UTSA falls to Middle Tennessee 42-7
Blue Raiders Lead Start to Finish: On their third offensive drive of the game Middle Tennessee scored on an 8 play, 67 yard drive to take a 7-0 lead. On their following possession, MTSU marched 75 yards in 13 plays to take a 14-0 lead they never look back from. In fact, the Blue Raiders were on their way to a shutout but UTSA WR JaBryce Taylor made a handed touchdown catch to put the ‘Runners on the board for a late score.
Outmatched in Trenches: The story of the game was the battle of the trenches and it can be summarized on two fourth down plays. Threatening to score at the start of the fourth quarter, UTSA had the ball fourth and short and ran a zone read play. The following drive, Middle Tennessee was also threatening to score and had the ball fourth at short. MTSU ran the exact same zone read play. UTSA’s play lost 2 yards and resulted in a turnover in downs. MTSU’s play gained 4 yards, kept their drive alive for an eventual touchdown. Middle Tennessee’s offensive and defensive lines won them today’s game.
Missed Opportunity: After both teams went punted on their first offensive possessions, UTSA Safety Duke Wheeler a forced fumble that CB Bennett Okotcha. The turnover gave UTSA the ball in MTSU territory. But two plays later RB Jalen Rhodes fumbled and the Blue Raiders recovered. That series of plays was one of the best chances UTSA had at coming away with points in the first half.
Clay Shines: Tyrell Clay made the most of his first-career start. The former walk-on was one of the few bright spots for UTSA. Clay, a Corpus Christi native, ran 14 times for 71 yards, including a 31 yarder. Those were all career-highs. Clay was limited in the second half due to injury.
Taylor Leads Receivers: WR JaBryce Taylor concluded a good first season as a Roadrunner Saturday with four receptions for 70 yards. Taylor had one of the best plays of the day, a 31 yard one-handed touchdown reception.
Key Starters Injured: Starters RB Jarveon William, C Juan Perez-Isidoro, and LG Kyle McKinney did not play Saturday due to injuries. UTSA’s offense sorely missed their these three starters. During the game, RBs Brett Winnegan and Jalen Rhodes were injured.
Seniors Honored: UTSA said goodbye to 17 seniors prior to the game Saturday. Included in the group of 17 were 7 players who were a part of the team in the inaugural season. Three players played on the inaugural 2011 team: Jason Neill, David Morgan and Mauricio Sanchez. Four players were redshirted: Kenny Bias, Drew Douglas, Cade Laufer and Michael Roberson.
Back-to-Back Losing Seasons: The loss pushes UTSA’s overall record to 3-9 on the season, that’s the worst winning percentage (.250) in program history. Last season, UTSA was 4-8. This is the first time UTSA has had back-to-back losing seasons in program history.
Program-Low Attendance: UTSA recorded a program-low in attendance on Saturday with 19,504 fans. The previous low was 19,586 vs Old Dominion. UTSA finishes the 2015 season averaging 23,008 fans a game.