Jamar’s “Way too Early” 2020 UTSA Football Season Projection
Alright, I’ll be honest; I decided to do this so I could beat Joe (@tacojoe_) to it. He has no idea I’m doing this and I hope he’s somewhat hurt by it in the best way possible (love you, bud). He can proceed to try and one-up me if he wants to at a later date and time, but people remember who did it first. Now, to be fair, he did write an article when the schedule was first announced, but it was highlighting the five games he was most excited about (link below). What I’ll be doing is highlighting every game and giving a projection of what I believe the outcome will be. Let’s get to it.
September 5th, @LSU (0-0)
Before the 2019 season began, former UTSA coach Frank Wilson scheduled a game with his previous coaching stop, the LSU Tigers for the following season. We as a fanbase were excited just due to the possibility of traveling to see our boys play in Death Valley. What we didn’t know during this game, we would be playing the defending national champion LSU Tigers while they’re hanging up their banner. Heading into next season, LSU will be without their starting quarterback, running back and number 1 receiver. I still don’t see how we beat them when we don’t even have a definite starter at quarterback. Although, neither do they. This game will get UTSA some exposure and show them what they should strive to become. Final score: 59-14 in favor of the Tigers
September 12th, @ Texas State (0-1)
This is always a fun game, especially when it’s at Texas State, where it seems the tailgate is always much more important than the scoreboard. While the ‘Runners will be coming off a loss to LSU, the Bobcats will likely be coming off a loss to the resurgent SMU program. UTSA has had the cesspool that is San Marcos’ number every single time they’ve played (3-0) and I don’t see that changing now. While there is supposedly a culture change going on in the Bobcat program, I just can’t see that being enough to beat Coach Traylor’s team, no matter who the quarterback is. Final Score: 35-20, ‘Runners.
September 19th, Grambling State (1-1)
If I’m being entirely honest, the only reason I’m excited about this game is to see the Grambling State band. I love HBCU bands so much and I’ve been experiencing withdraws ever since Southern University came and dropped everybody’s jaw at halftime. In terms of the actual football game, I have no clue. Grambling is coming off a 6-5 season but that was against the SWAC which is consistently considered one of the worst conferences in the nation. I believe this will hold true and UTSA will pull out a pretty considerable victory to improve to 2-1 on the year. Final Score: 45-17, UTSA.
September 26th, Memphis (2-1)
This is a difficult game to project. Memphis finished the season ranked 17th in the nation after finishing 12-2 and losing to Penn State in the Cotton Bowl. After some coaching turnover, they’re expecting to hit a little bit of a drop-off. When looking at UTSA, no one knows what to expect in a game like this. It’s at home in the ‘Dome and there’s a brand-new coaching staff that’s expecting to bring in a resurgent offense. It’s also my 22ndbirthday, so that would be a very good birthday present. This all sounds like the perfect recipe for an upset and it just might be as long as Joe gives up football Fridays. The odds of either of those things happening, however, is slim to none, and that’s why I have to make an educated guess. Final Score: 38-17, Memphis.
October 3rd, @ UAB (2-2)
If things go the way I think they will, we will have no idea at all what to expect from UTSA. They would have lost to two very good programs and would also have victories against two below-average teams. The UAB game seems to be the first level test the Roadrunner will face all year, and that worries me. UAB is returning plenty of players and bring back a bevy of depth, specifically on the defensive side of the ball where they bring back 9 starters and a whole bunch of players that saw playing time last year. Also, there quarterback returns, and he’s shown to be pretty good at this level. This just sounds like a game UTSA historically struggles in and unless Traylor drastically turns this team around from the mediocrity that was the previous two seasons, this game could get very ugly. Final Score: 38-21, UAB.
October 17th, Old Dominion (2-3)
A game against a not so great team after a bye-week is exactly what UTSA needs. UTSA’s last win of the season last year came against ODU with JoJo Weeks at quarterback. No one knows who the quarterback will be for this team going forward with the new coaching staff. In my opinion, there are four, possibly five guys fighting for the starting job and that makes me nervous. The biggest contributor in that game last year, however, was Sincere McCormick and we know that he’s back and (hopefully) even better. I think this is the perfect game for UTSA to make a statement. Hopefully, they’ll know who their quarterback is also. Final Score: 28-14, UTSA.
October 24th, LA Tech (3-3)
This might be my least favorite game of the year every year. This is a team that UTSA always seems like they could beat, but always fail dramatically. 3 year started J’Mar Smith is gone though. It seems the Bulldogs will be turning to redshirt sophomore Aaron Allen who did alright in his two career starts. This seems like the perfect game for UTSA to pull off an upset, and you know what? I think they actually do it and give me something to be happy about. This is the upset that the ‘Runners will be hoping for next season. Final Score: 28-24, UTSA.
October 31st, @FAU (4-3)
Willie in Paradise. That is HILLARIOUS. All jokes aside, I’m not much of a Willie Taggart fan, mostly due to him leaving Oregon. Watching him fail at FSU in the most beautiful way possible was therapeutic. Now, he takes his “talents” to Boca where he is replacing the shoes of a giant. Is he up for the task? Probably not, but he inherited a pretty good team and UTSA always seems to forget how to play ANY sport when they head to Florida. This will also be on the road after what I’m sure will be a very physical game against LA Tech. Final Score: 35-21, FAU.
November 7th, @Rice (4-4)
Yet another scary game for the ‘Runner as Rice was probably the best worst team in the country last year after almost beating Michigan in Ann Arbor and nearly knocking off a tough Army team. They pushed UTSA to the limit last year with UTSA winning by a score. I feel like every time these two teams play each other, the plateau and that’s exactly what UTSA needs at this point. They’ll very likely go into this game favored, but this could easily be a trap game. This might be a game that Traylor needs to stress discipline to his players. Final Score: 35-34, UTSA.
November 14th, UTEP (5-4)
Yet another trap game, this one at home. You never know what you’ll get out of a UTSA/UTEP game, but it’s always nonsense. UTEP will very much be experiencing a very tough year after the schedule they have at the beginning of the season. Nothing ever makes sense in this matchup because the home team hardly ever wins. The first time the home team actually won was in 2018, and that was in favor of UTSA. I believe the luck will continue for the ‘Runners and they take the victory here. This will be a very important game for Coach Traylor because a victory here secures bowl eligibility in his first year at the helm. Final Score: 27-17, UTSA.
November 21st, @USM (6-4)
This is a game that I’d strategically rest some key players. Southern Miss is a tough game at home, let alone on the road. In my going on four years at UTSA, I’ve never seen a Roadrunner win against the Mustard Birds in football. They’re just a good team with a solid foundation. I’d rest some starters to gear up for what’ll likely be the game of the year/season finally in UNT. Final Score: 42-24, USM.
November 28th, UNT (6-5)
Rivalry Week. Assuring a bowl game berth. My final game in the band. My final chance to see the Mean Green lose. The beginning of the end of my time in college starts with this game. While I will still likely have another year of college, this game starts the countdown clock. There is no more Mason Fine. There is just UNT and UTSA. Aside from last year, this has always been the best game of the year and that tradition picks up where it left off. You could see a 10-9 snoozefest or it can be a 45-42 shootout. Either way, UTSA finally comes through and I shed a tear on my final football game as part of the marching band. Final Score: 45-42, UTSA in overtime.
With the end of the UNT game begins the anticipation to see which bowl game the Roadrunners will participate in. I’m predicting either the Boca Raton Bowl or the Armed Forces Bowl for the ‘Runners. In my next entry in my UTSA Athletics series, I’ll highlight the upcoming quarterback competition that’ll likely last until the first week of practice before LSU.