UTSA looks to extend winning streak on Saturday at Rice

SAN ANTONIO — UTSA will look to extend its perfect start to the 2012 season on Saturday, Oct. 13, when it travels to Houston to face future Conference USA member Rice (1-5). Kickoff is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. at Rice Stadium.

Coming off their lone bye week of the campaign, the Roadrunners (5-0) opened Western Athletic Conference (WAC) play with a 35-14 victory at New Mexico State in their last outing on Sept 29.

UTSA, one of just 16 undefeated teams in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) and the lone unbeaten squad in the state of Texas, currently is riding a six-game winning streak dating back to the final contest of the inaugural 2011 season. In fact, the Roadrunners have outscored their opponents by a combined score of 238-85 (average score of 40-14) during their program-record stretch of victories.

The Roadrunners are making the jump to the FBS this fall after posting a 4-6 record as a Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) independent a year ago.

TUNING IN: The game will be broadcast nationally on FOX College Sports (check local listings at fcs.channelfinder.net/start.asp). Adam Alexander (play-by-play), Dave Lapham (analysis) and Lesley McCaslin (sidelines) will have the call. The contest also can be heard live in the San Antonio area on Ticket 760 AM. Andy Everett (play-by-play) and Ed Suarez (analysis) will call the action. The pregame show begins at 12:30 p.m. and there will be a one-hour postgame show. The broadcast also can be heard live online at goUTSA.com or on your mobile device with the free iHeartRadio app. There will be live stats available at both goUTSA.com andriceowls.com.

SCOUTING RICE: The Owls are 1-5 overall and 0-3 in Conference USA after falling to Memphis, 14-10, last Saturday. Rice held a 10-0 halftime advantage but allowed a pair of third-quarter touchdowns in dropping its fourth consecutive contest. The Owls, whose lone victory of the season was a 25-24 decision at Kansas on Sept. 8, are posting 408.2 yards of offense (181.2 rush/227.0 pass) per game but allowing 506.7 (269.3 rush/237.3 pass) per outing. Junior QB Taylor McHargue is 97-of-163 (59.5 percent) for 1,044 yards and seven touchdowns against two interceptions and he also has rushed for a team-best 365 yards on 76 carries (4.8 avg.). His favorite targets are 6-5 sophomore WR Jordan Taylor (27-330-0) and 5-10 senior WR Sam McGuffie (27-316-5). Junior RB Charles Ross is the top running back (57-335-1). Defensively, junior S Paul Porras has a team-best 56 tackles, while junior LB Cameron Nwosu has 40 stops and set an NCAA record with three blocked PATs in the season-opening loss to UCLA. Head coach David Bailiff is 20-35 (.364) in his fifth season.

FUTURE FOES: UTSA and Rice will face each other as members of Conference USA (C-USA) beginning next season. The Owls have been members of C-USA since 2005, while the Roadrunners are set to officially join the league on July 1, 2013.

UTSA WINS WAC OPENER AT NEW MEXICO STATE:  Eric Soza completed 19-of-32 passes for 269 yards, added another 55 on the ground and accounted for a total of four touchdowns, as UTSA won its first-ever Western Athletic Conference game, 35-14, at New Mexico State on Sept. 29. The Roadrunners scored 28 unanswered points after falling behind 7-0 and extended their winning streak to six games dating back to last season’s finale. UTSA now has won all three of its road outings this fall after failing to do so in four chances a year ago. The Aggies struck first on an 8-yard touchdown pass from Andrew Manley to Trevor Walls at the 4:34 mark of the first quarter. UTSA answered by taking advantage of a turnover when Austin Franklin muffed a punt that was recovered by Jeremiah Moeller at the New Mexico State 33. Soza promptly found Evans Okotcha all alone on a wheel route down the left sideline for the Birds’ first score of the night. The Roadrunners then took a 14-7 lead after Soza scampered up the middle for a 33-yard TD. UTSA struck again on its first play on its next possession when Soza found Kenny Bias for a school-record 82-yard TD pass. The opportunistic Roadrunners turned a Nic Johnston third-quarter interception at the Aggies 16-yard line into more points. On second-and-9 from the 15, Soza found Cole Hicks all alone in the right corner of the end zone for UTSA’s 11th score off its 15th forced turnover this season. Trailing 28-7, the Aggies put together a long drive late in the third quarter, but on the third play of the fourth quarter, Erik Brown picked off Manley in the corner of the end zone to give the ball back to UTSA and keep the lead at 21. However, New Mexico State forced a three-and-out and got the ball back on its own 45. Three plays later, Manley found Franklin on a seam route for a 41-yard score to make it 28-14 with 11:33 remaining. UTSA responded with a 12-play, 72-yard drive that lasted 7:27, which was capped with a 9-yard TD rush up the middle by Okotcha (a complete recap can be found on page 26).

