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The big 2015 UTSA football guide: The Roadrunners' first-ever rebuild

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The 128-team countdown previews a newcomer that's already starting over.

Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Confused? Check out the advanced-stats glossary here.

1. The second build

There are checkpoints to building a football program from scratch. First you've got your feasibility study. Then the university curators/regents/trustees decide, "Yeah, let's do this." Then you figure out the "Where are we going to play? Are we going to need to build something?" issue. Then you hire a coach. A couple of years later, you play a game.

A few years after that, you replace 40 seniors and start over. You signed a couple of recruiting classes before even playing a game, and those players worked their way through the eligibility clock at the same time. It is the final checkpoint.

How you choose to handle this is up to you. You could start from scratch and stick to signing mostly freshmen, accepting that you're going to take a step backwards for a couple of years. Or you could do what UTSA's Larry Coker did: sign a small recruiting class the year before your motherlode of seniors graduates, then load up on mid-year JUCO transfers.

Senior Day took a while at UTSA. Coker and Roadrunner fans bid adieu to 36 seniors, including 18 members of the program's original signing class. UTSA went from concept to Conference USA contender in a short amount of time, debuting in 2011 and nearly winning the C-USA West in 2013. The Roadrunners moved so quickly that the original class was able to take part in both a surprising surge and a disappointing letdown.

I expected big things of UTSA in 2014, and it looked like they might come to fruition. The Roadrunners whipped Houston and took Arizona to the wire to start the year. But injuries and an offensive meltdown negated defensive gains, and tight early losses led to a 4-8 finish.

Injuries and shuffling meant more underclassmen than expected got playing time, but the Roadrunners still miss their leading passser, their leading rusher, three of their top four wide receivers, five offensive linemen who had combined for 179 career starts, their top two defensive ends, their top three defensive tackles, their leading tackler in the linebacking corps, and four of their top six defensive backs. Coker's large 2015 class could provide a lifeline, but after building chemistry and familiarity, his fifth UTSA team is going to have little of either.

2. 38 signees

Before a bit of attrition, UTSA headed into the fall with 38 seniors and, therefore, 38 spots to soon fill. You can only sign 25 players in February, but thanks to 13 early enrollees (which counted toward what was a tiny 2014 signing class), Coker indeed brought in 38 players. They include 2014 grayshirts, early high school graduates, two Division I transfers, and eight junior college transfers. For every vacancy, UTSA has three or four potential options. We'll just have to wait to find out if any are good.

Former Michigan quarterback Russell Bellomy and Oklahoma wideout Dannon Cavil are Roadrunners, as are 10 high schoolers and one JUCO transfer who were given three-star designations by the 247Sports Composite. Athleticism and potential don't appear to be issues, but it's still difficult to imagine losing 17 starters and avoiding regression, even if your team was quite a bit worse than expected.

As UTSA's season began to crumble, rumors floated that Coker, at 66 years old, was pondering retirement. It would have made sense; 2014 wasn't going as planned, and there was not going to be a quick road back. But he's still aboard.

2014 Schedule & Results

Record: 4-8 | Adj. Record: 3-9 | Final F/+ Rk: 109
Date Opponent Opp. F/+ Rk Score W-L Percentile
Performance
Adj. Scoring
Margin
Win
Expectancy
29-Aug at Houston 73 27-7 W 95% 38.6 100%
4-Sep Arizona 28 23-26 L 43% -4.4 42%
13-Sep at Oklahoma State 75 13-43 L 4% -41.4 0%
27-Sep at Florida Atlantic 100 37-41 L 37% -7.7 62%
4-Oct New Mexico 94 9-21 L 7% -35.2 1%
11-Oct Florida International 96 16-13 W 55% 2.7 83%
18-Oct at Louisiana Tech 35 20-27 L 46% -2.6 26%
25-Oct UTEP 90 0-34 L 1% -60.1 0%
8-Nov at Rice 86 7-17 L 24% -16.8 11%
13-Nov Southern Miss 110 12-10 W 15% -24.6 28%
22-Nov at Western Kentucky 50 7-45 L 2% -49.9 0%
29-Nov North Texas 125 34-27 W 67% 10.0 95%

Category Offense Rk Defense Rk
S&P+ 15.4 124 27.5 59
Points Per Game 17.1 121 25.9 56

3. The offense dragged everything down

UTSA's offense ranked a healthy 58th in Off. S&P+ in 2013; the Roadrunners lacked in big-play capability, but dual-threat quarterback Eric Soza was an underrated efficiency weapon, and UTSA was able to stay ahead of the chains. Without Soza, UTSA still expected to lean on running back David Glasco II running behind college football's most experienced line.

