UTSA leaning on QB Sturm for Old Dominion match up
SAN ANTONIO – UTSA Football returns to the college gridiron after a falling to Arizona State 32-28. UTSA (1-2) will look to get back on the winning track on Saturday when it opens Conference USA play at Old Dominion (1-2). Kickoff is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. (CT) at Ballard Stadium in Norfolk, Va.
UTSA quarterback Dalton Sturm had a highlight game against ASU and UTSA Head Football Coach Frank Wilson shed some light on Sturm heading into Saturday night’s match up against Old Dominion.
“You know I think that one of the things that gave him the starting line. The ability to make something when nothing is there. It’s certainly an attribute that he brings to our team, and we enjoy having him,” said Wilson.
UTSA heads into their week 4 against Old Dominion at their stadium in Norfolk, VA and both are 1-2 leading up the match up Saturday, September 24.
TUNING IN: Saturday's game will be broadcast live locally in the Alamo City on KMYS-CW 35. Don Harris (play-by-play), Chuck Miketinac (analyst) and Hector Ledesma (sidelines) will call all the action in what will be the second of five local telecasts for the Roadrunners this season. The contest also can be heard live in San Antonio on Ticket 760 AM. Andy Everett (play-by-play) and Jay Riley (analyst) will handle the call. The pregame show will begin at 12:30 p.m. (CT) and there will be a 45-minute postgame show. The broadcast also can be heard live online at goUTSA.com or on your mobile device with the free iHeartRadio app.
The Roadrunners have won two of their previous three C-USA openers since joining the league prior to the 2013 campaign with both victories coming at UTEP (2013, '15). In fact, UTSA will be opening the league slate on the road for the fourth consecutive season.
Friday will mark the 62nd all-time game in school annals, the 30th of which that will be played away from the friendly confines of the Alamodome.
COACH TO CURE: This week, the UTSA and Old Dominion coaching staffs will be wearing special arm patches in honor of the American Football Coaches Association's Coach to Cure MD program. This is the ninth year that coaches around the country join together to raise funding and awareness of Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Fans are encouraged to donate by texting "CURE" to 90999 or visiting CoachtoCureMD.org.
SCOUTING OLD DOMINION: Old Dominion has dropped its last two outings after opening the 2016 campaign with a 54-21 home victory against Hampton. The Monarchs have since lost a pair of road tilts at Appalachian State (31-7) and North Carolina State (49-22). ODU, which is led by head coach Bobby Wilder, returned 42 letterwinners and 19 starters from last year's squad that won five games. Wilder owns a 58-29 (.667) overall mark in seven-plus seasons leading the Monarchs.
SERIES HISTORY: Saturday will mark the second all-time meeting between UTSA and Old Dominion. The Monarchs handed the Roadrunners a 36-31 Homecoming setback last Nov. 7 in the inaugural meeting between the two teams.
BROTHERY LOVE: Junior WRs Josh Stewart and Kerry Thomas Jr. became the first set of brothers to start the same game on offense for UTSA in its six-year history in the season opener against Alabama State (they have since started the past two contests at Colorado State and against Arizona State). Bennett (defense) and Evans (offense) Okotcha both started the 2013 season finale against Louisiana Tech (Nov. 30), but they did so on opposite sides of the line of scrimmage.
STURM WINS QUARTERBACK BATTLE: In a fall camp quarterback competition that went down to the wire, incumbent starter Dalton Sturm was under center to open the season and he responded with one of the best games of his career. The junior from Goliad connected on 20-of-25 passes for a career-high 274 yards and two touchdowns in the season-opening 26-13 victory against Alabama State. The former walk-on who earned a scholarship this summer completed throws to 10 different receivers and also rushed three times for 52 yards and another score in his eighth consecutive starting assignment dating back to last fall's Louisiana Tech contest (Oct. 10). His 51-yard touchdown run in the second quarter was one-yard shy of a career best, a 52-yard non-scoring jaunt last season at UTEP (Oct. 3), and his 51-yard pass to junior TE Shaq Williams in the third quarter also was the second-longest in his three years as a Roadrunner. Sturm, who split time with senior Jared Johnson in the second half at Colorado State, completed 15-of-23 throws for 176 yards and two more scores against the Rams. Last Friday saw him connect 19-of-37 throws for 229 yards and three touchdowns and he added a career-high 82 rushing yards and another score, a 34-yarder in the third quarter, on 15 carries. Sturm has completed 63.5 percent of his passes (54-of-85) through the season's first three contests for 679 yards and seven scores.
HE'S STREAKING: Junior QB Dalton Sturm comes into Saturday's game at Old Dominion riding a streak of 10 consecutive outings with a touchdown pass. Sturm and Eric Soza (2011-12) share the program record.
