One victory away from bowl eligibility, the UTSA Roadrunners on Monday fielded questions about a weekend road test against Louisiana Tech, a game that some are calling the biggest in school history.
First place in the Conference USA West division is also at stake as the Roadrunners (5-4, 4-2) take on the Bulldogs (7-3, 5-1) on Saturday in Ruston, Louisiana. UTSA coach Frank Wilson said there's no avoiding questions about postseason implications.
"It's relevant now for the first time," Wilson said. "As usual the next game is the most important game. This next game, which is the most important game, has ramifications. (A victory) positions us, probably more importantly, to contend for the conference championship. Certainly that, along with competing for a bowl bid, was our long-term season goal."
"We have two conference losses (and) they have one," he added. "So, it's right there. There's no avoiding (the issue). Previous weeks we were able to say, we're not talking about it. (Now) it is what it is. We play well against this team, we put ourselves in position to achieve our long-term goal."
The Roadrunners stayed in contention for the division title last weekend with a resounding 45-25 road victory over Middle Tennessee.
Wilson said the win should help his team down the stretch.
"You continue to try to find things," the coach said at his Monday round table interviews. "We got our first (road win) a few weeks ago against Rice, and to come back and get this one against such a quality team, that had been playing so well, and to win in the manner that we did, it's a boost to morale, for our team, to know they can achieve."
After Louisiana Tech, UTSA completes a three-game road swing at nationally-ranked Texas A&M of the Southeastern Conference on Nov. 19. The Roadrunners close the regular season on Nov. 26 at home against Charlotte of the C-USA East division.
With UTSA winning four of its last five, it is the first time in three years that the Roadrunners have achieved an overall winning record and a conference record two games over .500 during the month of November.
On Nov. 9, 2013, in Year 3 of the program, the Roadrunners beat Tulane 10-7 at the Alamodome. The win lifted UTSA to 5-5 on the season and 4-2 in C-USA.
After an open date, UTSA traveled to Denton to shock North Texas 21-13.
Not only did the win derail the Mean Green's C-USA West title hopes, it also boosted the Roadrunners to 6-5 on the season and to 5-2 in conference with a shot at the C-USA West title heading into the last week.
On the last day of the regular season, Rice won at home to claim the West, but UTSA finished 7-5 and 6-2 with a 30-10 home victory over Louisiana Tech.
Because UTSA was in the second year of its transition period to the Football Bowl Subdivision, the Roadrunners did not get a bowl bid, but they did earn a place in history as the first third-year startup to win seven games against FBS competition.
The current team is looking to make its own history, heading into a game with both bowl and conference title implications.
"It feels good," safety Michael Egwuagu said. "I think this is going to be a big game, because it's the next game, of course. This might be the biggest game in UTSA history. That's what a lot of people are saying, from what I've heard. It's going to be a good challenge.
"It's going to be fun, to be able to play against a formidable opponent, and Middle Tennessee was as well. Those games are big games, where it almost seems like everything is on the line. You want to capitalize on every single play."