UNBLEMISHED RECORD: With a perfect 5-0 record, UTSA is one of 16 undefeated teams in the FBS and one of only two in the Western Athletic Conference (Louisiana Tech also is 5-0). The Roadrunners also are the only unbeaten team from the state of Texas.

THEY’RE STREAKING: UTSA comes into Saturday’s contest having won a program-record six consecutive games dating back to the 2011 season. The Roadrunners ended last year with a 49-7 victory against Minot State and they have opened this fall with wins against South Alabama (33-31), Texas A&M-Commerce (27-16), Georgia State (38-14), Northwestern Oklahoma State (56-3) and New Mexico State (35-14).

ROAD WARRIORS: After going winless in four tries away from the Alamo City in its inaugural 2011 campaign, UTSA has won all three of its road contests this season. Sophomore PK Sean Ianno’s career-long 51-yard field goal with 16 seconds left helped the Roadrunners edge South Alabama, 33-31, and register their first-ever FBS and road victory on Sept. 1. Two weeks later, UTSA scored 35 unanswered points in a convincing 38-14 win at Georgia State and the Birds dealt New Mexico State a 35-14 setback two weeks ago in their inaugural WAC contest.

OFFENSIVE EFFICIENCY: UTSA is averaging 37.8 points (2nd WAC/t-27th FBS), 402.8 yards (188.8 rush/214 pass) and 19.6 first downs in its first five outings of the 2012 season. The Roadrunners scored a program-record 56 points three weeks ago against Northwestern Oklahoma State and matched a school standard with their 26 first downs on Sept. 15 at Georgia State. UTSA also has been successful on 20 of their 22 trips (90.9 percent) inside the red zone (16 TDs/4 FGs). That has been an improvement from the program’s first season when the Birds averaged 26.6 points, 364.5 total yards and 20 first downs per outing in addition to scoring in 29 of their 37 trips (78.4 percent) to the red zone, including 22 touchdowns.

CLOSING THE DEAL: UTSA scored seven touchdowns and a field goal on its first eight “goal-to-go” possessions this season before turning the ball over on downs late in the Sept. 15 victory at Georgia State. The streak is back to six following touchdowns on all five such possessions on Sept. 22 against Northwestern Oklahoma State and another TD two weeks ago at New Mexico State. For the year, the Roadrunners have scored 13 TDs and a field goal in its 15 “goal-to-go” situations (93.3 percent). UTSA, which has run a total of 27 “goal-to-go” plays in 2012, scored on 14 of its 17 (82.4 percent) such possessions last fall, a total that included 12 touchdowns and a pair of field goals. The Roadrunners, who ran 31 plays in their 17 goal-to-go situations a year ago, were successful in their first nine “goal-to-go” situations in 2011, a span that covered the first four games.

RUNNING THE SHOW: Junior QB Eric Soza is back this year after taking nearly every offensive snap for the Roadrunners last fall. He has opened the year by completing 71-of-115 (61.7 percent) passes for 964 yards and 10 touchdowns, including a program-record three in the season opener at South Alabama and the WAC opener at New Mexico State. Those numbers translate to a 159.1 passing efficiency rating, which ranks 19th nationally (4th WAC). He also is averaging 5.4 yards on his 30 rushes (163 yards) and he scored from 33 yards out at New Mexico State. Playing for the first time since his senior year of high school a year ago, the Beeville native was 172-of-307 (56 percent) for 2,148 yards and 14 scores and he added 285 more yards and three scores on the ground.

SPREADING THE WEALTH: Junior QB Eric Soza has distributed his 71 completions to a total of 14 different pass catchers (9 WRs/4 RBs/1 TE) this season. Sophomore WR Kam Jones (183 yards) leads the way with 10 receptions, while junior RB Evans Okotcha (123 yards) and sophomore WR Kenny Harrison (58 yards) each have nine. Soza also has spread out his 10 TD passes to nine different players with junior WR Cole Hicks leading the way with two.