But the run game was ineffective, and UTSA couldn't keep a quarterback healthy. Senior starter Tucker Carter battled a shoulder injury, and true freshman Blake Bogenschutz showed promise, then almost immediately got hurt. UTSA quarterbacks combined for five touchdowns, 12 interceptions, a poor sack rate, and a poor completion rate.

Strangely enough, that tends to slow your offense down. And after a mediocre offensive start against decent defenses, UTSA's offense played as poorly as almost anyone's.

  • UTSA offense (first 5 games): 314.2 yards per game, 4.48 yards per play, 21.8 points per game
  • UTSA defense (next 6 games): 257.8 yards per game, 4.03 yards per play, 11.8 points per game

After scoring 37 against FAU, UTSA scored just 71 in seven games. The Roadrunners did rebound to play well against a bad North Texas defense, but the damage had long been done. An improved defense held on for a while but faltered down the stretch, allowing 5.5 yards per play and 34 points to an iffy UTEP offense, then allowing 7.4 and 45 points to WKU.

  • Average percentile performance (first 7 games): 41%
  • Average percentile performance (next 4 games): 11%

The seniors went out as winners against North Texas, but it was only the fourth win of the year. UTSA (and I) expected quite a few more than that.

Offense

FIVE FACTORS -- OFFENSE
Raw Category Rk Opp. Adj. Category Rk
EXPLOSIVENESS IsoPPP 0.75 114 IsoPPP+ 67.7 126
EFFICIENCY Succ. Rt. 34.9% 124 Succ. Rt. + 82.9 121
FIELD POSITION Def. Avg. FP 29.4 63 Def. FP+ 101.0 53
FINISHING DRIVES Pts. Per Trip in 40 3.4 120 Redzone S&P+ 83.0 117
TURNOVERS EXPECTED 24.3 ACTUAL 22 -2.3
Category Yards/
Game Rk
S&P+ Rk Success
Rt. Rk
PPP+ Rk
OVERALL 122 126 123 126
RUSHING 110 123 124 122
PASSING 110 124 115 126
Standard Downs 125 124 124
Passing Downs 119 114 122
Q1 Rk 127 1st Down Rk 127
Q2 Rk 121 2nd Down Rk 124
Q3 Rk 120 3rd Down Rk 118
Q4 Rk 121

Quarterback

Note: players in bold below are 2015 returnees. Players in italics are questionable with injury/suspension.

Player Ht, Wt 2015
Year
Rivals 247 Comp. Comp Att Yards TD INT Comp
Rate
Sacks Sack Rate Yards/
Att.
Tucker Carter
96 167 1083 4 5 57.5% 11 6.2% 5.7
Austin Robinson 6'3, 220 So. 2 stars (5.2) 0.7926 81 146 645 1 5 55.5% 13 8.2% 3.4
Blake Bogenschutz 6'1, 180 RSFr. 2 stars (5.4) 0.7859 22 39 282 0 2 56.4% 5 11.4% 5.7
Dalton Sturm 6'2, 180 So. NR NR
Russell Bellomy
(Michigan)
6'3, 210 Sr. 3 stars (5.5) 0.8500
Jaylon Henderson 6'2, 200 Fr. 2 stars (5.4) 0.8205
Manny Harris 6'0, 220 Fr. 2 stars (5.4) 0.7844

4. Flood the system, part 1: Wheel of quarterbacks

Carter went 22-for-33 for 228 yards against Arizona but got hurt against Oklahoma State and spent the rest of 2014 bouncing in and out of the lineup. Freshman Bogenschutz completed 10 of 16 against New Mexico and earned a start against FIU but almost immediately broke his hand. So redshirt freshman Austin Robinson filled in and completed 14 of 17 passes against FIU ... then threw two picks against Louisiana Tech and completed 14 of 36 passes against UTEP and Rice. Carter came back, got hurt, and came back again.

