Here is everything you need to know about the upcoming matchup between the Texas Longhorns and the UTSA Roadrunners.
Saturday, September 17, 2022; 7:00 p.m. CT; Darrell K Royal Stadium; Austin, Texas
TV: Longhorn Network (Lowell Galindo, Sam Acho, Alex Chappell)
Radio: Longhorn Radio Network (Craig Way, Roger Wallace, Will Matthews)
Records: Texas 1-1; UTSA 1-1
Rankings: Texas ranked No. 21 in AP Top 25; UTSA unranked
Series History: First-ever meeting
Last Meeting: N/A
Favorite: Texas (-11)
Fun Fact: Although this is the first time that Steve Sarkisian and Jeff Traylor have met as head coaches, it is not the first time they have been on opposite sidelines. Sarkisian and Traylor did previously coach against
each other 2019, when Sarkisian was the offensive coordinator at Alabama and Traylor was the associate
head coach and running back coach at Arkansas. The Crimson Tide won that game in Tuscaloosa, 48-7.
QB Hudson Card/Charles Wright
Who will start at quarterback for the Longhorns? Quinn Ewers is reportedly out from some time while back-up Hudson Card is listed as day-to-day and being treated for a “high-ankle sprain” suffered in the Alabama game. If he is out, Texas will be forced to turn to Charles Wright, a member of Texas’ 2020 recruiting class. His comparison out of high school was to North Texas phenom Mason Fine, but is he ready to start a game for the Longhorns?
LB Jaylan Ford
They say the best players show up in the biggest games, and we saw that happen last week. Junior linebacker Jaylan Ford was terrific against the Crimson Tide last week, leading the team with 10 tackles, six of which were solo stops. Where he really shined was in the Alabama backfield however, as he tallied two TFL’s and a sack. If Texas is forced to start Charles Wright at quarterback, it will be on the defense’s shoulders to win this football game, and Ford will be right at the heart of that unit.
QB Frank Harris
Texas is going to have its hands full with UTSA quarterback Frank Harris this weekend, and that is a scary thought with the possibility that the Longhorns could be without Bijan Robinson or either one of its experienced quarterbacks. Harris comes into the game with 696 passing yards through two games, which ranks him 10th in the FBS. He has completed 60-88 attempts and thrown for six touchdowns to just one interception. He has also added 16 rushing attempts for 93 yards and a score. Simply put, he is a dynamic playmaker and could be a problem for UT.
WR Zakhari Franklin/Joshua Cephus
Typically I would have a key player defensively to watch for, but when a team has two of the top 20 wideouts in the country for receiving yards per game, it’s hard not to mention them. Franklin ranked 17th nationally with 111 ypg while Cephus is 18th with 109 ypg. The Texas secondary will likely be without D’Shawn Jamison in this game, adding to the stress on Texas’ defense to perform in a tight spot.
Depth has to show up in a big way for Texas on Saturday for them to get out of this game with a victory. With a possibility that we see Texas’ top running back, defense back, and top two quarterbacks out in this game, there has to be pieces that step in and perform in a tough spot. Make no mistake, the Roadrunners aren’t scared to come into Austin and they would live to leave with a Top 25 win under their belt. Texas certainly has the edge on paper, but this might be one of those grind-it-out games that UT has to win to keep their season on track. Can they do it?
UTSA’s offense is it’s strength, and in this game it will need to be laser sharp. Texas’ defense looked the part last week against Bama, as it controlled the line of scrimmage for much of that game and they will look to do the same against the Roadrunners. Quarterback Frank Harris is the key for UTSA in this game; if he can extend plays with his feet and keep his wideouts’ fed, there could be a huge upset, and letdown, in Austin just a week after the Longhorns hung with the Tide.
PREDICTION: Texas 27, UTSA 20
This is going to be a tough game for the Longhorns, but I believe they showed enough last week defensively that I trust them to get the W here. Frank Harris will keep UTSA in this game with his scrambling ability and some big-time throws downfield, but I believe the Texas defensive line will win the day for Sarkisian and Co. Whether Texas marches out Wright at quarterback or some sort of Wildcat look, I think they will score just enough to survive into Big 12 play at 2-1.