Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Dawn of a new era for UTSA football

Marylin Terazas

Many questions and possible scenarios lie ahead for the UTSA football program after the Roadrunners’ historic Frisco Bowl victory last December. 

Who will replace the school’s all-time passing leader in quarterback Frank Harris? How does the Roadrunners’ defense look after the loss of two key players in the transfer portal? Getting their first action in front of 8,130 fans since the start of their 15-week spring camp at the Alamodome, the UTSA Football Fiesta Spring Game proved to settle these worries. 

Entering his fourth year as the head coach of UTSA, Jeff Traylor wanted to create a competitive environment for his players to come out and show out. 

“We studied the heck out of how to make this game competitive,” Traylor said. “We studied the data to see how much a touchdown is really worth, what a stop and what a field goal is really worth, we wanted to make it somewhat competitive.” 

  With a possible quarterback battle in the mix for UTSA this coming fall, the Roadrunners’ first-team offense split reps with sophomore quarterback Owen McCown and junior quarterback Eddie Lee Marburger under center. Freshman quarterbacks Brandon Tennison and Jackson Gilkey went out with the younger third and fourth teams. 

“I was proud of how they operated, but I felt bad for them because I blow a very quick whistle,” Traylor said. “I thought all four of them were efficient, even though we were struggling early.” 

The defense made it difficult for any quarterback to look better than the other. The defensive line penetrated the offensive line and got a scoop and score after a mishandled McCown snap. In the secondary, they continued their physical style of play, breaking up screen or trick plays the entire first half. 

“At halftime, I told [the offense], ‘The good news is those defensive guys are on our team,’” Traylor said. “It felt like we were playing the ‘85 Bears.”   

With both Joshua Cephus and Tykee Ogle-Kellogg declaring for the NFL Draft, the wide receiver room will feature several new faces. The recent addition of senior receiver JJ Sparkman should give UTSA fans some relief. The Texas Tech transfer showed veteran experience, catching two contested balls on the sideline. 

“[JJ] is such an amazing human,” Traylor said. “Some of the new guys have really come on the scene, he’s obviously one of those guys.” 

With about a month and a half until the start of fall camp, UTSA will have to keep an eye out on the spring transfer portal, which opens on Tuesday. 

“I’ve not changed on [the transfer portal],” Traylor said. “It is what it is. We lost three really good players, but we picked up 13.” 

UTSA’s home opener will be against Kennesaw State on Aug. 31 at the Alamodome.

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About the Contributor
Nicholas Kingman
Nicholas Kingman, Assistant Opinion Editor
Nicholas is a freshman CAP student who joined The Paisano in Summer 2023. He is a San Antonio Native and is excited to stay home for another year.

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