After a 54-0 shutout of Lamar last week, the University of Texas at San Antonio Roadrunners aim to remain undefeated as they begin their Conference USA schedule against the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders on Saturday at the Alamodome.
Kickoff is set for 5 p.m. The Blue Raiders (1-1), who finished fifth last season in the Conference USA East division, are coming off a 35-14 loss at 15th-ranked Virginia Tech last week.
The Roadrunners lead the series 2-1, with last season’s game resulting in a 37-35 victory for UTSA after Middle Tennessee failed to convert a late-game two-point attempt that would have sent the contest into overtime.
UTSA Head Coach Jeff Traylor called the Blue Raiders a well-coached, disciplined team.
“Their head coach has been there for long time,” Traylor said. “[Rick] Stockstill does a great job. Those kids really believe in him. They play hard for him. He’s a no-nonsense guy, tough guy.”
Middle Tennessee has a “lot of starters back on both sides of the ball, so we will have our hands full,” Traylor said. “This will be the best opponent that we have played so far this year.”
For the second week in a row, a UTSA player has earned a Conference USA weekly award, with senior wideout Sheldon Jones receiving the Special Teams Player of the Week honor. He put UTSA’s first points on the board against Lamar by returning a punt 76-yards for a touchdown just 3 minutes into the game.
“That was a really big play,” said Traylor.
The defense also had a strong performance, holding Lamar to just 122 yards of total offense and returning a fumble for a touchdown.
The Roadrunners hope to build on this as they get ready to play Middle Tennessee, which is led by junior quarterback Bailey Hockman. He completed 19 of 32 passes for 207 yards with a touchdown and an interception against Virginia Tech.
“We have a good team, and we know the importance of this game,” Stockstill said, “and it doesn’t matter if we match up… we’re gonna be ready to play this game and get after it and try to get back in the win column, so that’s all our focus.”