As undefeated University of Texas at San Antonio rolls through its historic season, the Roadrunners broke into the College Football Playoff rankings last week at No. 23. On Saturday, they return to the Alamodome for the first time since Oct. 16 to meet Southern Mississippi, the last-place team in Conference USA West under first-year Coach Will Hall. The Roadrunners inched up to No. 15 in the Associated Press Top 25 poll and are 16th in the USA Today coaches poll.
UTSA Roadrunners (9-0, 5-0 conference) vs. Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles (1-8, 0-5):
Kickoff: 2:30 p.m.
How to watch: ESPN+
UTSA traveled to El Paso for a nationally televised contest with the University of Texas-El Paso and came away with a 44-23 win. Quarterback Frank Harris threw for two touchdowns and ran for two more.
Southern Mississippi dropped its seventh straight game last week, giving up 38 unanswered points at home to the University of North Texas in a 38-14 loss.
What they’re saying:
UTSA Head Coach Jeff Traylor: “[I] wake up every day just trying to keep it going, and I know what keeps it going: players practicing really hard with a purpose. … Everybody wants to win, but very few people want to do what it takes to win.”
Southern Mississippi Head Coach Will Hall: “We’ve got three more weeks in this season to finish it the right way, and we’re working on doing that.”
With nine wins, UTSA has earned the most wins in the program’s 11-year history. The Roadrunners are among only four undefeated Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) teams and have won 12 of their last 13 games dating back to last season. They’re 9-1 at the Alamodome under Traylor. The Roadrunners rank third in the nation in rushing defense, allowing only 84.7 yards per game, and are ninth in points per game, averaging almost 40.
Southern Miss has given up more than 30 points and 367 yards per game this season. In the Golden Eagles’ eight defeats, they have lost by an average of 23.3 points, including a 34-0 beating at home by the University of Alabama at Birmingham Oct. 13. Southern Miss has won four of seven meetings with the Roadrunners.
Players to watch:
Running back Sincere McCormick posted his seventh 100-yard rushing performance this season against UTEP, rolling up 169 yards and surpassing the 1,000-yard mark for the second consecutive season. Quarterback Frank Harris has 18 touchdowns through the air and has rushed for four more while throwing only three interceptions. He has 2,425 yards of total offense and has been responsible for 138 points, 19th best in the nation.
Running back Frank Gore Jr., son of NFL Pro Bowler Frank Gore, leads the Southern Miss offense with 608 rushing yards, with one touchdown on 142 carries, and has 155 receiving yards. Wide receiver Jason Brownlee is the Golden Eagles’ top receiver with 33 catches for 427 yards and four touchdowns. Defensive back Malik Shorts leads the defense with 76 tackles and two interceptions. Southern Miss has used four quarterbacks this season, with freshman Jake Lange taking the snaps recently.