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CUSA Report: UAB at UTSA Is For CUSA West Division Championship
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WesternBlazer Online
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Exclamation CUSA Report: UAB at UTSA Is For CUSA West Division Championship
11-17-2021 11:45 PM
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KevMo4UAB Online
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RE: CUSA Report: UAB at UTSA Is For CUSA West Division Championship
Wow! Wasn’t expecting that prediction. Lots of detailed info in the article.
11-18-2021 10:24 AM
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DuelingDragon Online
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RE: CUSA Report: UAB at UTSA Is For CUSA West Division Championship
Really good breakdown. I really respect what UTSA is doing. They are building their program the right way, and it's nice to see the city of San Antonio begin to embrace the Roadrunners as they realize their potential. UAB and UTSA have a lot in common, and it shows in the two football programs. I'm glad UTSA is coming to the American with UAB. Hope they continue to build basketball up as football grows. I think they have potential there too.

We've been seeing UTSA build toward this throughout UAB's own building process. 2017 was a triumphant return with some memorable wins (La Tech, MTSU being two of them) but I thought the most complete performance of that season probably was going into the Alamodome and winning a hard-fought road game at UTSA.

I was stunned at how badly the Blazers blew out the Runners at Legion in 2018. UTSA was struggling but that was one of the most dominant performances in UAB football's history. It also probably set into motion the coaching change in San Antonio, even though it took another year. Runner fans couldn't understand how a reboot program zoomed past them.

The core group of players were on the field at UTSA in 2019 when they fought the Blazers hard in the dome. Inconsistency at QB helped UAB pull away, but you could see a lot of young talent on the field. Traylor is their version of Bill Clark. He's a culture guy and I think he has that chip Bill has about rolling up the sleeves around physical football and team identity. These two teams look a lot alike in so many ways. Last year's game was one UAB probably should have won by 2-3 TDs under the circumstances, but UTSA fought hard and hung in there, and UAB made some the mistakes a few on this board like to point out when they make things harder than they should be.

What I see in watching UTSA is an experienced, physical team with some big receivers who are hard to tackle and RB who can take it to the house on a run set up for 3 yards. I see a defense that plays aggressively, tackles well and likes to get after the QB, and has some outstanding team leadership in the back line. Sound familar?

The big leap for UTSA is at QB. Harris is a game-breaker. But hasn't faced many defenses that can get after a QB quite like UAB, and he has in the past made mistakes when under pressure. On the other hand, he's also Willis light -- and we saw what happened there, with UAB generating all kinds of pressure but being unable to get Willis to the ground and then seeing him throw dimes against good coverage or break down the 2nd level.

The other question I have is how UTSA will respond to some pressure or a team that physically can match up with them strength for strength and is bringing championship experience and motivation themselves. I would imagine they'll be fine, but you just don't know until you see it. And playing UAB for the West is definitely different than playing Illinois or Memphis, even if the talent is similar.

Things to watch in this game:
-- Who gets a good start?
-- Who wins down-and-distance? This will be huge in this game as far as setting the tone and opening the playbook
-- Which RB can make the big play?
-- Turnovers/Penalties
-- Which team generates the most QB pressure
11-18-2021 01:26 PM
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