Presented by Pat Clynes and The Fritz Kennel.
Highlights from UTSA’s Media Round Table 8.29.16
RUN GAME CONCERNS
By JJ Perez
For the second straight game, UTSA struggled with their running game. Outside of the contribution of QB Dalton Sturm, the Roadrunners got very little rushing yards this past week vs Arizona State.
“It's very concerning and it's very uncharacteristic of anything that I've been a part of,” UTSA coach Frank Wilson said.
Two weeks ago at Colorado State, RB’s Jarveon Williams and Jalen Rhodes combined to rush for 49 yards on 21 carries. Last week vs Arizona State, the duo had 11 yards on 15 carries.
“It is not acceptable the way we've run the ball,” said Wilson. “It's something that we desire to do better. We're conscientious of it and we'll continue to work on it and put ourselves in position to be a better run-oriented team.”
When asked for a reason for the struggles Wilson said there were various factors.
“It’s a combination of things. I like our schemes, but we have to bring it from the classroom to the practice field and to the game,” said Wilson. “Guys are coming off blocks sometimes and the backs are there. And then sometimes when we do block it perfectly, we're errant in our vertical cuts to get north and south. We're running sideways. Another time the receiver may come off his block or didn't see the safety and block him. It's shared from each position group the responsibility of doing the things necessary to run the ball effectively."
STRONG ON THE MEND
By Jerry Briggs
UTSA defensive end Kevin Strong is trying to shake hip and calf injuries sustained early in the second quarter against Arizona State.
"The hip was great yesterday ... the calf was sore," Wilson said at his Monday news conference.
Pressed into duty in the wake of Strong's exit, senior Ben Kane played well, the coach said. Kane had a career-high six tackles.
"He's in the right place at the right time, because he's coach-able," Wilson said. "He's doing the things we ask of him. The play is going to come to him. Make the tackle. (We) don't ask him to do anything spectacular. Just do your job."
Kane is a senior from West Covina, California. He played two years at Citrus Junior College before signing with UTSA in January 2015.
THE RIGHT CALL
By JJ Perez
There was a critical penalty that went against UTSA in Friday night’s game vs Arizona State.
Late in the fourth quarter with UTSA holding a 28-25 lead, Roadrunner CB Aneas Henricks was flagged for pass interference while defending a play in the endzone.
UTSA coach Frank Wilson said Monday: “It was the right call.”
On replay, however, it appeared the pass was deflected. When that occurs, it typically negates a PI penalty. On the other hand, UTSA could have been called for a defensive holding penalty in that situation as well.
The result of the penalty (which occurred on third and goal) gave ASU a new set of downs. One play later, the Sun Devils scored the game-winning touchdown.
NO SECOND GUESSING
By JJ Perez
Another critical moment in UTSA’s 32-28 loss to Arizona State Friday night came just before halftime.
With UTSA leading 14-6, ASU had the ball third and eight at their own 24 yard line. With the clock running, UTSA called a defensive timeout at the 1:17 mark with hopes of getting the ball back on offense.
But ASU would convert on third down (a 13 yard rush up the middle). Several plays later, the Sun Devils scored a touchdown with just 0:03 seconds before halftime.
Coach Wilson said Monday he does not second guess the decision to use the timeout.
“We play the game to win the game,” said Wilson. “In order to win the game you have to manage the clock, and to manage the clock on third down the timeout had to be called.”
Wilson says that execution, rather than strategy, was the determining factor.
“If we do the things necessary on third down and hold them, the call was right. Unfortunately, a guy beat us on a play. They made the play. We did not. But if they don't complete it or if they do complete it and we stop them short and don't call a timeout, then we put ourselves in harm's way of not having enough time to be in position to score.”
Wilson has shown to be aggressive at times this season. He pulled no punches Monday saying they were going for the win in that situation.
“We were not playing them to be close or to be happy to go into halftime with a lead,” Wilson said, “But strategically trying to find a way to win the football game. The time management of the timeout at that time was very much appropriate. We still got to make the play.”
