Pull-back year for Coach Traylor and the Roadrunners


Seva Hester

Jeff Traylor confers with the officials during a game against UNLV last season. Traylor enters year three of his tenure as the head coach of the Roadrunners with an overall record of 19-8, but remains in search of the program’s first ever bowl game victory.

Luke Lawhorn, Assistant Sports Editor

The upcoming football schedule for UTSA has been unveiled and updated as of March 30, and to no one’s surprise, San Antonio fans are excited and calling for an undefeated season. This fall is head coach Jeff Traylor’s third season at UTSA and with each season being better than the last, it is almost expected of the team to win out the schedule and finally take home UTSA’s first bowl game. UTSA has had the best recruiting class in program history and people all over the state of Texas are claiming UTSA to be better than other historic Texas programs, due to the fact that UTSA was the second highest-ranked team from Texas for a week or two in the AP poll during the 2021 season. With all of the great success Traylor has built and given the Roadrunners, fans need to realize that going back-to-back with 10-win seasons is hard. So be prepared, ‘Runners: this season has 9-3 written all over it. 

As of March 31, UTSA’s twelve game schedule is as follows: Sept. 3 vs. University of Houston, Sept. 10 at Army, Sept. 17 at Texas, Sept. 24 vs. Texas Southern, Oct. 1 at Middle Tennessee, Oct. 8 vs. WKU, Oct. 15 vs. FIU, Oct. 22 vs. North Texas, Nov. 5 at UAB, Nov. 12 vs. LA Tech, Nov. 19 at Rice and Nov. 26 vs. UTEP. 

The fall 2021 season was a great fairytale story for the Roadrunners. Being as high as No. 15 in the AP poll and No. 22 in the College Football Playoff poll was great attention for the program and something that’s never been done in UTSA history. Though much success goes to the players and staff, along with adapting and living by the motto, “210 Triangle of Toughness,” things fell into place last year for the ‘Runners. 

UTSA had a much easier schedule last year. They got some exposure to better, out-of-conference games and took care of business. With the Illinois game, UTSA won 37-30, but Illinois was the 11th worst team in the Big 10 conference with only five wins. The Memphis game — which UTSA also won 31-28 — was also fluky in the sense that Memphis was the seventh-best team in the AAC Conference with just six wins. The ‘Runners only played four games against an opponent with a winning record —  two of those games were against WKU and another was their bowl game loss to San Diego State. 

There is no disrespect in saying this team will win less games because of how much tougher this upcoming schedule is. Starting with Houston, the ‘Runners will win, but the Cougars are not to be taken lightly. They were ranked 17 in the CFP poll and finished their season on a high note by beating Auburn in their bowl game. The next week, however, they will lose to Army. It will be a tough away game in that stadium with those fans, and they will not have Sincere McCormick who was seventh in the nation last year in total yards. The two teams played in October 2020, where Army won 28-16, with McCormick leading the game in rushing. Without him dominating in yards and time of possession, Army’s discipline will single-handedly win that game. UTSA will be a big underdog to Texas in Austin the next week and will lose big as well. Back-to-back away games in tough crowds against a more disciplined Army team and more talented Texas team is going to be too much for the Roadrunners to overcome. 

After recouping from those losses, UTSA will win out until Nov. 5, when they travel to Birmingham, Ala., and will more than likely battle it out for the conference title, much like in 2021. Similar to this previous year, the home team will win, and in this case, that is the Blazers. 

Depending on how the rest of Conference USA does, the ‘Runners could still battle to defend their conference title, with two of their predicted losses being in non-conference play. UTSA lost two of their three best players in McCormick and star DB Tariq Woolen, and with little experience for the backups, it will be tough to top 2021’s success. 

The ‘Runners’ past two seasons have shown growth in the program and popularity in the nation, and with that comes a higher level of play. This being UTSA’s toughest schedule yet, there will be bumps in the road. But going 9-3 and hopefully winning a bowl game will still benefit the program and prove to be steps in the right direction.