gtpdd’s UTSA Preview

Tomorrow night at 6:00 PM Central, the Bulldogs head back to Texas to take on the Roadrunners of UTSA. But before you watch the game, you need to know a few things. That’s where we come in!

How to watch

Tomorrow night’s game airs on ESPN+. If you didn’t sign up for a free trial for Tech’s first two games, you should still be able to get 7 days for free. If you did sign up before, you’ll either have to pay for it this time ($4.99/month), or use a different email address to sign up for another free trial.

Other People’s Predictions

  • ESPN FPI: Tech has a 74.9% chance to win.
  • Massey: Tech wins, 27-21
  • Vegas (OddsShark): Tech wins by 11.5 points
  • BleedTechBlue: Tech wins, 30-17
  • S&P+: Tech wins, 32-20

Previous Record

UTSA comes into the game at 3-3 and on a three game winning streak (against Rice, UTEP, and Texas State). Tech comes into the game at 3-2 after getting destroyed at home by the Blazers.

What to Watch For

Evan: I think a key matchup in this game will be how well the Bulldog defense can stifle a UTSA offense that is Not Good™. Last week, the defense looked very good against UAB for three quarters of the game. They gave up points at the end due to the fact that the offense couldn’t move the ball forward at all. This week, we’re in for an even better defensive performance.

UTSA’s offense is one of the absolute worst in the entire country. They’re currently averaging 102 rushing yards and just under 150 passing yards per game. That’s good for 122nd and 119th in the country, respectively. In the S&P+ metric for offensive explosiveness–which measures a team’s effectiveness on successful plays and also its points per play average–UTSA is dead last. That means they have trouble moving the ball, and even when they do, they aren’t scoring a lot of points. That bodes well for a Tech defense that has looked quite stout for most of the season so far (minus the first quarter at North Texas and the fourth quarter against UAB, really).

To make matters better, UTSA is having some trouble along the offensive line. They’re allowing 2.83 sacks per game, which is good for 104th nationally. If Tech can take away the run and force UTSA into throwing situations, I expect Ferguson to have another money-making game out there. Given all that, plus the fact that opposing QBs basically don’t throw the ball at Amik any more, it’s fairly easy for me to anticipate Tech totally shutting down the Road Runners on Saturday.

Random Factoid

Josh: I’ve been in the Alamodome a bunch of times, but never for a football game. Named after the historical fort in downtown San Antonio, the Alamodome is home to UTSA Football. However, it is also home to the Drum Corps International’s Southwestern Championship. For those of you that don’t know, DCI is essentially marching band on steroids. Limited to brass and percussion instrumentation, with an age limit of 21 in the World and Open Class divisions, each Corps fields up to 154 members to compete with other organizations in putting the best possible 12-minute show on the field. These shows tend to be more artistic and athletic than your typical college band and each corps spends most of the spring and summer working all day on these shows, striving to perfect the most minute details. As someone who used to watch a lot of shows both in person and on YouTube, I recommend that everyone check it out at least once to see what is possible on a football field if you aren’t a football team. Here are some clips from my favorite corps. First, the closing moments of the Bluecoats show on the field:

And second, a warm-up video of the Bluecoats drumline in the lot performing their drum break:

This is all serious business to a lot of band kids, especially those in Texas, so the crowd at the Alamodome can get pretty large considering the majority of the seating isn’t available. The reason behind that is that you don’t watch these kind of performances from the back or the sides; these shows are performed to judges and crowds on the home side of the stands, so the seating is very limited. That being said, the DCI Southwestern Championship brought in a little over 14,000 people in 2016. That’s pretty good considering that most of the seating is unavailable. That still puts it under the average attendance for UTSA home games, so maybe they do have something going on down there.

NCAA 14 Simulation

Nathan: In 2013, EA Sports released it’s next installment of it’s NCAA Football series. Unfortunately, it was also their last. But because of the ability to download and import rosters from the internet, the game has been kept alive by a small group of volunteers.

Unfortunately (again), it takes time to create the rosters and player ratings for every team in the game, so it wasn’t until this week that Tech’s roster has been updated for the 2018 season. And luckily, UTSA’s roster was also updated recently.

That means we can play god have them play each other.

So we did. Here’s an overview of the scoring drives:

  • Q1 02:10 – Tech 7 UTSA 0 (McKnight 5 yard run)
  • Q2 04:16 – Tech 14 UTSA 0 (J’Mar 13 yard pass to Holly)
  • Q2 01:52 – Tech 14 UTSA 7 (Locksley 6 yard run)
  • Q2 00:11 – Tech 14 UTSA 14 (Locksley 21 yard pass to Juniel)
  • Q3 02:20 – Tech 21 UTSA 14 (J’Mar 68 yard run)
  • Q3 00:12 – Tech 24 UTSA 14 (Hale 22 yard FG)

Tech wins, 24-14

Hot Taeks

Evan: UTSA QB Cordale Grundy will complete less than 40% of his passes. Amik won’t log any stats except maybe a few tackles, because they’re too scared to throw to him.

Nathan: Somehow, Tech will find a way to lose to UAB again.

Josh: Personally, I think the Alamodome is ugly as sin, especially with those four humongous pillars in the corners. Terrible design flaw. I will say that the outside looks pretty good, but you really aren’t outside the stadium for a football game, are you?

Final Prediction

Evan: Tech will bounce back this week against a bad UTSA offense and a Not Great UTSA defense. The Road Runners like to pretend that they’re rivals with us, but it says here that they’ve beaten us once since they started their program in 2011. Hold that thought–it says that game took place in 2013, and I am like 96.4% sure Tech didn’t have football that year.

Tech wins, 34-18

Nathan: Last night, I watched a 30for30 documentary called “The ’85 Bears” (creative name, I know). I watched it mostly so that I can feel like I got my money’s worth for the whole $5 a month a pay for ESPN+.

In the film, the players talk about going into an early December game against the Miami Dolphins expecting to simply breeze through it. But long story short, the Bears got their butts kicked. Every member of that roster went on to say the team needed that loss to the Dolphins to humble them and fuel their fire.

UAB is Tech’s Miami.

Yes, Tech already lost to LSU. But the team played well in Baton Rouge in a game they weren’t expected to. That wasn’t a humbling loss. But UAB kicked their butts. Maybe this loss was needed for the team to succeed later in the year.

Or maybe I’m wrong and Tech will never win again.

Regardless, you never want to play a good team after a bad loss. And contrary to popular belief, Tech is a good team.

Tech wins, 31-14

Josh: I think UTSA is gonna look super not good, but that Tech will look super mediocre as well. It’s probably gonna be another ugly game for the Dawgs, so I expect mostly low scoring, defense heavy football. However, Tech gets a late score or two in the fourth to pull away and seal the game.

Tech wins, 24-14

1 thought on “gtpdd’s UTSA Preview”

  1. Coincidentally, Evan\’s brothers were in DCI last summer. They didn\’t perform in this stadium, but they did practice a lot, sometimes for 16 hours a day or more. It\’s well worth a trip too see DCI live wherever you are, because YouTube videos don\’t do it justice.


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