UTSA Football Practice Report for 9.23.15
Looking for improvement: Head Coach Larry Coker said Wednesday he thinks the Roadrunners will play better on Saturday: “We’re going to be a better football team Saturday than we have been. We need to be, we’re going to have to be to win the football game.”
Moving on from Oklahoma State: Saturday’s loss to the Cowboys was the worst in program history, but Coach Coker says the team has moved on: “I’m confident they have moved on. It’s time to play another game.”
On Colorado State: The Rams come to San Antonio sporting a 1-3 record. But they’ve lost two overtime games and Coach Coker says they’ll be a challenge: “They can easily be 3-0. They’ve lost a couple but they’re a very good football team.”
CSU good upfront: UTSA defensive coordinator said Wednesday that the Colorado State offensive line is good, very good: “They’re as good upfront as any of the teams we’ve played, or even better. They’re more of a pro-style, they get under center. They’re not fast (pace-wise).
More focus at practice: After starting the season 0-3, several coaches and players have said there has been more attention to detail this. Senior WR Aaron Grubb: “I felt like Tuesday and Wednesday practices have been amazing this week. Hopefully that transitions into the game but I feel like the guys are a lot more focused.”
“Not Just Window Dressing:” Grubb says the players know they have a good team, they just have to play better. “The confidence is still there, the belief is still there that we are a good team. We know we’re a good team, it’s not just window dressing, we know that we are. We’ve just got to start playing like it and stop messing up the little things.
Douglas Back at practice: Starting LB Drew Douglas was back in pads working out on Wednesday. Douglas missed Saturday’s game in Stillwater and did not practice Sunday and Tuesday. But his availability remains questionable: “He practiced today,” said “We’ll see. I hope he does. He’s one of our best linebackers. We need our best players on the field.”
Thin at LB: With the injuries to Drew Douglas and Lakel Bass, UTSA was left thin at LB vs Oklahoma State. DC and LB position Coach Neal Neathery said it was a challenge. “Dalton (Miller) played really well. I enjoyed it, it’s been rewarding to watch. But it has caused me some stress when your preseason all-conference linebacker goes down. Kevin (Garcia) played really well, Marcos (Curry) continues to play very well. You got what you got and do the best you can with it.”
Gaines leads secondary: Sophomore Safety Nate Gaines led UTSA in tackles vs OSU. The DFW-native has shown improvement: “He's playing really well,” said Neathery. “He’s very talented, he’s long, he can really run. For his stature, he’s very physical. He’s a lot like Triston (Wade). We think he’s going to be a great football player. He’s going to be a lot better in November than he was in September.”
Other Injury Updates: Below are updates on the following players:
- Regular starting CB Trevor Baker began working out with the defense this week, according to Coach Neathery. Baker, who was tabbed as a preseason starter, has yet to play in 2015.
- Backup Dawg Safety Chase Dahlquist did not practice on Wednesday. A former starter for UTSA, Dahlquist is officially listed as out indefinitely. Dahlquist has battle post-concussion migraines.
- LB Lakel Bass has not practiced this week. Bass, who has battled several injuries since fall camp, did not travel to Oklahoma State due to injury.
- TE Triston Crossland has not practiced this week. Crossland did not travel to Oklahoma Sate due to injury.
- Starting FB Halen Steward did not practice on Wednesday. Steward, a true freshman, also did not travel to Oklahoma State.
- Backup Rover Safety Duke Wheeler suffered a foot injury in the second half of the Oklahoma State game. Wheeler was in a walking boot over the weekend and on Tuesday. But on Wednesday, the boot was gone although he did not dress in pads or work out.
- S Austin Jupe returned to practice Wednesday after missing Tuesday practice with an unspecified injury.