Baseball CUSA Tournament RunUTSA Baseball made another run in the a Conference Tournament. The winners of the WAC tournament the prior season, Head Coach Jason Marshall had his team dialed in for the CUSA tourney in late March. The 'Runners entered the post season as the seventh seed and made it all the way to the championship game before falling to Rice. In the past two seasons, UTSA Baseball has played very well when it matters. It will be fun to watch the team compete in a very good Conference USA with a very difficult and exciting non-conference schedule that begins this February.
2014 Recruiting ClassIn February, UTSA announced their 2014 recruiting class consisting of 16 players. Because UTSA was maxed out on scholarships, they were only about to sign a limited number of players. Four of the players ended up grey-shirting while five players would see playing time as true freshman in 2014. Those players were QB Blake Bogenschutz, DE Marcus Davenport, CB Stanley Dye, S Nate Gaines, and WR Kerry Thomas. By far the 2014 recruiting class was the most talented group top to bottom. In the coming weeks, we'll see the 2015 recruiting class come together. UTSA will likely over-sign. Based on shear numbers and the quality of prospects coming in, this 2015 recruiting class will likely be even more talented that what we saw in the 2014 class.
Larry Coker ContractBack in August, the UT Board of Regents approved Head Football Coach Larry Coker's brand new contract. The terms of the contract means that Coker will be UTSA's head man through 2018. More than just ensuring there is a quality coach on the sidelines, the move provides stability in an ever-growing program. Should Coker coach through his contract term, he would have coached at UTSA for 8 seasons, which is important to a young program that continues to build.
Three QBsThe week of the season-opening game, Larry Coker and offensive coordinator Kevin Brown announced that they would potentially play three quarterbacks in the game at Houston and throughout the season. At the time it sounded like a bit of coach-speak but as the season progressed, the statements came to fruition as we saw QB's Tucker Carter and Austin Robinson early in the season. At Oklahoma State, an injury to Carter gave Blake Bogenschutz an opportunity to play. Bogenschutz would suffer a season-ending injury in his first career start vs FIU and Robinson and Carter would see most of the snaps the rest of the season. Completely obliterated by injuries at this position, we even saw fourth-string walk-on Dalton Strum in the WKU game late in the season. The lack of stability due to all of the injuries at the QB position was a major theme of the football season. With Bogenschutz likely penciled in as the starter in 2015, it will be interesting to see the battle for #2 and #3 as there may be multiple QBs used next season as well.
Season-Opening Win at HoustonThe stars aligned for one night in Houston as UTSA used a timely defensive effort, forced turnovers, and gritty offense production to down the Cougars in the season-opening game. More than just another non-conference win, this game meant a little more. Houston was opening their brand new stadium. The game was moved to a Friday night to accommodate national television. And the Cougars had beat UTSA handily in 2013 in the Alamodome. All signs pointed to an uphill battle for the 'Runners. But when the time came, it would be the 'Runners who would be celebrating in a nearly emptying stadium, sans the several thousand UTSA fans dressed in orange and blue. All things considered in how the way the season would turn out, this win at Houston is probably the biggest in program history.
Arizona on the RopesIn what was one of the most electric atmosphere's I've ever been apart of during my time following the orange and blue, UTSA gave Arizona everything they could handle and more in the home-opener on national television. The Wildcats, who would go on to become one of the top-ranked teams in the nation later on in the season, were on their heels late. With two minutes to play and Arizona holding a 26-23 lead, UTSA looked to engineer a game-winning drive that would become the signature win in the Larry Coker Era. On an ad-lib play at his own 31 yard, QB Tucker Carter would scramble and try to flip a soft pass over the Arizona defensive back. I happened to be on the field standing right in front of the play. As soon as Carter let the ball go, you could tell he wanted it back. DB Jared Tervis intercepted the ball to secure the win for the Wildcats. After falling behind 10-0 very quickly in the first half, the 'Runners battled back. In the second quarter with the crowd already very loud following a Kam Jones touchdown on a jet sweep, the Hard Hat Defense whipped the crowd into an even bigger frenzy by forcing a sack in the endzone. The safety gave UTSA a 16-13 lead. That moment in the game may have been the loudest I've ever heard the Alamodome. Although UTSA would fall, they showcased themselves very well on a national stage.
Basketball Beats Texas StateAfter taking a few years off, UTSA Basketball renewed the I-35 Rivalry with long-time foe Texas State in November. All the Roadrunners did was come from behind from double-digits to win a very exciting game. In his first action, freshman guard Christian Wilson punctuated the comeback with a posterizing slam dunk that sent the crowd into a fury. UTSA and Texas State have a long history of playing each other in many sports. The two schools agreed have agreed to play each other in the coming seasons in both basketball and football. As the games and teams get more competitive, it will be fun to see the atmosphere at each of these contests continue to get better and better. Typically, UTSA vs Texas State has been a premier game to attend by both fan bases. That should grow in the coming years.
Thank you for following us in 2014. Happy New Year and best wishes for 2015.