Grading UTSA through 7 games Presented by Pat Clynes / The Fritz Kennel

It’s the unofficial midway point of the season as UTSA hits their bye week with a 1-6 record. InsideRunnerSports passes out grades at each position. Presented by Pat Clynes and The Fritz Kennel.

OFFENSIVE GRADES

Quarterbacks C (75)
Starting QB Blake Bogenschutz started the season on fire by setting two school records in the season-opener vs Arizona. But since then, the performance at QB has been inconsistent. Bogenschutz has completed just under 60% of his passes. But what stands outs is the multiple turnovers (fumbles and interceptions). Bogenschutz seemed to be finding some rhythm as Conference USA play started but then he suffered a concussion at the end of the UTEP game. Walk-on Sophomore Dalton Sturm played well in the second half in his first start (the Colorado State game) and would finish that with four touchdowns, which tied a school record, but he would struggle mightily vs Southern Miss the following week. With Bogenschutz expect to return following the bye week, this grade should improve by season’s end.

Running Backs B- (80)
Jarveon Williams has been as good as you could expect. This season he’s set multiple school records: most yards in a single game, longest rush from scrimmage, most carries in a single game, and the most yards in a single season. Williams has been a workhorse for UTSA this season. He’s amassed 618 yards on 121 carries with four touchdowns. He’s also caught 8 passes for 59 yards. Williams 5.1 yards per rush leads the team. We’ve also seen his backup Jalen Rhodes show some flashes this season scoring two touchdowns. But Rhodes has only carried the ball 31 times. Opposing defenses have keyed in on UTSA’s run game the last few games and have shut it down. This position has the potential to be an A+ unit by season’s end if they can get some consistency going.

Offensive Line C- (72)
As well as the unit played at the beginning of the season is about how bad things have gone recently for UTSA’s offensive line. The combination of attacking defenses and untimely injuries has really hurt this unit. Starting Center Juan Perez-Isidoro missed the first five game of the season. When he came back, LG Kyle McKinney went down with injury. Then, Perez gets injured again in the Southern Miss game. Depth was an issue for first year O-line coach Mike Markuson before he ran up against these injuries. While some of the issues with the offensive line can be traced to the inexperience at the quarterback position, a lot of it comes down to getting beat in the trenches. With a young talent in the mix, the o-line’s baptismal by fire this first half of the season should only make them stronger by season’s end. 

Tight Ends B (85)
How good has Senior David Morgan been? Twice the Marble Falls-native has tied his own program record for most receptions in a single game. He’s found the endzone four teams and has proven to be one of the best offensive threats UTSA has. On the season Morgan has caught30 passes for 361 yards making him UTSA’s top receiver. Quietly, backup Trevor Stevens has contributed nicely in the run and pass blocking game. We even saw Triston Crossland get in the mix early in the season before being sidelined the last few weeks with injury. Overall, the unit has played well. The added contributions of Stevens and/or Crossland could make this unit an A by the end of the season. 

Wide Receivers B- (80)
JaBryce Taylor, Kerry Thomas, Aaron Grubb, Brady Jones, and Aron Taylor have all stepped up and made plays at the WR position this season. But the overall struggle of the offense has limited the consistency of their production. With the second half of the season likely to see more chances given to this group, they’ll need to step and make plays as there isn’t a reason why this WR group should grade out at an B+ or A- at season’s end. 

Overall Offense C+ (78)
The offense just isn’t clicking as well as it could be. Too many times there have been too many mistakes that cause negative plays. Nearly every turnover UTSA has had has directly turned into points. Combine that with mental lapses such as penalties as well as un-timely injuries at critical positions and the offense only earns a C+ grade overall. The good news is there so much room for improvement and the offense has shown what they are capable of.

DEFENSIVE GRADES

Defensive Line B- (80)
Kevin Strong made it know early that he came to play in 2015. Just after a few games, the Cleveland-native jumped nto the starting lineup and has yet surrender his role. With Brian Price, Jason Neill, and Marcus Davenport, UTSA has a stout starting defensive line. What keeps this unit from earning an A+ is the play of the reserves as well as the line being able to put consistent pressure on opposing QBs. UTSA loves to rotate d-linemen, almost to the point where they have two starting lineups. But we haven’t seen that second unit step up and we haven’t seen a lot of pocket pressure. We a lot of talent in this unit, this unit’s grade should rise by the end of the season.

Linebackers B (85)
Along with the Tight End group, the linebackers earn our highest grade. There’s not a lot of depth at this position and that keeps them from earning a A. But the players that have played have played very well. Mike LB Drew Douglas was a presesason all-conference selection and he’s shown why. When Douglas missed two games earlier in the season, his on the field leadership was really missed. Quietly Hawk LB Marcos Curry is having a good season as well. The Central Texas-native 

Cornerbacks B- (82)
The injection of Trevor Baker into the lineup paid almost immediate dividends as he’s been rock-solid as a Senior starter. Opposite of him, Senior Bennett Okotcha was been equally as good with almost shut-down capabilities. Where the unit has lacked is with depth and continuing to give up the long ball. Some of this stems from miscommunications with some of the younger players and some of it comes being on the field for extended periods of time. Much improved over the last few seasons, this unit could very well jump to a high B/low A grade as the younger players improve.

Safeties B- (82)
It’s been a revolving door at the top safety positions as mainstays Mauricio Sanchez and Nate Gaines have been in and out of the lineup. We’ve seen the likes of Duke Wheeler, CJ Levine, Darryl Godfrey, and Justin Chavez all get thrown into the fire. And while they’ve all played well at times, at others, they’ve struggled. Sanchez and Gaines have been solid defensively. Dawg Safety Michael Egwuagu is having a breakout season and could be considered one of the defense’s best players. If there’s one issue that has hampered this unit, it’s been defense of the long ball. There have been some breakdowns between the Corner Backs and Safeties. 

Overall Defense: B- (82)
The defense has been very good at times this season. Even though they’ve given up some big yardage and big plays in recent games, a lot of that can be traced to poor play from the offense as they have probably spent more time on the field than they otherwise would have. As the overall heath and experience of the team continues to improve, so should the defense’s numbers. There’s no reason why the UTSA Hard Hat Defense couldn’t be one of the best in Conference USA.

 

SPECIAL TEAMS

Punting, Kickoffs, and Field Goals: B- (80)

Punting and Kickoff Returns: B- (80)

Overall Special Teams: B- (80)

 


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