FACTS & STATS: Site: Alamodome (72,000) — San Antonio, Texas.
Television: FCS. Home Record: FIU 2-3, UTSA 0-1. Away Record: FIU 1-0, UTSA
1-2. Neutral Record: FIU 0-0, UTSA 0-0. Conference Record: FIU 2-0, UTSA 0-1.
Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: The Texas-San Antonio Roadrunners will get back to work on their
Conference USA schedule this Saturday when the FIU Panthers invade the
FIU is off to an excellent start in league play following a tough run outside
of conference. The Panthers defeated UAB (34-20) and Florida Atlantic (38-10)
in back-to-back weeks to improve to 3-3 overall and 2-0 against conference
foes. They have a come a long way since falling, 14-12, to Bethune-Cookman in
It has also been quite a while since UTSA’s stunning 27-7 win at Houston.
Since that victory, the Roadrunners have lost four straight, including a 41-37
setback at Florida Atlantic in their C-USA debut. Last weekend, they dropped a
21-9 decision at home to New Mexico.
Although both teams are in their second season in C-USA, this bout marks the
first-ever meeting between them.
Wins may be piling up for FIU, but it is certainly not because of its
offensive efforts. The Panthers are last in the league in total offense (283.8
ypg) while scoring a miserable 24.3 points per game. In fact, they are the
only squad in the conference averaging fewer than 300 yards per game.
Having a quarterback completing less than 50 percent of his pass attempts has
not helped, but unfortunately that is the challenge facing FIU with Alex
McGough under center. McGough has connected on just 48.9 percent of his
throws, although he has a solid touchdown (seven) to interception (two) ratio.
However, he is only averaging 135.3 passing yards per game.
McGough doesn’t spread the ball particularly well with the bulk of the work
going to Jonnu Smith and Glenn Coleman. Smith leads the team in just about
every receiving category, including receptions (30), yards (373) and
touchdowns (three). Coleman (17 receptions, 291 yards, two TDs) is the only
other player on the roster with at least 10 receptions and 100 yards.
Alex Gardner is an effective runner, averaging nearly five yards per carry. In
total he has picked up 413 yards and a touchdown on 85 totes. Anthon Samuel is
less elusive, but he has crossed the goal line three times.
FIU’s saving grace is its defense. The Panthers trail only Marshall in both
total defense (328.7 ypg) and points allowed (20.5 ppg). The defense has been
stout thanks to some opportunistic play, as the Panthers have accumulated a
national-best 21 forced turnovers, including 13 fumble recoveries.
Richard Leonard leads the way with four interceptions and two fumble
recoveries, while Denzell Perine (7.0 TFL, 5.5 sacks) and Mike Wakefield (8.5
TFL, 5.5 sacks) help provide a solid pass rush.
Like FIU, UTSA is not exactly an offensive juggernaut. The Roadrunners are
scoring 21.8 points per game, while ranking next-to-last in the league in
yards (314.2 ypg). The silver lining is that UTSA’s only game with more than
400 yards came in C-USA play against FAU.
Tucker Carter will need to be sharp for the Roadrunners against the lethal
playmakers of FIU. Carter has twice as many interceptions (four) as touchdown
passes (two), although neither total is that outrageous after five games.
Carter has completed a healthy 57.1 percent of his pass attempts, but is only
averaging 146.4 yards per game.
David Morgan (14 receptions, 196 yards), Kam Jones (13 receptions, 106 yards)
and Marcellus Mack (12 receptions, 164 yards) are the most productive
receiving threats. However, Morgan did not play against New Mexico and is
listed as questionable for this bout with a foot injury.
David Glasco (256 yards, four TDs) and Jarveon Williams (231 yards, two TDs)
form a nice one-two punch out of the backfield. Williams is the more explosive
of the two and is coming off a season-high 95 yards against New Mexico. Lasco
had only 28 yards on 11 carries.
While not as difficult to move against as FIU, UTSA’s defense is still fairly
strong, especially in comparison to the rest of the conference. The
Roadrunners are tied for third in the league in scoring defense (27.6 ppg),
while letting up only 383.6 yards per game.
Jens Jeters (32 tackles), Drew Douglas (32 tackles, 4.0 TFL) and Triston Wade
(31 tackles) have all reached the 30-tackle mark, while Jason Neill (3.5
sacks) leads the pass rush.
Although UTSA may not have as impressive a record as FIU, it has cut its teeth
against some very difficult competition in the early going. If Carter can be a
bit more consistent with his throws then the Roadrunners have a chance to pick
up a win at home.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Texas-San Antonio 28, FIU 20