It was a big mess. And now that Carter is gone for good, it goes without saying that UTSA's quarterback situation is a mystery. But if you've got a giant question mark, you might as well have plenty of potential answers. And at every level of the offense, UTSA has flooded the system with options.

The mobile Robinson is back, as is Bogenschutz, who was granted a medical waiver after getting hurt so quickly. (That leads us to a fun situation: the first pass of Bogenschutz's redshirt freshman season will be the 40th of his career.) Walk-on Dalton Sturm, who finished second on the depth chart, returns as well. So the quarterback race was already going to be crowded before Bellomy announced he was transferring from Michigan and UTSA signed two intriguing true freshmen (Jaylon Henderson, Manny Harris).

Bogenschutz was the first choice last year when Carter went down, and I assume he's the favorite unless Bellomy shows more of his potential than he did in limited playing time at UM (career passing line: 4-for-23, 46 yards, four interceptions).

Running Back

Player Pos. Ht, Wt 2015
Year
Rivals 247 Comp. Rushes Yards TD Yards/
Carry
Hlt Yds/
Opp.
Opp.
Rate
Fumbles Fum.
Lost
David Glasco II RB
150 570 5 3.8 4.1 28.7% 0 0
Jarveon Williams RB 5'9, 200 Jr. 2 stars (5.4) 0.8006 66 325 3 4.9 6.2 31.8% 0 0
Austin Robinson QB 6'3, 220 So. 2 stars (5.2) 0.7926 53 321 1 6.1 9.9 32.1% 6 4
Brandon Armstrong RB
50 208 1 4.2 5.6 30.0% 2 2
Tucker Carter QB
34 98 3 2.9 3.9 26.5% 3 0
Kam Jones WR
25 69 1 2.8 4.0 40.0% 1 0
Brian Vaughn (2013) RB 5'6, 180 Jr. 2 stars (5.2) NR 13 45 0 3.5 2.8 38.5% N/A N/A
Blake Bogenschutz QB 6'1, 180 RSFr. 2 stars (5.4) 0.7859 11 48 1 4.4 6.7 27.3% 0 0
Corbin White RB 5'11, 225 Jr. 2 stars (5.4) 0.7726
Jess Anders RB 5'9, 175 Fr. 2 stars (5.4) 0.8054
Brett Winnegan RB 5'9, 175 Fr. 2 stars (5.4) 0.7893






Receiving Corps

Player Pos. Ht, Wt 2015
Year
Rivals 247 Comp. Targets Catches Yards Catch Rate Target
Rate
%SD Yds/
Target
NEY Real Yds/
Target
RYPR
Kam Jones WR-Z
57 34 232 59.6% 17.1% 64.9% 4.1 -185 4.2 25.0
Aaron Grubb SLOT 5'8, 170 Sr. NR NR 37 23 202 62.2% 11.1% 43.2% 5.5 -78 5.4 21.8
Marcellus Mack WR-X
36 22 279 61.1% 10.8% 44.4% 7.8 10 8.2 30.1
Kenny Harrison WR-Z
33 18 229 54.5% 9.9% 63.6% 6.9 4 6.7 24.7
David Morgan II TE 6'4, 250 Sr. NR NR 25 20 255 80.0% 7.5% 60.0% 10.2 22 10.3 27.5
Cole Hubble TE
22 11 170 50.0% 6.6% 59.1% 7.7 30 7.7 18.3
Brandon Armstrong RB
22 15 138 68.2% 6.6% 45.5% 6.3 -41 6.7 14.9
Jarveon Williams RB 5'9, 200 Jr. 2 stars (5.4) 0.8006 17 14 124 82.4% 5.1% 41.2% 7.3 -38 5.5 13.4
Josiah Monroe SLOT
16 12 85 75.0% 4.8% 43.8% 5.3 -56 5.0 9.2
Miles Lerch WR-X 5'10, 165 Jr. NR NR 13 6 68 46.2% 3.9% 61.5% 5.2 -10 5.6 7.3
David Glasco II RB
13 5 18 38.5% 3.9% 76.9% 1.4 -50 1.0 1.9
Kerry Thomas Jr. WR 6'0, 200 So. 2 stars (5.3) 0.7994 12 5 81 41.7% 3.6% 16.7% 6.8 14 6.6 8.7
Kenny Bias WR-X 6'1, 180 Sr. 2 stars (5.3) N/A 11 7 105 63.6% 3.3% 63.6% 9.5 20 8.9 11.3
Aron Taylor WR 6'1, 200 So. 2 stars (5.4) 0.8006
Tristan Crossland TE 6'3, 200 RSFr. 2 stars (5.4) 0.7693
Dannon Cavil (Oklahoma) WR 6'4, 215 So. 3 stars (5.6) 0.8627
JaBryce Taylor WR 6'2, 215 Jr. 3 stars (5.6) 0.8200
Kelvin "Shaq" Williams TE 6'6, 250 Jr. 2 stars (5.3) 0.7794
Matthew Guidry WR 5'10, 170 Fr. 2 stars (5.4) 0.8048
Peyton Hall WR 6'0, 180 Fr. 2 stars (5.4) 0.7991
Derrick Dick WR 5'9, 175 Fr. 2 stars (5.4) 0.7866

