One of the most underrated teams in the country will come to the Liberty Bowl on Saturday when the UTSA Roadrunners make the long trip from San Antonio to Memphis. The Roadrunners are simply just a solid football team. Head Coach Jeff Traylor has done an excellent job turning the program around.
The Tigers and Roadrunners are two of only 34 undefeated teams left in the nation. This game may not get as much hype as the Mississippi State matchup did, but it will likely be one of the toughest tests the Tigers face all season.
The Roadrunners showed they are not afraid of hostile environments when they marched into Champaign, Illinois, and beat the Fighting Illini 37-30 a few weeks back. UTSA is ranked 10th in the nation in total defense. They are giving up 4.03 yards per play and have only given up 5 touchdowns so far this season. They have not allowed a rushing touchdown. UTSA may not have the greatest athletes in the game, but they play good fundamental football on defense.
On the offensive side of the ball, the Roadrunners have one of the best backs in the country in Sincere McCormick. He is averaging 4.4 yards per carry and eclipsed the 100 yard mark in two of UTSA's first three games. The Roadrunners starting quarterback Frank Harris has played since 2019 so he has plenty of experience.
Memphis Head Coach Ryan Silverfield knows that they will be facing a really tough team in UTSA.
"UTSA is as well-rounded of a team that we will face this year. They're great on offense, defense, and special teams. They're well-coached, and this is not just coach speak; they're going to give us everything at once,” he said.
The Tiger offense will have to play much better this week on offense to beat the Roadrunners. The Tigers only scored 14 points last week against the Bulldogs. There is a good chance they will not have a special teams and defensive touchdown to help them out. Since the Tigers have a true freshman starting quarterback, they need solid production out of the running game to make his job easier. The Tigers only rushed for 87 yards last week. They will need to find a way to give Rodriguez Clark more carries. He had only one carry against Mississippi St. that went for 16 yards.
On the defensive side of the ball, there were encouraging signs. They gave up 29 points instead of 50. Mississippi St. Ran for 49 yards. They will have to be better in the secondary because there were a few busted coverages and if the execution had been better there could have been a different outcome on Saturday.
Memphis is riding a 17-game home winning streak, the fourth-longest streak in the nation, and in order to keep that going, they will have to play one of their best games of the year. The game will be televised on ESPNU and will kick off at 2:30 p.m.