The University of Texas at San Antonio has come to play this year. Much like the roadrunner bird, it can move effectively through the air or on the ground, creating magic in the C-USA for the last two years before moving into the American Athletic Conference.
Can it replicate that kind of greatness in a bigger conference such as the AAC? We attack that question and invite you this week to keep up with the best coverage of the AAC available by following us at FanBuzz.com.
Jeff Traylor Leads the Way
If UTSA head coach Jeff Traylor has anything to say about it, UTSA will steamroll the AAC the first year they're in it. Traylor was 22-2 in C-USA games, with a 30-10 record overall, and the Roadrunners snagged the C-USA title in the last two years.
This is in no small part thanks to Traylor. He turned the team around when he arrived in 2020; the Roadrunners went from a 4-8 record in 2019 to taking the title in 2021 and 2022, winning 11 out of 14 games this past season. With Traylor at the helm, you can't go wrong.
He is also maintaining continuity in the coaching staff. If it's not broken, don't fix it, right? Justin Burke has been promoted to offensive coordinator and tight ends coach permanently. Jess Loepp is continuing his role as defensive coordinator.
The Roadrunner Who Will Catch Our Eye
Trey Moore played three games in 2021, but it wasn't until last season that he ran his way into becoming a Texas household name. There's no telling how far Moore can fly in the outside linebacker position. Keep your eye on No. 31 — he will be the one to kill it.
Transfer Portal Wins and Losses
The transfer portal giveth, and the transfer portal taketh away.
This year, it feels as if it emphasized the latter. UTSA's top receiver, Zakhari Franklin, left to go to Ole Miss. Jared Sackett is back in the portal for the fourth time in his college career, leaving the Roadrunners without a solid kicker. Some of the biggest losses were to the NFL (there are worse things) and graduation. It's hard to blame the portal for that. Despite the transition, the Roadrunners remain strong on both sides of the ball. You can't keep UTSA down.
Toughest Game on the Schedule
UTSA has a few tough opponents, but its schedule feels like a recipe for success in general. Tulane will likely give the Roadrunners the biggest run for their money on Nov. 25. UTSA is the toughest game on a lot of other teams' schedules, but not vice versa.
My Predictions and Projections
I'll make more predictions and try not to project too much onto people. In my crystal ball, I see a win-loss ratio similar to last year's. A double-digit win season is almost certainly in the team's future.
Tulane, Tennessee, Houston and North Texas could put a little extra heat on the Roadrunners, but they're ready for the challenge. Going 12-2 for both the conference and overall does not seem out of the realm of possibility. They made it to the Cure Bowl last year, and they'll probably be in a similar position this year.
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