NO SACK ATTACK: The Roadrunners offensive line has yet to give up a sack this season and it is just one of two units that can make that claim [Air Force is the other, but UTSA has attempted 69 more passes (126/57)]. In fact, the streak dates back to the final game of the 2011 campaign. UTSA has not allowed a sack in its last 146 pass attempts (126 this season/final 20 of last).

KNOKCING ’EM DOWN: Not only has the UTSA offensive line kept its quarterback clean, but it also has created holes and throwing lanes with 87 knockdown blocks, which translates to an average of more than 17 per game. Leading the way is sophomore OG/OT Josh Walker, who has 21 this season, including a season-best nine on Sept. 15 at Georgia State. Sophomore OG/OT Cody Harris, who tied his right-side mate with nine two weeks ago at New Mexico State, has 20, while sophomore C Nate Leonard (15) and senior OT Patrick Hoog (13) also are in double figures.

TIME-CONSUMING DRIVES: UTSA’s average time of possession in its four games this year has been 33:37, which not only leads the WAC, but it also stands seventh nationally. The Roadrunners set a program record on Sept. 15 at Georgia State by having the ball for 41:29. In fact, 21 of UTSA’s 30 offensive scoring drives (70 percent) this fall have lasted more than two minutes and a dozen of those have been longer than three minutes. The Roadrunners’ average scoring drive has been 2:53.

BREAKING THE PLANE: Junior RB Evans Okotcha rushed for a program-record three touchdowns on Sept. 15 at Georgia State and he has followed that up with two against Northwestern Oklahoma State (Sept. 22) and another in the WAC opener at New Mexico State (Sept. 29). His career total now stands at 11 (12 overall) in 15 career contests as a Roadrunner. He has rushed for 195 yards and six scores on 55 carries in addition to catching nine passes for 123 yards and another score this season.

NOSE FOR THE END ZONE: Sophomore RB David Glasco II has shown a knack for reaching paydirt in his first two seasons as a Roadrunner. He scored a pair of touchdowns on Sept. 8 against Texas A&M-Commerce and added two more two weeks ago against Northwestern Oklahoma State. He now has nine in the first 15 games of his career. Last season, the local product out of Wagner High School led UTSA with five rushing TDs. Glasco II has a team-leading 288 rushing yards on 41 carries, which translates to a WAC-leading 7.0 yards per tote, and he has scored four TDs. He also has ripped off runs of 51 (vs. Northwestern Oklahoma State), 50 (at South Alabama) and 47 (at Georgia State) yards this season.

THE “KAM” MAN CAN: Arguably the Roadrunners’ most dynamic athlete, sophomore WR Kam Jones has hauled in a team-best 10 receptions for 183 yards (18.3 avg.) and one touchdown and rushed seven times for 52 more yards (7.4 avg.). He caught a pair of passes for 32 yards in the Sept. 22 win against Northwestern Oklahoma State and added four for 39 in the WAC-opening triumph a week later at New Mexico State. Jones accounted for 23 rushing yards on three carries and 31 more through the air on two receptions on Sept. 8 against Texas A&M-Commerce. He caught a pair of passes for 81 yards, including a 58-yard catch-and-run for a touchdown, to go along with a 15-yard rush in the season opener at South Alabama. The Edna native made his mark during his redshirt freshman campaign, playing all 10 games (eight starts) and accounting for a team-leading 88.1 all-purpose yards per contest. Jones led the squad with 39 receptions for 578 yards (14.8 avg.) and he scored a total of three touchdowns (2 rec/1 rush). He also ran the ball 22 times for 127 yards (5.8 avg.) and averaged 24.4 yards on his seven kickoff returns. In fact, Jones returned the opening kickoff in program history 37 yards to set up the team’s first-ever touchdown against Northeastern State. He recorded seven catches for 103 yards at Sam Houston State to become the first receiver in program annals to eclipse the century mark and he went on to accomplish the feat two more times in 2011 (5-103 vs. South Alabama/8-120 at McNeese State).

THE NATION’S BEST: UTSA leads the country with its 2.60 turnover margin per game. The Roadrunners have intercepted nine passes and recovered seven fumbles, giving them a total of 16 forced turnovers in the season’s first five outings. Conversely, UTSA only has given the ball away three times this season (1 interception/2 fumbles).

