Coming off the best season in program history, the UTSA Roadrunners open the 2022 season against the Houston Cougars, ranked No. 24 in the Associated Press preseason poll. At their first season opener at home since 2019, the Roadrunners will reveal their 2021 Conference USA championship banner, which will hang from the Alamodome’s rafters. The Roadrunners are facing a ranked opponent for the 10th time in program history and are 0-9 in those games.

UTSA Roadrunners (0-0) vs. No. 24 University of Houston (0-0):

Location: Alamodome
Kickoff: 2:30 p.m.
How to watch: CBS Sports Network

Last season: 

UTSA started the season 11-0, including a road win at Illinois in the season opener and the largest comeback in program history at Memphis last September. The Roadrunners won the Conference USA West Division for the first time in program history and then won their first conference championship on Dec. 3. UTSA played in the Frisco Bowl, losing to San Diego State to finish the season 12-2. It was UTSA’s first season with 12 wins in program history.

Houston lost its season opener to Texas Tech and then reeled off 11 straight victories. The Cougars lost the American Athletic Conference championship to Cincinnati but beat Auburn in the Birmingham Bowl to end up 12-2. It was the third time in program history that Houston finished a season with 12 wins or more. 

What they’re saying:

UTSA Head Coach Jeff Traylor on opening the season at home: “The excitement level is very high in the building, and we have a great opportunity on Saturday.” 

​​Houston Head Coach Dana Holgerson on playing UTSA: “When you look at our opponent, that should give you a lot of motivation. Coach Traylor has done a great job there. They are a lot like us in that they lost some really good players but have a lot of good players coming back.”

Key stats:

In a 2014 matchup with Houston, UTSA set a school record for fewest rushing yards allowed. On that night the Roadrunners held the Cougar offense to minus-26 yards rushing. That game is one of nine wins for UTSA in season openers. The Roadrunners are 9-2 all-time in season openers and 7-4 in home openers. UTSA has won its last three sseason openers and last three home openers.

The Cougars scored 59 points in their last trip to the Alamodome in 2013. That remains the most points given up by a UTSA football team in its history. Houston has split its two previous meetings with the Roadrunners. The teams were scheduled to open the 2017 season at the Alamodome, but the game was canceled because of Hurricane Harvey. The Cougars, who have been playing football since 1946, are 40-34-2 all-time in season openers and 26-47-3 in road openers. Houston has gone 1-2 in its last three season openers.

Players to watch:

UTSA quarterback Frank Harris returns after a 2021 season in which he completed 263 of 398 pass attempts for 3,177 yards and 27 touchdowns against just six interceptions thrown. Harris also ran for 566 yards and six touchdowns on 109 carries.

Houston quarterback Clayton Tune is also back after a successful 2021 season. Tune completed 287 of 420 pass attempts for 3,550 yards and 30 touchdowns with 10 interceptions. Tune ran for 154 yards on 105 carries, scoring two touchdowns.

Stephen Whitaker has been covering UTSA athletics since the fall of 2008. He is a 2013 graduate of UTSA.