5. Flood the system, part 2: A grand chemistry experiment

With such turnover at quarterback, none of 2014's primary returnees were able to generate momentum. Glasco II saw his per-carry average fall from 5.2 in 2013 to 3.8. Brandon Armstrong went from 8.1 to 4.2. And in the receiving corps, everybody's catch rates plummeted: Kam Jones went from 72 percent to 60, Marcellus Mack from 69 percent to 61, Kenny Harrison from 79 percent to 55. And now all five are gone.

In terms of production, none of these guys were irreplaceable, but they were still at the top of last year's depth chart. With them gone, UTSA will rely on bit players and newcomers. At running back, that means ample opportunity for junior Jarveon Williams, JUCO transfer Corbin White, and perhaps a freshman like Jess Anders or Brett Winnegan. At receiver, slot receiver Aaron Grubb is the closest thing to a returning go-to guy, and sophomore Kerry Thomas Jr., star JUCO recruit JaBryce Taylor, Oklahoma transfer Dannon Cavil and maybe a freshman or two will all get immediate opportunities.

Familiarity between whoever wins the starting quarterback job and his skill position corps will be minimal. We'll see how much that matters. From a pure athleticism standpoint, UTSA is bigger and faster.

Offensive Line

Category Adj.
Line Yds
Std.
Downs

LY/carry
Pass.
Downs

LY/carry
Opp.
Rate
Power
Success
Rate
Stuff
Rate
Adj.
Sack Rate
Std.
Downs

Sack Rt.
Pass.
Downs

Sack Rt.
Team 83 2.5 2.54 29.9% 74.3% 24.6% 93.6 5.9% 8.6%
Rank 119 113 113 125 18 118 78 88 83
Player Pos. Ht, Wt 2015
Year
Rivals 247 Comp. Career Starts Honors/Notes
Nate Leonard C 46
Scott Inskeep LG
44
Cody Harris LT
43
Josh Walker RT
29
Payton Rion RG
17
William Cavanaugh RG 6'1, 300 Sr. 2 stars (5.2) NR 15
Jordan Gray RT 6'2, 260 Sr. 2 stars (5.2) NR 8
Reed Darragh LT 6'4, 290 So. 2 stars (5.2) 0.7600 0
Kyle McKinney LG 6'4, 310 So. 2 stars (5.3) 0.7644 0
Juan Perez C 6'2, 270 So. 2 stars (5.2) 0.7600 0
Cody Cole LT 6'5, 285 So. 2 stars (5.2) NR 0
David Anzaldua OT 6'6, 330 RSFr. 2 stars (5.4) 0.8060
Gabe Casillas OT 6'5, 280 Jr. 2 stars (5.2) 0.7800
Clayton Woods C 6'3, 280 Fr. 2 stars (5.4) 0.8111
Alex Snow C 6'3, 290 Fr. 2 stars (5.3) 0.7983

6. Flood the system, part 3: Trenches edition

When UTSA kicks off at Arizona on September 3, it will be the first game in program history with a starting center other than Nate Leonard. Leonard, Scott Inskeep, and Cody Harris all started for most of four seasons, and they are now all gone. So are the two other starters.

Two seniors -- William Cavanaugh and Jordan Gray -- have racked up starts through the years, so the cupboard isn't completely bare. But after those two, you dip into a pool of sophomores and newbies. (The system isn't quite as flooded here.)

