 10 PBU, 11 passes defended.
Surprise Player of the Year
Jared – I think I’m on record somewhere saying that Price sucked and was an awful signing. LOL. Price was a haus on the defensive line and was much quicker off the line than I could have ever imagined. Price was in fact an excellent signing as he still has three years to play two, further proving how savvy this staff is when it comes to player evaluation.
Matty – Brian Price. I was pretty vocal in labeling him nothing more than a big body after he committed. Boy was I wrong. He flashed the ability to get into the backfield as soon as spring practice started. Plugged immediately into our 2 deep at DT, and more than held his own in CUSA. We have him for 2 more seasons.
Brian Price 2013 statistics: 25 tackles, 1 TFL, 4 QB hurries.
Fighting Heart Award
Jared – Going with my boy Evans Okotcha here. Evans clearly played through injuries all season long after failing to follow up on a tremendous junior campaign. Okotcha ramped things up in the last two games of the season after starting tailback David Glasco went down with a foot injury. Evans is another guy that was instrumental in building this program.
Matty – Evans Okotcha. Dude wasn’t healthy for most of the season, but when David Glasco went down Evans went to work. Watching him battle UNT in the bitter cold for over 100 yards against what was considered at the time the best front seven in the league was inspiring.
Evans Okotcha 2013 statistics: 386 yards, 4.2 YPC, 2 TD (Receiving) 148 yards, 11.4 YPC, 1 TD
Jared – Cody Harris. The converted guard is crucial to this offense at left tackle but rarely gets much love from fans and writers who tend to focus on Nate Leonard and Scott Inskeep. Harris very rarely makes mental mistakes and does a good job of locking up defenders. Can you imagine this offensive line without Harris holding down Soza’s blind side?
Matty – Ferrington Macon. Ashaad Mabry and Richard Burge are both all conference type players in the trenches. Did you ever notice when Macon was in the game spelling one of them? I didn’t, and that’s a GREAT thing. Macon has turned himself into a real deal CUSA defensive tackle.
Ferrington Macon 2013 statistics: 14 tackles, .5 TFL
Jared – Crosby Adams is the clear winner here, though David Glasco is in the running. Adams is an undersized cornerback that spent his summer training with some of the best college athletes in San Antonio to better himself. After upping his athletic ability all he needed to do was heed advice from new cornerbacks coach Jeff Popovich to hold down a starting spot at cornerback.
Matty – Night and day from last year. Technique was noticeably improved. That is a testament to how good of a coach Pop is. That wasn’t all though. He played with a swagger and physicality we didn’t see last season. Too small to really be a shut down type, but he more than held his own opposite Bennett.
Crosby Adams 2013 statistics: 36 tackles, 1 INT, 8 PBU, 9 passes defended, 2 fumble recoveries.
Play of the Year
Jared – I’ve changed my mind on this one three times this week but I keep coming back to Kam Jones’ 84 yard jet sweep against Tulsa. This play sealed the win for the Roadrunners and was UTSA’s longest play from scrimmage ever. Brandon Freeman laid a thunderous crack block on a Tulsa defender and Glasco made a dramatic dive to a defender’s feet to spring Kam for paydirt. Just beautiful football and a play that sums up what this offense is all about.
Matty – Bennett’s interception in the end zone against North Texas. Biggest play in the biggest win in program history.
Most Memorable Moment
Jared – The 99 yard drive against UNM. Coker letting his balls hang. Kenny Bias dragging Kam up the field for an extra ten yards. Soza having the awareness to get the ball off millimeters from the line of scrimmage. Glasco catching the touchdown. UTSA winning. UNM giving us a fireworks show after the game. Stuff of legend.
Matty – Ripping Hearts Out and Removing Spirit. You had to be there.
Disagree with any of our votes? Drop us a line in the comment section
A UTSA alumnus that has been cast away to Austin, Jared enjoys live music and a craft beer. He thinks four verts is the best play in football but loves a QB sneak on fourth and inches. Twitter