JJ Perez, InsideRunnerSports

‘Runners drop a tough one to UNM

UTSA fell short in their first-ever bowl game Saturday as the New Mexico Lobos downed the Roadrunners 23-20. Here are some thoughts on the game.

By JJ Perez
For InsideRunnerSports.com

Missed Opportunities
It was a game that had limited scoring opportunities. The wind played a factor with offense and special teams. Twice in the game, UTSA had drives enter the redzone but were only able to come away with field goals. It was a combination of poor execution and mistakes that ultimately cost the Roadrunners on these possessions and that was the difference in the game.

Williams Leaves It On The Field
Senior RB Jarveon Williams left it all on the field Saturday. Williams rushed for 125 yards on 16 carries and was generally UTSA’s workhorse on the day. It was the eighth time in his career that he ran for 100 yards. Williams combined with RB Jalen Rhodes and QB Dalton Sturm to rush for 246 yards on the day. UTSA would out-rush the top running team in the nation.

Passing Game Inconsistent
QB Dalton Sturm would finish the game with 118 passing yards on 10 for 26 passing with two touchdowns and one interception. For much of the first half, UTSA’s passing game was very inconsistent as some passes were off target while others were dropped.

Strong Defensive Effort
UTSA’s defense played well. Holding a dynamic offense to 20 points and 296 total yards is impressive. To no one’s surprise, LB Josiah Tauaefa led the way defensively. The redshirt freshman led the game with 11 tackles including 1.5 tackles for loss.

Just Not Good Enough
Head Coach Frank Wilson said after the game that UTSA’s best just wasn’t good enough. There will be several plays and possessions that will haunt the Roadrunners when they look back at this game. But when the game was on the line, New Mexico flexed their muscle and used a long scoring drive to seal the game. The Lobos entered the game as a good/quality team and it showed.

On the Upswing
After back-to-back losing seasons, UTSA experienced a resurgence. Led by first-year head coach Frank Wilson, UTSA has laid a foundation for increased expectations. That may be hard for fans to see after a tough loss in a winnable bowl game, but it surely is the case. UTSA just finished the most exciting season in program history. And while they do not come away with the title of New Mexico Bowl Champions, they do walk away with even more fire in their stomachs to achieve future success than when season started.

 

 

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