MAKING THE MOST OF TURNOVERS: UTSA has made its opponents pay when turning the ball over this season, just as it did during its inaugural 2011 campaign. The Roadrunners have forced 16 turnovers (9 INTs/7 FRs) and 11 have resulted in points (9 TDs/2 FGs). UTSA forced 21 turnovers (11 FRs/10 INTs) a year ago and those opponent miscues resulted in 15 scores (12 TDs/3 FGs).

AMONG THE DEFENSIVE LEADERS: UTSA leads the WAC in total defense (268.2/8th FBS), rushing yards allowed per game (61.2/3rd FBS), interceptions (nine/t-8th FBS), turnover margin per contest (2.6/1st FBS) and first downs allowed per outing (14.6/9th FBS). Meanwhile, the Roadrunners are second in the league in scoring defense (15.6/t-16th FBS), opponent passing efficiency (115.7/37th FBS) and sacks (14/t-20th FBS).

SHORT DRIVES: The Roadrunners have forced 24 three-and-outs in 55 opponent drives (43.6 percent) in the opening five tilts of the season and the opposition is converting third downs at just a 34.8-percent clip (23-for-66/3rd WAC/36th FBS). The 24 three-and-outs rank eighth nationally.

PATROLLING THE MIDDLE: Junior Steven Kurfehs was a force in the middle of the UTSA defense at linebacker last season. He recorded double-digit tackles in three of the final five games he played in and, despite missing the last three contests due to injury, finished third on the team with 61 stops (32 solos/29 assists), including four for loss. The 6-foot-2, 225-pounder also registered a sack, three quarterback hurries, a pair of interceptions, three pass breakups and a forced fumble last fall. Moved from safety to linebacker during the Fall 2010 “practice” season, Kurfehs became the first player in team history to record double-digit tackles when he racked up 13 stops (8 solos/5 assists) at Southern Utah. He accomplished the feat again two weeks later at Sam Houston State with nine solo tackles and four assists in addition to picking off a pass for the second consecutive week. Kurfehs had a dozen stops, two TFLs, one sack and a quarterback hurry against South Alabama. He added another program first against Bacone when he brought back an interception 45 yards for a touchdown (first defensive score). After starting the first four games of the season at safety (“dawg”), Kurfehs moved back to linebacker in the WAC opener at New Mexico State and responded with seven tackles and 1.5 sacks. The San Antonio native has racked up 27 stops (14 solos/13 assists), three sacks and a pass breakup in the season’s first five contests this fall.

THE FORGOTTEN (MIDDLE) MAN: It was more than just Steven Kurfehs in the middle of the UTSA defense a year ago, as senior LB Brandon Reeves helped the tandem provide a potent 1-2 punch. Reeves started all 10 games in his first season out of the JUCO ranks and led the Roadrunners with 69 tackles (27 solos/42 assists). He also was second on the squad with a half dozen sacks and ranked third with 8.5 tackles for loss. One of just six seniors on the roster, the Santa Clarita, Calif., native has a squad-leading 39 stops (12 solos/27 assists) this season to go along with 1.5 TFLs, one sack, a pass breakup and one fumble recovery. He led the Roadrunners with a dozen tackles in the season-opening victory at South Alabama and matched that in the Sept. 29 WAC-opening win at New Mexico State.

TURNOVER MACHINE: Sophomore S Triston Wade showed a knack for finding the football in his first year of play last season and that continued in the season opener at South Alabama. The 5-foot-11, 170-pounder forced a fumble on a kickoff return and intercepted a pass in the end zone in addition to recording 11 tackles (5 solos/6 assists) en route to WAC Defensive Player of the Week and honorable mention Jim Thorpe Defensive Back of the Week honors. Wade wreaked havoc once again on Sept. 22 against Northwestern Oklahoma State with a 38-yard interception return for a touchdown in addition to recording a pair of stops and his team-leading sixth pass breakup of the year. He forced the fifth fumble of his young career to go along with four tackles and a pair of pass breakups on Sept. 15 at Georgia State. The Tyler native has had a hand in a total of eight turnovers (four fumbles/four interceptions) in the first 15 games of his career. He is second on the squad with 28 stops (14 solos) and a pair of interceptions.

TURNOVER MACHINE II: Junior CB Erik Brown missed the season opener with a shoulder injury, but he has made his presence felt in his four outings this season. Brown has picked off passes in three of the last four games and he added a forced fumble that was recovered by fellow cornerback Darrien Starling on Sept. 15 at Georgia State. His three picks lead the WAC (9th FBS) and he also has broken up a half dozen passes. A transfer from Fresno State last year, he is coming off a 2011 campaign that saw him record 26 tackles (18 solos/8 assists), two pass breakups and a blocked field goal.

