UTSA may be the toughest opponent that Arizona will face in the non-conference slate. The Roadrunners opened the season on the road in Houston and came away with a 27-7 upset victory over the Cougars.
They were able to do it with help from a tremendous effort from the defense, but it was the offense that helped the Roadrunners pull away.
Heading into the game, it looked like UTSA would play more than one quarterback, but with the chips on the table redshirt senior Tucker Carter was the only signal caller that saw action for the Roadrunners.
Carter threw for 121 yards, completing 15 of his 24 passes on the day. It doesn't seem like much, but the senior gathered his composure towards the end of the first half and led a 54-yard, 53-second scoring drive that put UTSA up 14-0 going into the locker room.
The second half starred the Roadrunner's other offensive threat, senior David Glasco II. The running back powered his way down the field alongside fellow running back Jarveon Williams before punching into the end zone for a decisive touchdown.
Glasco finished the day with 81 yards on 25 carries and was able to hit pay dirt twice. It was an increase in the amount of carries he was given when compared to his performance against Arizona last season, when he carried the ball 10 times for 70 yards and a score.
Glasco's running mate, Williams, finished the game with 54 yards rushing on 12 carries. It was his debut for the Roadrunners and it was memorable as he was able to score on an 11-yard run in the third quarter.
The running game was certainly the better piece in the opener for UTSA, but the passing game can be potent as well. The Roadrunners return star receiver Kam Jones, who caught four balls for just 17 yards in the opener.
Last season, Jones was contained by the Wildcats, catching four balls for just 28 yards, but he is certainly talented.
Jones is joined by seniors Marcellus Mack and Seth Grubb. Both players caught a handful of balls in the matchup with Arizona last year. In the opener, Mack caught three balls for 37 yards and Grubb caught just one pass for 34 yards.
On paper, UTSA's offense doesn't have the same firepower that Arizona does. The difference will be how well Arizona can adjust to being on the road and if the front seven can shut down the run game for the Roadrunners.
Players to watch:
Keys to the Game:
Stop the run: It is no secret that UTSA will likely try to run the ball and extend drives to handle Arizona's quick pace. If the Wildcats can bottle up the two running backs, it would put them in a favorable position.
Pressure Carter: Arizona was only able to get one sack in the first game and wasn't able to get quite as much pressure on the quarterback as it wanted to. If Carter gets hit once or twice early, that pocket could look awfully small late in the game.
Win field position: Arizona started with awful field position for most of the game on Friday. The Wildcats will need to try and get some three and outs, as well as some turnovers, to give the offense a better chance at scoring on Thursday.