In 2014, UTSA's offense showed how interrelated each unit of an offense is. UTSA's 2013 line ranked 43rd in Adj. Line Yards and 15th in Adj. Sack Rate, and returned all five starters last fall, but all it took was an iffy quarterback situation for the Roadrunners to fall to 119th and 78th.

Defense

FIVE FACTORS -- DEFENSE
Raw Category Rk Opp. Adj. Category Rk
EXPLOSIVENESS IsoPPP 0.92 101 IsoPPP+ 107.9 48
EFFICIENCY Succ. Rt. 35.6% 11 Succ. Rt. + 107.2 40
FIELD POSITION Off. Avg. FP 30.2 72 Off. FP+ 100.0 65
FINISHING DRIVES Pts. Per Trip in 40 4.2 45 Redzone S&P+ 108.8 36
TURNOVERS EXPECTED 20.8 ACTUAL 19.0 -1.8
Category Yards/
Game Rk
S&P+ Rk Success
Rt. Rk
PPP+ Rk
OVERALL 44 40 37 48
RUSHING 32 17 23 17
PASSING 66 80 76 89
Standard Downs 24 17 35
Passing Downs 70 99 70
Q1 Rk 38 1st Down Rk 40
Q2 Rk 13 2nd Down Rk 25
Q3 Rk 73 3rd Down Rk 38
Q4 Rk 52

Defensive Line

Category Adj.
Line Yds
Std.
Downs

LY/carry
Pass.
Downs

LY/carry
Opp.
Rate
Power
Success
Rate
Stuff
Rate
Adj.
Sack Rate
Std.
Downs

Sack Rt.
Pass.
Downs

Sack Rt.
Team 106.6 2.51 2.37 32.4% 67.3% 19.6% 91.9 5.0% 7.1%
Rank 38 16 10 11 64 60 82 52 71
Name Pos Ht, Wt 2015
Year
Rivals 247 Comp. GP Tackles % of Team TFL Sacks Int PBU FF FR
Robert Singletary DE
12 51.0 7.5% 8.5 3.5 0 4 4 0
Cody Rogers DE
12 34.0 5.0% 10.0 2.5 0 1 0 0
Ashaad Mabry DT
12 33.5 4.9% 6.0 1.0 0 1 0 0
Jason Neill DE 6'2, 260 Sr. NR NR 12 23.5 3.5% 7.0 4.0 0 1 2 0
Richard Burge DT
9 19.0 2.8% 2.5 1.0 0 0 0 0
Ferrington Macon DT
12 16.5 2.4% 1.0 1.0 0 0 0 0
Codie Brooks DE 6'1, 250 Jr. NR NR 8 14.5 2.1% 2.5 0.0 0 1 0 0
Brian Price DT 6'3, 310 Sr. 2 stars (5.2) 0.7400 9 14.5 2.1% 3.0 2.0 0 0 0 0
Marcus Davenport DE 6'6, 215 So. 2 stars (5.3) 0.7685 11 9.5 1.4% 2.5 2.5 0 0 0 0
Kennedy Ubabuike DT 6'2, 280 Sr. NR NR 6 5.5 0.8% 1.5 0.5 0 0 0 0
Justyn Eddins DE 6'3, 250 Sr. 2 stars (5.4) 0.7956
Vontrell King-Williams DT 6'2, 325 Jr. 3 stars (5.5) 0.7800
Ben Kane DE 6'4, 240 Jr. 2 stars (5.4) 0.7806
Jonathan Tuiolosega DT 6'1, 290 Jr. 2 stars (5.2) 0.7611
T.J. King DE 6'4, 225 Fr. 2 stars (5.4) 0.7926







DeQuarius Henry DE 6'4, 220 Fr. 2 stars (5.4) 0.7583

Linebackers

Name Pos Ht, Wt 2015
Year
Rivals 247 Comp. GP Tackles % of Team TFL Sacks Int PBU FF FR
Jens Jeters OLB
12 59.5 8.8% 4.0 1.0 0 1 1 1
Drew Douglas MLB 6'1, 230 Sr. NR NR 11 53.5 7.9% 7.0 1.0 0 1 1 0
Marcos Curry OLB 5'11, 210 So. 2 stars (5.2) 0.7633 10 10.0 1.5% 0.0 0.0 0 0 0 0
Dalton Miller LB 5'11, 220 Jr. NR NR 9 4.0 0.6% 1.0 1.0 0 0 0 0
Blake Terry LB
3 4.0 0.6% 0.0 0.0 0 0 0 0
Justin Todd MLB 6'0, 200 RSFr. 2 stars (5.2) 0.7733
La'Kel Bass LB 6'1, 230 Jr. 2 stars (5.3) 0.7544