TURNOVER MACHINE III: Sophomore S Nic Johnston returned to the starting lineup two weeks ago at New Mexico State and immediately was back to his turnover-forcing ways. One year after recovering three fumbles, forcing two more and picking off a pair of passes, he forced a fumble that was recovered by senior LB Brandon Reeves and intercepted a pass that led to a touchdown.

FOOT OF GOLD: Sophomore PK Sean Ianno drilled a career-long 51-yard field goal with 16 seconds remaining to lift UTSA to its first road and FBS win in program history three weeks ago at South Alabama. It was one of four field goals that he made on the day (also was good from 47, 32 & 21 yards out) and it tied his career best set against Bacone last Sept. 24. He earned WAC Special Teams Player of the Week and Lou Groza Award “Star of the Week” accolades following the performance. He added two more field goals (34, 46 yards) three weeks ago against Texas A&M-Commerce and another from 26 yards on Sept. 15 at Georgia State, making him a perfect 7-for-7 this season. He also has connected on all 12 of his extra-point attempts, which has extended his program-record streak to 43. The Pflugerville native leads the WAC in nearly every kicking category and his spotless percentages lead the nation, while his 1.8 field goals per outing are tied for 12th (2nd WAC). Ianno, who has missed most of the last two games due to injury, now is 18-of-25 (72 percent) during his brief Roadrunners career.

STEPPING IN WITH PERFECTION: Sophomore PK Kristian Stern replaced classmate Sean Ianno after he went down with an injury following the opening touchdown against Northwestern Oklahoma State. Stern has made all 12 of his extra-point attempts the last two games since replacing his teammate.

PICTURE PERFECT: UTSA’s place-kickers — sophomores Sean Ianno and Kristian Stern — have combined to connect on all 31 of their kicks this season (24-for-24 PATs/7-for-7 FGs). UTSA is one of just five teams in the country that have yet to miss a boot, while Ianno and Stern are two of just seven that have perfect ledgers this fall.

MANY HAPPY RETURNS: Sophomore Kenny Harrison has been a force in the return games for UTSA during the first five weeks of the season. He returned three punts for 67 yards (22.3 avg.), including a program-record 54-yarder, on Sept. 22 against Northwestern Oklahoma State. It marked the second consecutive week that the Lindale native established a school return record, as he had an 84-yard kickoff return the previous week at Georgia State. That helped him earn WAC Special Teams Player of the Week laurels. Harrison’s 15.9-yard punt return average ranks second in the conference (16th FBS), while his league-leading 30.1-yard kickoff return average stands 12th nationally.

BLOCK PARTY: UTSA has blocked three kicks (two punts/one field goal) this season. Freshman Charles Wort got a piece of a punt in the first quarter of the season opener at South Alabama, while junior Jarron Harris blocked a second-quarter field goal on Sept. 15 at Georgia State and sophomore Ashaad Mabry got a hand on a punt in the third quarter the following week against Northwestern Oklahoma State. The Roadrunners were one of the country’s top teams when it came to blocking kicks last season, as they registered six during their inaugural campaign. UTSA blocked three field goals, two punts and an extra point in its 10 outings in 2011.

YOUTH BEING SERVED: In just its second season of play, UTSA not only is making the jump to the FBS as a member of the WAC, but it also is doing so with arguably the youngest roster in the country. The Roadrunners have a national-low six seniors (five scholarship) on their 98-man roster and there are just 15 juniors. In fact, nearly 79 percent of the squad is made up of underclassmen (42 sophomores/35 freshmen).

RECRUITING THE LONE STAR STATE: Head coach Larry Coker and his staff have made recruiting the state of Texas a priority, as 88 players (89.8 percent) of UTSA’s 98-man roster call The Lone Star State home. The Roadrunners’ other 10 student-athletes come from California (5), Florida (2), Arizona (1), Arkansas (1) and Louisiana (1).

AT HOME IN A DOME: UTSA will play eight of its 12 scheduled games in domed stadiums this season, more than any other FBS program. Six of those contests will take place inside the 65,000-seat Alamodome, the Roadrunners’ home facility. UTSA defeated Georgia State, 38-14, in the Georgia Dome on Sept. 15 and it will travel to the Kibbie Dome to face Idaho on Saturday, Nov. 17. Tulane will play seven tilts at its home stadium — the Mercedes-Benz Superdome — this fall, while Georgia State will host six indoor contests. Idaho and Syracuse (Carrier Dome) both are slated for five home dates.

