Bye Week Round Up
That was a fast three weeks, huh? UTSA’s season has gone as well or better than reasonable fans could have expected after stomping Houston in the Third Ward, narrowly losing to Arizona at home, and then taking a beating from Oklahoma State in Stillwater. While the Roadrunners have looked pretty solid, especially on defense, they’re going to have to improve throughout the season to pull off their first conference championship as CUSA has looked much tougher than anticipated. Let’s touch on a few observations and accolades through three weeks of the season.
Offensive MVP: David Morgan
The huge, athletic tight end has finally shown the nation why Roadrunner fans have been so high on the Marble Falls product despite a string of unfortunate injuries. Morgan leads the team with 142 receiving yards and has caught UTSA’s only touchdown pass this season. Hopefully the coaching staff will continue to target Morgan throughout the duration of the season.
Defensive MVP: Jason Neill
A tougher decision than for the offense but Neill has looked like a future NFL draft pick this season. Returning from a severe knee injury suffered against New Mexico last season, Neill is fourth on the team with 15 tackles and has already racked up 4.5 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, and 2 quarterback hits. If Neill was able to put up those numbers against the three best teams on UTSA’s schedule I’m looking forward to seeing what he can do against lesser teams.
Special teams shout out: Kristian Stern
I knew Stern had been great this season but didn’t realize how excellent he had been until I dove into the numbers. Stern has averaged 42.2 yards on his 25 punts, featuring a career long of 69 yards. Stern has been able to pin the opposition against a long field with eight punts being downed inside the 20 yard line. With 14 fair catches called and 4 punts for over 50 yards, Stern has seriously kicked ass this year.
Surprise tough game on the schedule: Louisiana Tech
Smart football fans knew LA Tech was going to be greatly improved this season but I don’t think anyone imagined them being this good. On the back of a handful of Power Five transfers, LA Tech has drilled Sunbelt favorite ULL and UNT in their past two games. UTSA will travel to Ruston this season in what should be a dogfight. The good news is that UNT has looked pretty awful this season so I guess the two even out.
Most impressive freshman: Marcus Davenport
Kerry Thomas or Nate Gaines could have gotten the nod here but I really like what Davenport has brought to the pass rush. The 6’6″ defensive end has already seen a ton of snaps this year and has turned the opportunity into four tackles and a sack. Davenport should be a huge factor on the defensive line moving forward.
The Bogie Man Cometh
The Bogenschutz Era started a little bit earlier than expected after Tucker Carter went down against Oklahoma State. Bogie looked damn sharp playing against a Big XII opponent and created some big plays with his arm and feet. Bogenschutz came in to back up Carter before Austin Robinson did, a pretty clear indication of who’s in the lead to start under center in 2015. Now that Bogie’s redshirt has been burned, it’s likely that he continues to see playing time throughout the season even if Carter maintains his position as QB1. The bigger question in my mind is what will the staff do with Austin Robinson? With his size and mobility, Robinson still brings value to the offense as a package player but if Bogie ends up becoming the starter then UTSA won’t need to substitute to get a run threat on offense. Some fans have suggested Robinson move to wide receiver where he could certainly be a playmaker. I think the idea is tantalizing but if UTSA elects to transition him out wide then the Roadrunners will have true freshmen as second and third string quarterbacks in 2015.
Speaking of, here is my prediction at the 2015 starting 22:
QB: Blake Bogenschutz
RB: Jarveon Williams / D’Anthony Hopkins
WR: Kerry Thomas / Aaron Grubb / Kenny Bias
OL: Jordan Gray / Cody Cole / Will Cavanaugh / Kyle McKinney / Reed Darragh
TE: David Morgan
DL: Jason Neill / Codie Brooks / Brian Price / Kennedy Ubabuike
LB: Drew Douglas / Marcos Curry
CB: Bennett Okotcha / Trevor Baker
FS: Nate Gaines
SS: Austin Jupe
Dawg: Chase Dahlquist
Defense sounds pretty good, huh?
Predict it out:
W @ FAU: The Owls looked miserable against Nebraska and Alabama but destroyed Tulsa. It’s hard to get a read on this team because they have talent in D’Joun Smith, Jaquez Johnson, and Lucky Whitehead.
W vs UNM: New Mexico has been turrrrible this year as the Lobos have given up an average of 45 points per game. Easy win for the Roadrunners and the young guys get plenty of snaps.
W vs FIU: lol
W @ LA Tech: I have the Roadrunners winning this one in a very tight affair after UTSA’s defensive line wears down the Bulldogs offensive line and Cody Sokol.
W vs UTEP: The Miners have improved greatly under Sean Kugler this season but the Roadrunners should be able to handle the Aaron Jones show.
W @ Rice: Woah, a six game win streak! UTSA finally gets their first win against Rice after losses in 2012 and 2013.
W vs Southern Miss: I think USM will improve throughout the season so this game might not be the laugher that it would be if these two teams met up today.
L @ WKU: All good things must come to an end and a seven game win streak is certainly a good thing. Brandon Doughty has been unbelievable this season. The ‘Toppers fast tempo and athletic receivers will have UTSA struggling to match WKU’s scoring rate.
W vs UNT: Dan McCarney finally wised up and named Dajon Williams the starter but I still don’t think that offense can keep the Mean Green in games for four quarters.
So there you have it. A 9-3 record heading into a conference championship match up. Roadrunner fans should be rooting against Marshall. Just one loss in the Eastern Division should be enough to let the Roadrunners host the championship in the Alamodome in front of over 45,000.
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