7. Keep blockers out of Douglas' way

The trench rebuild isn't limited to offense. Those responsible for 70 percent of last year's defensive line tackles are gone, including the top two ends and top three tackles. UTSA's defense was outstanding against the run, and the five departed seniors combined for 19 non-sack tackles for loss. Strength could become weakness.

End Jason Neill gives UTSA a nice pass-rushing weapon, and underclassmen Codie Brooks and Marcus Davenport flashed some play-making potential in rare opportunities. But the tackle situation is scary enough that UTSA signed two JUCO tackles, including man-mountain Vontrell King-Williams.

The tackles' primary job was to keep blockers off of linebackers Jens Jeters and Drew Douglas, and they did that well. Douglas is back, but we'll see how much harder his job is this time around. If he has clear lanes to ball-carriers, he's proved he'll take them down.

Secondary

Name Pos Ht, Wt 2015
Year
Rivals 247 Comp. GP Tackles % of Team TFL Sacks Int PBU FF FR
Triston Wade FS
12 66.5 9.8% 0.5 0 4 10 1 0
Mauricio Sanchez ROVER 6'0, 200 Sr. NR NR 12 35.0 5.2% 4 0 1 2 0 0
Brian King ROVER
12 33.0 4.9% 0.5 0 1 3 0 0
Michael Egwuagu DAWG 6'0, 215 Jr. 2 stars (5.3) 0.7652 9 30.0 4.4% 3 0 1 1 1 0
Darrien Starling CB
12 25.5 3.8% 0.5 0 0 5 0 0
Crosby Adams III CB
11 22.5 3.3% 0.5 0 1 4 1 0
Chase Dahlquist DAWG 6'0, 195 Jr. 2 stars (5.3) 0.7600 12 20.0 3.0% 2 0 0 0 0 0
Bennett Okotcha CB 6'0, 195 Sr. 3 stars (5.6) 0.8553 12 19.0 2.8% 0 0 1 4 0 0
Duke Wheeler S 5'9, 195 Sr. NR NR 11 17.5 2.6% 2 0 0 2 1 1
Nic Johnston S
4 12.0 1.8% 2 0 0 1 0 0
Trevor Baker CB 6'2, 195 Sr. 2 stars (5.2) NR 11 9.5 1.4% 0 0 0 2 0 0
Andre Brown CB
8 5.5 0.8% 0 0 0 0 0 0
Tevin Broussard S
10 5.0 0.7% 0 0 0 0 0 0
Justin Chavez FS 5'10, 195 So. 2 stars (5.2) 0.7606 9 3.0 0.4% 0 0 0 0 0 0
Aneas Henricks CB 5'11, 175 So. 2 stars (5.4) 0.8169
Stanley Dye Jr. CB 5'10, 170 RSFr. 2 stars (5.2) 0.7633 1 2.5 0.4% 0 0 0 1 0 0
JaColbie Butler CB 5'10, 175 Fr. 2 stars (5.4) 0.8068
Darryl Godfrey S 6'1, 185 Fr. 2 stars (5.4) 0.8059
JaCorie Jones CB 5'10, 175 Fr. 2 stars (5.4) 0.8013
Andrew Martel S 6'1, 195 Fr. 2 stars (5.3) 0.7983
C.J. Levine S 6'0, 190 Fr. 2 stars (5.4) 0.7859

8. Which newcomers step up?

The front six of Neal Neathery's defense was a clear strength; UTSA ranked 17th in Rushing S&P+ and 24th in Standard Downs S&P+ but ranked just 80th and 70th in Passing and Passing Downs S&P+, respectively.

The return of Jason Neill and Drew Douglas gives Neathery something to work with up front, but it's clear that the secondary will have to step up. And it will have to do so without ballhawking safety Triston Wade in the back. Wade had more interceptions (four) and nearly as many break-ups (10) as every DB returnee combined (three and 11).

