There’s been a major C-USA West storm brewing in San Antonio over the past two weeks, and also in the recruiting game since February. Behind it, UTSA’s first year head coach Frank Wilson is becoming a mad scientist of G5 success in his short tenure down in San An-tone.
After a 1-3 start, a bye week, and four games of adversity to improve upon. UTSA’s new head coach appears to have the ship righted with simple personnel adjustments, and he is also a master-motivator who has his team and new program on the right path.
“Same thing, and maybe even more validated.” Wilson described the joy of UTSA’s second straight win. “We put together consecutive wins, we went into an environment where we had not had success in the past.”
Over the past two weeks, UTSA has started to build an identity of a team who can run the ball efficiently with two capable backs, a quarterback who doesn’t make costly mistakes, and a young defense that is starting to roll.
“I don’t think as much consideration is taken as far as the youth.” Wilson said. We’re just trying to find the guys who gives us the best opportunity.”
“Some guys are learning how to play and the things that are being required of them from a schematic point.” Wilson continued about his young and emerging players on defense. “And we like their intangibles, their length, their ability to play press-man coverage at times.”
What his emerging defense has done the best is cash in on the opposing teams mistakes, which in turn is slowly maturing the Runners as a whole under their new direction.
“We are five-for-five there. When we get turnovers we turn it into points.” Wilson said. “As outstanding as our defense has been playing, I’ve challenged them to get us some turnovers.”
On the offensive side, running backs Jalen Rhodes, and Jarveon Williams are turning into a legit tandem, but Wilson a former running back coach under Les Miles at LSU, still feels his running game can be much better.
“Taking turns of being consistent.” Wilson said of his running back duo the past two weeks. “There are plays where we are one block away, we run a play and the puller comes out and he has to is block that guy and there’s nobody else is there and he trips or he misses them.”
“There are a lot of things that we need to clean up, good thing is, they’re all fixable”
With a legit shot at entering C-USA’s bowl picture with a win against UTEP, Wilson feels the Miners can play spoiler coming off a bye week.
“Sean Kugler is a very good football coach. He’s a former offensive line guy, player and coach.” Wilson said. They’re a dangerous team, and if you just look at the history of it when we’ve played one another, the visiting team has been successful.”
It has certainly been a weird series between UTSA and UTEP.
The home team has never won in the young series, and there has not been a close game in three meetings in what some label as a ‘rivalry.’
And even though this is Wilson’s first game against UTEP, he sounds prepared for the Miners early on in the week.
“They’re going to try and run the ball effectively on us.” Wilson said. “They like doing it so much they’re bringing in an extra tackle in the game and running unbalanced.”
Wilson seems impressed with UTEP’s Aaron Jones, and the Miners size on defense.
“They return an all-conference, 1,000 rusher that has 700-plus yards already this year.” Wilson said of Jones. “We’ll have to to a really good job of stopping the run game.”
While UTSA’s offense has been much improved from 2015, they still have gave up 20-plus sacks, something Wilson wants his offensive line to improve against UTEP.
“They run a 3-4 defense and average 300 pounds all the way across the front.” Wilson said of UTEP’s defense. “They’re probably the biggest from a girth standpoint team that we’ll face this year. We’ll have to do a good job of coming off the ball and really creating movement and putting our backs in situations where they’ll have to beat linebackers and safeties.”
As smooth and as charismatic as a talker Wilson can be, the formula for Saturday’s game against UTEP, and the continued improved play of his young Roadrunners seems simple in the end.
“Our team goal is to win the game. Offensively for us it’s to score one more point than our opponent. Defensively it’s to hold our opponent for one less point than our offense. With that, you get victory, I’ll take that everyday.”