After two games in the Alamodome that saw the University of Texas at San Antonio improve to 3-0, the Roadrunners are back on the road to face the unbeaten Memphis Tigers on Saturday. This will be the first matchup between the two schools after a scheduled contest in San Antonio was canceled last season due to COVID-19.
UTSA Roadrunners (3-0) at Memphis Tigers (3-0):
Location: Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium
Kickoff: 2:30 p.m. CDT
How to watch: Nationally televised on ESPNU
Memphis is coming off a 31-29 victory over Mississippi State in which the Tigers trailed 17-10 at halftime. UTSA beat Middle Tennessee last week 27-13 at the Alamodome. While the Roadrunners offense committed three turnovers, the defense held Middle Tennessee to 8 rushing yards and 199 yards of total offense.
What they’re saying:
UTSA Head Coach Jeff Traylor: “We’ll be an underdog this week. I understand that. Memphis is very, very good — probably the first team that we’ve played that I think has more team speed than we do. … They’re that fast. They’ve won 17 games in a row at home and just beat an SEC team.”
Memphis Head Coach Ryan Silverfield: “Our focus is 100% focused on a great UTSA team. They’re 3-0. They’re 10th in the country in defense, and they are averaging almost 40 points a game on offense. … They’re playing at a really, really high level and so we understand what kind of game this is.”
UTSA ranks 10th in the nation in total defense, allowing an average of 244.3 yards per game, and is tied for 17th in scoring defense at 14.3 points per game. In their past two matchups, the Roadrunners held their opponents to a combined 321 yards. UTSA is the only unbeaten team in Conference USA.
Memphis has an offense that averages 42.7 points per game, which ranks 16th in the nation. The Tigers rank 19th in total offense, putting up 504.3 yards per game. They haven’t lost at home since Oct. 13, 2018, when they fell to the University of Central Florida 31-30.
Players to watch:
UTSA junior defensive lineman Trumane Bell II was named the Conference USA Defensive Player of the Week following his performance against Middle Tennessee, in which he registered four tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, a pair of sacks, and a forced fumble. Junior wide receiver Zakhari Franklin has had a good start to the season with 22 receptions for 346 yards and two touchdowns. Senior quarterback Frank Harris has completed 57 of 86 passes for 662 yards and three touchdowns.
The Memphis offense is led by freshman running back Brandon Thomas, who has rushed for 421 yards, second in the nation for rushing yards. Freshman quarterback Seth Henigan has thrown eight touchdowns in three games. Henigan’s favorite target is senior wide receiver Calvin Austin III, who is ranked fourth in the nation in receiving yards at 391 yards and has caught six touchdown passes.