The University of Texas at San Antonio Roadrunners hope to keep the momentum going from their season-opening win over Illinois last week as they play host to Lamar University in their home opener Saturday at the Alamodome.
The Roadrunners are coming off a 37-30 victory at Illinois in which the offense put up 497 yards, and placekicker Hunter Duplessis was named the Conference USA special teams player of the week after making three field goals and converting all four extra-point attempts.
“UTSA is very well-coached, really an older team, so we’ll have our hands full,” Lamar Coach Blane Morgan said.
Lamar is fresh off a 47-3 victory in Beaumont over North American University in which quarterback Jalen Dummett threw for 124 yards and two touchdowns. The Cardinals held North American to a combined 138 yards of total offense.
It’s the first meeting between UTSA and Lamar, which is playing its first season in the Western Athletic Conference.
“Offensively, they are so different,” UTSA Coach Jeff Traylor said of the Cardinals. “They look like Army in running an option, so you’re going to have to defend the midline trap. We just don’t do that very much anymore. … That always has you concerned when you see someone who plays differently.”
Traylor has preached physicality to his team and during preseason practices started the “Triangle of Toughness,” in which a player must earn the ability to wear a single-digit number by showing mental and physical tenacity.
“The Triangle [of Toughness] traveled, and that is why we were in the ball game [against Illinois],” Traylor said earlier this week. “It was no fluke. We played the way we always play. We showed up.”
The Roadrunners will continue to rely on quarterback Frank Harris, who had a quarterback passer rating of 146.3 against Illinois, completing 20 of 32 passes for 280 yards and a touchdown. He also ran for a touchdown.
UTSA also hopes to utilize the running game again this week with Sincere McCormick, who ran for 117 yards on 31 carries against the Illini, and Brenden Brady, who ran for two touchdowns.
The Roadrunners have a 6-4 record in their home openers, having won the last two season-opening games at the Alamodome.
The game will be played after a week in which controversy erupted over the football program’s use of the “Come and Take It” emblem, used prominently in its new athletics facility and at home games, where a giant blue-and-orange flag of that design had been unfurled across the student section before the fourth quarter. UTSA President Taylor Eighmy announced the school was ending the tradition and distancing itself from the “Come and Take It” motto because it had “increasingly become incongruent with UTSA Athletics and our institution’s mission and core values.”
The decision was criticized by many fans, some of whom pledged to bring their own flags to Saturday’s game.
Traylor said his message to his team was to focus on the game rather than the debate over the flag.
“Control what you can control,” he said. “We have no control over the situation whatsoever.”
At the Alamodome, full capacity will be permitted this season, along with tailgating. Kickoff is scheduled for 5 p.m. Click here for single game tickets.