By observational means, UTSA's offense has been pretty bad this year. Receivers have failed to find open space, running backs haven't broken open many big rushes and Tucker Carter has struggled to the whole thing in rhythm. Statistical analysis backs up what the eyeballs see in this case. The Roadrunners rank just 103rd in total scoring, averaging a meager 21 points per game.
Sure, UTSA has faced some solid defenses this season as Houston, Arizona and Oklahoma State ( who rank 47th, 60th, and 34th in defense efficiency) — tough challenges for sure — but that's no excuse for an offense to convert just 24 percent of its third down attempts or to average an embarrassing 2.7 yards per rush. While I'm not yet ready to throw the towel in on this offense, it's clear that the Roadrunners need a catalyst on offense to win a championship in a tougher-than-anticipated Conference USA.
For the first time this year, the UTSA offense showed some spark once true freshman Blake Bogenschutz entered the second half of the Oklahoma State game for an injured Carter. After his redshirt was burned, Bogenschutz would complete eight of 14 pass attempts for 82 yards. The 3A Texas state champion would score his first touchdown on a beautifully designed quarterback draw for 21 yards. Bogenschutz lead the offense to ten points in the second half and looked very natural and poised along the way.
Despite playing his first college game in a packed Big XII stadium, Bogenschutz acted calmly and quickly after Carter hesitated to get the ball out of his hand throughout the first half. While the UTSA offensive struggled to hold their ground against an athletic Oklahoma State defensive line, Bogenschutz was able to turn a few would-be sacks into short gains.
After watching the offense struggle to get off the ground through three weeks, it is tempting to turn the keys over to the incontestable future of the program and see what he can do with it. It's clear that UTSA will need to lean on its defense to win games this fall, so why not open the offense to experimentation? Bogenschutz has already flashed the physical attributes to succeed at the Division I level and carries a certain intangible "it" factor that could rub off on an offense severely lacking playmaking capability. The addition of speed and elusiveness would certainly allow the offense to more closely resemble last year's offensive scheme.
On the other hand, asking a 19-year-old freshman to lead an offense with seven senior starters is a difficult task. And while Carter certainly hasn't lit the world ablaze with his play through the first three games — he hasn't been terrible either. Carter seems to have overwhelming respect from his teammates and provides leadership skills.
It's tough to push out a guy that has sacrificed greatly the past three years for this program, especially when he hasn't even had a chance to compete against in-conference competition. It's also worth asking if the senior-laden team would embrace a rookie in place of a mature leader that has served his time in the program. Everyone always says good teams play the best player available but it's rarely that clear-cut of a choice.
Let me know what you think of the quarterback position in the poll below. If I'm Larry Coker I give Carter the first half against FAU. If he doesn't come into halftime with at least two touchdowns on the board then bring on the Bogie Man.