HOT STARTS: Junior QB Dalton Sturm has made a habit of hot starts in the season's first three games. Sturm completed his first six attempts last Friday against Arizona State and that came on the heels of starting 5-of-6 at Colorado State and 14-of-15 in the season opener against Alabama State.
SPREADING THE WEALTH: UTSA's two quarterbacks have distributed the team's 61 completions to a total of 11 pass-catchers this season. Leading the way is junior WR Marquez McNair, who has hauled in a team-leading 11 passes for 124 yards and one touchdown.
WILLIAMS BACK AFTER 1,000-YARD CAMPAIGN: Senior RB Jarveon Williams became the first 1,000-yard rusher in program history last fall. Williams ran for 1,042 yards and eight touchdowns on 173 carries (6.0 avg.) in his 11 games of action, which was an average of 94.7 per contest. All of those numbers were UTSA single-season records and he was an honorable mention All-Conference USA selection. The local product out of Converse Judson High School rushed for 29 yards on six carries before exiting the season-opening 26-13 victory against Alabama State late in the first half due to injury. He played at Colorado State but only was able to rush for 10 yards on eight carries while catching a 28-yard pass that set up the Roadrunners' second touchdown of the game. Last Friday saw Williams set new career highs of five receptions for 81 yards against Arizona State.
THOMAS RETURNS AFTER RECORD-BREAKING SOPHOMORE SEASON: Junior WR Kerry Thomas, UTSA's leading receiver from a year ago, is coming off a sophomore campaign that saw him catch a school-record 52 passes for 541 yards and four touchdowns en route to honorable mention All-Conference USA accolades. He opened his third season as a Roadrunner with three receptions for 41 yards, including a 25-yard score in the fourth quarter, against Alabama State. Thomas Jr. added four catches for 41 yards and his second TD in as many weeks, a 10-yarder on UTSA's opening possession, at Colorado State.
STINGY DEFENSE: The Roadrunners defense has allowed just 14 third-down conversions in 44 attempts (31.8 percent) through the season's opening three contests and 13 of 38 opponent drives (34.2 percent) have resulted in three-and-outs. Alabama State converted just 2-of-14 third-down tries and was limited to seven three-and-outs in its 13 possessions in the season opener, while Colorado State was just 5-of-15 on third down and three of its drives resulted in three-and-outs two weeks ago.
Date — Opponent — 3rd-Downs — 3 & Outs (Drives)
Sept. 3 — Alabama State — 2-of-14 — 7 (13)
Sept. 10 — at Colorado State — 5-of-15 — 3 (13)
Sept. 16 — Arizona State — 7-of-15 — 3 (12)
EGWUAGU SETS NEW CAREER BEST: Senior S Michael Egwuagu, a preseason All-Conference USA selection, racked up a career-high 12 tackles (5 solos) two weeks ago at Colorado State. That topped his previous best of 10, which came against the Rams in last year's meeting that took place on Sept. 26 at the Alamodome. Egwuagu, who had 10 more stops last Friday against Arizona State, ranks second on the squad with his 29 tackles (14 solos) this season.
TAUAEFA HAS STRONG DEBUT: Redshirt freshman LB Josiah Tauaefa had a debut to remember in the season-opening 26-13 victory against Alabama State. The former defensive end, who made the transition to linebacker this past spring, racked up a team-leading 13 tackles (9 solos), including a pair of sacks. He has added nine stops in each of the past two outings and owns a team-leading 31 (16 solos) through the season's opening three tilts.
DAVENPORT MOVING UP CAREER SACKS CHART: Junior DE Marcus Davenport opened his third campaign against Alabama State with two sacks, which pushed his career total to nine and he now ranks second on UTSA's career list. The 6-foot-7, 245-pound local product out of Stevens High School is tied with Cody Rogers (2011-14) and now trails only Jason Neill, who racked up 14 from 2011-15.
UTSA Career Sacks
Rank — Name — Sacks
1. Jason Neill (2011-15) — 14
2. Marcus Davenport (2014-present) — 9
Cody Rogers (2011-14) — 9
BIG-TIME SACK ATTACK: UTSA registered a program-record six sacks in the season-opening 26-13 victory against Alabama State. That broke the previous mark of five that had occurred six times (last: at Marshall; Oct. 5, 2013). Leading the way was the duo of junior DE Marcus Davenport and redshirt freshman LB Josiah Tauaefa, who both recorded two each.
PLENTY BACK ON DEFENSE: The Roadrunners may return just five starters on defense, but they welcome back three of their top five tacklers from the 2015 season. Junior S Nate Gaines (76), junior LB Marcos Curry (74) and senior S Michael Egwuagu (62) ranked third through fifth, respectively, last fall.