FILLING SEATS: Last year, UTSA sold 11,600 season tickets en route to establishing an NCAA startup program record for average home attendance (35,521). Playing their first season as a reclassifying FCS independent, the Roadrunners drew nearly 10,000 more fans per home game than FCS leader Appalachian State (26,211). That figure would have led the WAC (Hawai’i 31,785) and ranked second in the program’s future home, Conference USA (East Carolina 50,012). More than 13,000 season tickets have been sold this year and the Roadrunners currently lead the WAC with an average home attendance of 28,079. Additionally, UTSA has drawn two of the league’s top three crowds this season with 30,416 against Texas A&M-Commerce on Sept. 8 and 25,742 for the Northwestern Oklahoma State contest two weeks later. There have been six 30,000-plus crowds in UTSA’s eight all-time home games at the Alamodome and the Roadrunners’ average home crowd has been 33,661.

RECORD-SETTING INAUGURAL SEASON: UTSA may have won just four games in its inaugural campaign in 2011, but the Roadrunners made their mark on the NCAA record book nevertheless. A national startup program-record 56,743 fans packed the Alamodome on Sept. 3 to watch UTSA defeat Northeastern State, 31-3, in the program’s first-ever game. The turnstiles did not stop turning after that, as the Birds averaged an NCAA startup program-record 35,521 fans in their six home dates last fall.

COACHING HEADLINER: Head coach Larry Coker has made national headlines for UTSA since arriving in the Alamo City in March 2009. The two-time National Coach of the Year, who won the 2001 National Championship in his first year as head coach at Miami, has helped bring unprecedented exposure for the program. The Okemah, Okla., native has posted a 69-21 (.767) career record in seven-plus seasons as a head coach and has tutored 26 first-team All-Americans, 96 first-team all-conference selections and 63 academic all-league honorees.

“UTSA FOOTBALL INSIDER”: FOX Sports (FS) Southwest is televising a weekly 30-minute magazine show this fall titled “UTSA Football Insider” that once again features the school’s football program. The series premiered with a special edition on Monday, Aug. 27. The show now can be seen in its regular time slot at 4:30 p.m. each Thursday throughout the season. Veteran FS Southwest sportscaster Bill Land will host the program and be joined by head coach Larry Coker and his staff to provide analysis on the Roadrunners as they enter their second season of competition. “UTSA Football Insider” will give fans an all-access look of all aspects of the program with game highlights and previews in addition to feature stories on players and activities around the UTSA campus.

BROADCASTING THE ROADRUNNERS: Five of UTSA’s contests this year will be broadcast on television or the Internet. The Sept. 1 season opener at South Alabama was shown on ESPN3, while the Sept. 29 WAC opener at New Mexico State was televised locally on KCWX-2 and regionally on Altitude 2. Future road tilts at Rice (Oct. 13/FOX College Sports) and Louisiana Tech (Nov. 3/ESPN Regional Television) also will be broadcast, while ESPN announced Monday that the Oct. 20 homecoming contest against San Jose State will be shown on ESPN3. UTSA owns a 5-3 all-time record in its broadcasted outings after splitting six a year ago.

ON THE FAST TRACK: UTSA will be on the move once again in 2013, as it accepted an invitation from Conference USA (C-USA) this past May. The Roadrunners will join the 14-team league on July 1, 2013. The “new” C-USA lineup will feature Charlotte, East Carolina, FIU (Florida International), Louisiana Tech, Marshall, North Texas, Old Dominion, Rice, Southern Mississippi, Tulane, Tulsa, UAB and UTEP in addition to the Roadrunners.

MOVING ON UP: The Roadrunners will not count as an FBS opponent until 2013. They will be a full-fledged FBS member and eligible for a bowl game beginning in 2014.

PRESEASON WAC POLLS: The Western Athletic Conference announced its preseason coaches and media polls in conjunction with its media day on July 26 and UTSA was picked seventh in both sets of rankings. Louisiana Tech was the consensus choice to successfully defend its league crown.

UP NEXT: UTSA will resume WAC play at the friendly confines of the Alamodome on Saturday, Oct. 20, when it hosts San Jose State (4-1). The game will be televised on ESPN3. The Spartans open their league slate this weekend with a home date against Utah State.

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