A New Series: My 5 Best and Worst UTSA Sports Moments Part 2, By Jamar Brown
If you read my last blog (which I hope you did) you might think that UTSA Athletics have given me nothing but pain, regret and a lighter bank account. That isn’t all true though. Well, the lighter bank account might be but that’s just based on my own decisions. Back to the subject at hand, I’ve had some of my greatest memories due to watching my ‘Runners play. The second half of my two-part series will introduce everyone to my best UTSA Sports moments. A quick little disclaimer, I might get a little emotional writing this. Let’s get to it.
#5: The C-USA Trip
I hate waking up early. No matter how early I go to sleep, I hate the feeling of being up that early in the morning and that all probably stems back to early freshman year when I stayed up till 7 in the morning on several occasions to finish an essay. The only time I didn’t mind waking up was for this trip. We (S.O.S.A) were traveling to Frisco to go perform for our men and women’s basketball teams and we ended up leaving at around 6 in the morning which led me to wake up at 4 (I have a rigorous morning routine). From the beginning, the trip was great, from almost leaving the school without Jawed (@jofred98) to meeting an intoxicated Joe. The tournament resulted in both teams losing in the second round which was the most we could ask for. The return trip was made better after making friends with the cheerleaders and eating with them at Buffalo Wild Wings in Dallas and then Pizza Hut in Waco. While that’ll probably go down as the only trip I take to Frisco with the band, I can say that it is one of my fondest memories.
#4: UTSA vs. Marshall (Football)
I’ve had mixed experiences dealing with UTSA football. I went from a decent year as a freshman, a non-surprising struggle as a sophomore and a flat-out disappointment as a junior. One of the best moments was becoming bowl eligible. For those who don’t know, in college football, a team needs to win at least 6 games in the regular season to be eligible for a post-season bowl game. Heading into the second-to-last game of the season, the ‘Runners had already won 5 games and just needed to at least split the remaining two games. Enter Marshall, a team that was already bowl eligible and was attempting to bolster their resume. The game was a defensive coordinator’s dream and an absolute snooze-fest for the casual fan. The Roadrunners took a slim lead in the 1st quarter off a field goal by then UTSA kicker Jarrett Sackett. The same happened to cap off the first half and gave the ‘Runners the lead heading into half-time. It wasn’t until the final two minutes that the first touchdown was scored, courtesy of the Herd on a beautiful touchdown pass. It seemed like all hope was lost and we would be heading to Ruston, Louisiana to try and become bowl eligible for the second straight season in the regular-season finale. Then, magic happened. The ‘Runner’s then quarterback Dalton Sturm led a final drive that only he could lead, to move the ball to the 23-yard line with 6 seconds to go. Marshall used their final timeout to ice Sackett but none of that mattered. The former Freshman All-American split the uprights and sent us bowling with 2 seconds to spare. At least, that’s what should have happened. That year was when Alabama had underperformed but the College Football Selection committee decided that it would be un-American to have a CFB Playoff without the Crimson Tide. The decision to put ‘Bama in the CFP threw off every single bowl selection, leaving UTSA out in the cold. Despite that, Sturm’s final series in the Alamodome was a thing of beauty and we miss him dearly.
#3: Baylor Win
My first year of the band didn’t start how I thought it would. We were supposed to host the University of Houston in the season opener in a game that a lot of people believed we would win. Considering the number of students and faculty that are associated with UTSA but lived in Houston at one point in their lives, it was supposed to be the best turn-out UTSA had seen in a while. That was all before Hurricane Harvey hit Houston and ravaged the city. The first game of the season for both teams was canceled and that put a hold on my college band debut. My first actual game came a week later in Waco against the Baylor Bears in Matt Rhule’s first season. The Bears were beaten down emotionally in the aftermath of the Art Briles’ scandal and were searching for a new identity. The ‘Runners were coming off their first bowl appearance in their short, 7-year history and were looking to secure their first Power 5 victory after coming close a handful of times in the previous seasons. From the beginning, UTSA leaped out in front and didn’t look back. The game was capitalized by a Josiah Tauefa sack that put the game away. The fact that the Roadrunners beat the Baylor Bears and McLane Stadium was the beginning of what many thought would be a G5 dynasty in College Football. We were wrong.
#2: The Run
It seems that all of my positive memories with UTSA football came in my freshman year and that doesn’t change now. In the same game that saw Tuba 6 take more hits than I have in college football, I witnessed the greatest football play I’ve ever experienced in person. The ‘Runners trailed the Blazers of UAB by two touchdowns early in the 4th quarter. UTSA needed to score to even have a hope of winning because the UAB offense was clicking in the second half. On 3rd and 7, Dalton Sturm delivered with what might be his greatest play as a Roadrunner. From 23 yards out, Sturm broke 5 tackles on his way to a near SportsCenter worthy touchdown. While the ‘Runners went on to lose that game by a score of 24 to 19, that play goes down as the greatest thing I’ve ever seen happen in the Alamodome.
#1: The Comeback
When speaking about UTSA folklore, just uttering the words “The Comeback” can send chills down the spine of a fan. This amazing moment made the official March Madness twitter page and racked up thousands of views. Against the ODU Monarchs, the ‘Runners went down by 17 with just under 4 minutes to go. ODU had a 99.9% chance to win on the road, breaking UTSA’s chances at earning a spot in the first pod of C-USA’s infamous pod play. My spirits were broken along with 99% of the fans in attendance. People started to walk out, and had I not been required to stay until the Alma Mater was played, I would’ve left too. This was all the opening scene to the greatest sports moment in UTSA sports history (yes, I said it). It started with an innocent three in the corner by Nick Allen. Then, a Jhivvan Jackson three off a screen which cut the lead to 11 with just over 2 minutes ago. The Monarchs missed the first half of a 1-and-1 which then led to another Jackson three. At this point, the lead had been cut to 8 and ODU still had a 96% chance to win the game. ODU went on to score another bucket which would turn out to be the last field goal they’d make in the game. What proceeded was the perfect combination of practicing tough shots and a whole lot of luck. Keaton Wallace hit an NBA-range three off the crossover, then proceeded to hit a three that should’ve led to a 4-point play but due to the incomitance of C-USA referees, the foul went “unnoticed”. ODU proceeded to split the following free throw attempt which then led to a backdoor layup from Jhivvan off a beautiful bounce pass from Byron Frohnen that also should’ve been an and-one. An erred pass from B.J Stith was recovered by Frohnen who then passed it to Allen who eventually gathered his composure to pass to Wallace. Keaton proceeded to dribble through a forest of Navy Blue and Silver to get to his spot in the corner. He pulled up and laced what had to have been the most wide-open shot I’ve ever seen in crunch time. What followed had to have been the longest 15 seconds of my life. ODU inbounded the ball, made it down the court in 5 seconds and spent the final 10 seconds shooting 5 different shots. None found the bottom of the net. UTSA wins. I had never had such a headache from how hard I was screaming. I thought I was going to pass out. I thought I was going to die from a blood vessel that I swore had burst in what was the longest 4 minutes of my life. Neither of those things happened. Instead, UTSA pulled off the improbable. In retrospect, this win probably means so much to me because, in a situation that the ‘Runners always seem to fail in, they finally came through, in the most spectacularly fashion no less.
I have possibly one more full season to cheer for my ‘Runners. I cannot wait to continue to make more and more memories with my friends. As long as COVID-19 doesn’t ruin everything, my senior year will be one of the greatest times of my life.
Check out Part one of “My Best and Worst UTSA Sports Moments” Right Here!