But in Mauricio Sanchez and Michael Egwuagu, the Roadrunners do have a couple of active pieces around which to build. They also have corner Bennett Okotcha, who has been a starter for a good portion of his career. But you play three safeties and two corners, not two and one.

So who else steps up? Stanley Dye Jr. is a good bet; like Blake Bogenschutz, he played early before suffering an injury, and he seems to have plenty of potential. So do safeties Chase Dahlquist and Duke Wheeler, who each made a couple of plays behind the line of scrimmage. There are no JUCO answers, so Coker and his staff might have felt pretty good about this unit. They'll feel even better if a 247 three-star freshman like JaColbie Butler, Darryl Godfrey, or JaCorie Jones steps up quickly.

Special Teams

Punter Ht, Wt 2015
Year
Punts Avg TB FC I20 FC/I20
Ratio
Kristian Stern 83 41.2 1 41 30 85.5%
Kicker Ht, Wt 2015
Year
Kickoffs Avg TB OOB TB%
Sean Ianno 33 63.2 16 0 48.5%
Daniel Portillo 6'0, 170 So. 18 59.2 3 0 16.7%
Place-Kicker Ht, Wt 2015
Year
PAT FG
(0-39)
Pct FG
(40+)
Pct
Sean Ianno 19-21 14-15 93.3% 3-6 50.0%
Daniel Portillo 6'0, 170 So. 1-1 0-0 N/A 0-0 N/A
Returner Pos. Ht, Wt 2015
Year
Returns Avg. TD
Jarveon Williams KR 5'9, 200 Jr. 15 21.1 0
Kam Jones KR 12 27.3 0
Kenny Harrison PR 24 4.9 0
Aaron Grubb PR 5'8, 170 Sr. 6 4.5 0
Category Rk
Special Teams F/+ 28
Field Goal Efficiency 35
Punt Return Efficiency 120
Kick Return Efficiency 32
Punt Efficiency 27
Kickoff Efficiency 6
Opponents' Field Goal Efficiency 104

9. An impressive pair of legs gone

The senior attrition was not limited to offense and defense. UTSA must not only replace solid return man Kam Jones but also a strong place-kicker and kickoffs guy in Sean Ianno and a solid punter in Kristian Stern. Daniel Portillo might be fine with kicks, but special teams was a bright spot last year (28th overall), and it probably won't be this year.

2015 Schedule & Projection Factors

2015 Schedule
Date Opponent Proj. Rk
3-Sep at Arizona 28
12-Sep Kansas State 26
19-Sep at Oklahoma State 75
26-Sep Colorado State 49
3-Oct at UTEP 90
10-Oct Louisiana Tech 35
17-Oct at Southern Miss 110
31-Oct at North Texas 125
7-Nov Old Dominion 108
14-Nov Charlotte NR
21-Nov Rice 86
28-Nov Middle Tennessee 87
Five-Year F/+ Rk -24.6% (105)
2- and 5-Year Recruiting Rk 111 / 91
2014 TO Margin/Adj. TO Margin* -3 / -3.5
2014 TO Luck/Game +0.2
Approx. Ret. Starters (Off. / Def.) 5 (2, 3)
2014 Second-order wins (difference) 4.5 (-0.5)

10. Five returning starters

From a pure athleticism standpoint, you can talk yourself into UTSA being pretty decent. The odds are good that a quarterback will emerge from what might be a six-man race, and between recruiting rankings and last year's averages, UTSA seems to have potential at running back, receiver, defensive end, and defensive back. There are major holes at defensive tackle and linebacker, and the secondary could get awfully thin and young with just one or two well-placed injuries. Still, the potential is there.

But it's really hard to get past "five returning starters," isn't it? Even if you count part-timers like William Cavanaugh, Jason Neill, and Bennett Okotcha, you only get up to about eight. And while UTSA has potential, so do plenty of other teams. Those other teams also probably return double digits in the starter column.

With a nice mix of transfers and three-star freshmen, Coker has positioned UTSA to be pretty good in 2016 and 2017. But I can't imagine his Roadrunners do much this fall, especially against a schedule that features only four teams that ranked worse than 90th in F/+ last year.

Win at UTEP, and maybe we'll talk, but for a program only recently built, this is a rebuilding year.