Senior QB Tucker Carter is the hands down starter. Behind him is where the questions begin. Redshirt freshman Austin Robinson has a special offensive package designed just for him while true freshman Blake Bogenschutz has impressed coaches so far.
All three players are ready to play, but it is not surprising that only Carter saw the brunt of the action. Carter has grown into the team's emotional leader and the team has rallied around him. UTSA would like to be able to redshirt Bogenschutz, but that may depend largely on the play of Carter and how Robinson plays if and when his number is called.
I'd expect Carter to get a majority of the snaps and Robinson to see action in an as-needed basis.
With UTSA spoiling Houston's opener at TDECU Stadium, how big of an upset was the victory for this team heading into the season?
UTSA's 27-7 win over Houston goes down as the biggest win in the program's short history and Larry Coker's signature win with UTSA and while it was an upset in the eyes of many, the team knew it was capable of playing that well.
More than that, the win signaled, on a national stage, that the Roadrunners can beat established programs. Specifically for this season, the win sets up the Roadrunners for bowl eligibility.
In the first three weeks of this season, UTSA will have played three games in the span of 15 days vs Houston, Arizona, and Oklahoma State. That isn't exactly the path of least resistance to a bowl game, so winning early sets up the remainder of the season nicely for the Roadrunners.
UTSA has 37 seniors on the roster. How important is that experience for the Roadrunners heading into this game against Arizona?
It is rare to have that much experience on a team. The high number stems from UTSA being a start up program. A majority of these players have been in the program since its inception.
At the end of the day, it comes down to the execution of plays on game day, but when you look at all of the experience, that helps with that execution so much.
For example, along the offensive and defensive line, it's essentially the same personnel last year and the year before. That kind of continuity is rare in college football these days and certainly provides UTSA an advantage.
What are the main differences between the 2013 Roadrunners and the 2014 Roadrunners?
There are very few differences. The base offense is the same, the base defense is the same and 99% of the personnel is the same. The one difference is starting QB Tucker Carter, who replaced three-year starter Eric Soza.
Carter has a very similar skillset to Soza, but also has a bigger arm. His game experience is minimal, however. Schematically, UTSA is going to stay multiple, specifically on offense. It may look like UTSA is doing different things, but it's all stems out of their base-offense.
Defensively, the only change I'd expect to see is a lot more nickel coverage, especially on third down situations.
With revenge on UTSA's mind after a lopsided loss last season, how do you see the game playing out on Thursday and what is your prediction?
The UTSA offense struggled for the better the entire first half vs Houston in week one. The Roadrunners will not have that luxury as Arizona's fast paced offense will push the tempo. Defensively, the front four are going to get some push, but some of that may be negated by the Wildcats' spread attack.
I believe the game turns into a shootout and stays close late, but in the end, I think the pace favors Arizona. 49-42 Wildcats.