WINS WILL COME
By Jerry Briggs
UTSA coach Frank Wilson said Monday that he remains proud of his players for their hard work and preparation last week leading into a game against Arizona State.
"I told everyone that I didn't know what the outcome would be," Wilson told Mike Taylor Monday morning on KTKR radio. "What I do know is that we'll play well. We'll play well because we prepared well."
Arizona State rallied from a 16-point deficit to beat UTSA 32-28 last Friday night at the Alamodome. If UTSA could have held on to win a game that it led 28-12, it would have been the program's first victory over a Power 5 conference foe.
"We felt very confident going into the game that we'd be able to put our best foot forward," the coach said. "At times I think we did that extremely well, and sometimes even above and beyond. At the end, we just didn't do enough to win the football game."
UTSA (1-2) opens Conference USA play Saturday on the road at Old Dominion (1-2).
Wilson told his radio audience to expect every week "for us to play hard and be prepared. The wins will come in due time."
NEW DEPTH CHART
By JJ Perez
UTSA released an updated depth chart for their game vs Old Dominion.
There were only a few changes. JaBryce Taylor is back in the starting lineup at WR (X). Juco Transfer Stefan Beard is now the starting right guard. And King Newton is now backup DT.
Here’s a look at the entire two-deep depth chart
FRANK WILSON TRANSCRIPT EXCERPTS (Courtesy UTSA)
On what the Arizona State film showed …
“Our kids prepared extremely well. I thought the game plan was ideal in all three phases. I thought we played extremely hard. We didn't finish. We didn't finish because there were opportunities there that were a glimpse of the team that we're going to be, the team that we could be. Unfortunately at times it crept into us where it was fundamental things that came back and reared its head. It cost us in the run game and in the protection game. It cost us on third-down defense when we could have gotten off the field. And so here's what I say to our team. We have one goal and our goal is to win; offensively to score one more point than the opponent, defensively to hold them to one less point than what we have. So, we don't necessarily get caught up in wanting to throw for 300 yards, wanting to rush for 200 yards, but more or less the silver lining is to win the football game by any means. Whatever it takes. We didn't do that. Each phase it showed in a spot where that happened. Whether it was a punt return that got yardage. Whether it was a third down defensively where we didn't get them off the field, or whether it several third downs for us where we were 36 percent or whatever it was from a third-down conversion standpoint. We didn't do the things necessary to finish the game."
On Old Dominion …
“They're a quality football team. Bobby Wilder has been there for eight seasons. He has an offensive coordinator who has been there for six of those seasons, and so they're constantly trying to improve and build their program like us. It's a program that's relatively young in a sense of going from an FCS program to where they are now. They'll give us everything that we can handle. It's their homecoming. We expect a big crowd at their home, so it will require us to play extremely well to win this football game."
On ODU's big receivers …
“They're playing well from a passing standpoint. They're big, strong guys similar in stature to JaBryce (Taylor) from a build standpoint — strong guys with good size and strong hands. We have our work cut out for us from a secondary standpoint.
On how to keep the Arizona State loss from beating UTSA twice …
“You put it behind you. You learn from your mistakes. We immediately did that. We watched the film and got our corrections from it. We build on it and we compliment the guys for all the good that was in the game, and certainly there was a lot of it, but you acknowledge and you own also the mistakes that came back to haunt us. You become better from it. You don't sit there and beat your head, beat your self up about what happened in that game. You just continue to move forward. The next game is the most important game, so that's where our focus is right now."
On the team's confidence level right now …
“It's very high, very high. What happens, and we talked about this way back in training camp, the ability to build a roster. In building our roster, we have a lot of young guys — freshmen and sophomores — and they're learning how to compete and learning how to finish. We like their progress, but we recognize that we're not quite there yet. So, game experience is the best teacher. They're two or three games old in their experience, so as they play more they'll get better and we'll be better. You have to play a quantity of people, and I think we're doing that now, and with that game experience they'll be better."