Grading UTSA 2015 Football Season, presented by Pat Clynes / The Fritz Kennel

UTSA finished the 2015 season with their worst won/loss record in program history. InsideRunnerSports passes out our final grades at each position. Presented by Pat Clynes and The Fritz Kennel.

OFFENSIVE GRADES

Quarterbacks C- (70)
Dalton Sturm was a warrior for UTSA at the quarterback position in 2015. Not only was he physically tough, he was able to handle the difficult circumstances surrounding the position this season. His toughness alone allowed UTSA to save two redshirts. No one can ever question his toughness and what he did for UTSA in 2015. That said, the walk-on still did struggle at times, specifically with his pocket presence and decision making. He did however, show improvement as the season went on. The loss of Blake Bogenschutz for the season really set this position back. The departures of Austin Robinson and Russell Bellomy only further compounded things. 

Running Backs B (85)
Jarveon Williams was as good as anyone could have expected, even as he played the second half of the season banged up. His 1,000 rushing yards and multiple school records speak for themselves. Jalen Rhodes played well at times in 2015 and we saw Tyrell Clay really emerge as a third option in the backfield. Headed into the offseason, this running back group has a ton of promise. 

Offensive Line D- (64)
Injuries decimated the o-line in 2015. From the very beginning of the season with starting center Juan Perez-Isidoro, it was a revolving door into the training room this season. Already short on depth, all of the injuries never allowed UTSA to get any continuity. There was a few game-stretch where UTSA played well this season, it’s not surprising that coincided with the improved health of the o-line. Some of the struggles on the line could also be attributed to inexperienced play at the quarterback position as well. The good thing for this unit is that many of the players who entered 2015 as inexperienced now have some of that. This offensive line group has the potential to show the greatest amount of improvement next season. 

Tight Ends B (85)
UTSA is sorely going to miss David Morgan. Let’s forget for a second about Morgan’s touchdowns, his amazing one-handed catches, and the matchup issues he creates when smaller defenders are on him. Morgan graded out this season one of the top blocking tight ends in the country. He was incredible in pass and run blocking. We didn’t see much of Triston Crossland this season, who fought injuries on and off. Trevor Stevens quietly also had a nice season. Although he wasn’t involved much in the passing game, he was an integral part of UTSA’s jumbo/two-tight end package. 

Wide Receivers C- (74)
Admittedly, I had high expectations for this group at the bye week. JaBryce Taylor had emerged as a playmaking option, Kerry Thomas was a force, and Aaron Grubb was doing Aaron Grubb things. But there just wasn’t enough consistency from the group. Some of that was that UTSA really relied on Jarveon Williams and running in games where they were in it. But a lot of it is attributed to the play of the QB position, the offensive line, and just the struggles of the entire unit. The bright side of this unit is the JaBryce Taylor and Kerry Thomas will return next season as solid 1-2 punch. The addition of other players into the rotation could see this group excel to one of the best on the offense. 

Overall Offense C (75)
Overall, the offense showed improvement from 2014 to 2015. The various broken school records are an indication of that. However, there’s no sugar-coating the fact that the struggles of the offense largely contributed to UTSA’s 3-9 record. Key injuries and lack of depth at critical positions did not help. Back-to-back seasons with injuries and other issues at the QB position were probably the biggest downfall of the offense in 2015.

 

DEFENSIVE GRADES

Defensive Line B- (80)
The D-line was as consistent as any unit this season. Kevin Strong jumped into the starting lineup after the first few games of the season and will likely never relinquish that role. Jason Neill became the program’s all-time leader in sacks and tackles for loss. And Brian Price and Marcus Davenport each had solid seasons. The only issue preventing this unit from a higher grade is lack of depth and being able to consistently put pressure on opposing QBs.

Linebackers B- (80)
Marcos Curry may have had the quiestest good season of them all. Coming into 2015 as a first-time regular starter, Curry was probably the best LB on UTSA’s roster this season. An argument could be made for that designation to Drew Douglas. Battling through two shoulder injuries all season, Douglas did what he had to do to be on the field. The biggest issue moving forward with this group is depth. 

Cornerbacks B- (80)
I’m not sure you could have expected more from Trevor Baker and Bennett Okotcha in 2015. While neither could be classified as “shut down” corners, each made enough plays this season to see their names now appear in UTSA’s record books. The interceptions alone from the two positively impacted the direction of the entire team. The play of their backups wasn’t as good as you would want to see. But a lot of those players are young and were probably a season away. The CBs unit had solid production in 2015. 

Safeties B- (80)
Dawg Safety Michael Egwuagu had a breakout season in 2015 and could be considered the defense’s best player. Free Safety Nate Gaines battled through a scary knee injury to get back into the lineup at the end of the season. And Rover Safeties Duke Wheeler and Mauricio Sanchez had good seasons racking up a lot of tackles. The biggest issue this group had was defense of the long ball. Some of that was due to injuries and younger players having to step in and some of that was the overall defense’s inability to put consistent pressure on opposing QBs. We did also see some miscommunication issues that led to some big plays.

Overall Defense: B- (80)
Overall the defense was okay in 2015. I’m not sure the 2014 squad was a tad better. At the midway point of the season, this group had the potential to become one of the best in Conference USA play. They didn’t. But a lot of that could be attributed to them being on the field a bunch due to the offense’s struggles. With a lot of young and unproven talent on the roster for UTSA’s defense, their outlook for improvement

SPECIAL TEAMS

Punting: B+ (80)

Kickoffs: B+ (85)

Field Goals & PATs: C- (72)

Punting and Kickoff Returns: C- (72)

Overall Special Teams: B- (80)
Punting, Kickoffs, and coverage teams were very good in 2015 for the Roadrunners. Where there was an issue was in the return game and field goals/PATs. In the return game it seemed like it was only a matter of time before UTSA would explode for huge gains on returns. But it never happened. Midway through the season, UTSA opened up a kicking competition. We saw Victor Falcon take over kicking duties while Daniel Portillo stayed on field goals. Portillo struggled with consistency at times throughout the season, especially outdoors. In 2015, UTSA missed 5 extra points. Overall, the special teams was okay, but the struggling of the FG/PAT unit made their grade lower than it would have otherwise been.


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