UTSA’s offense stalled out during crucial drives for the second straight game in a row during an underwhelming performance against Colorado State. The Roadrunners would score just 14 points with all of that scoring taking place in the first half.
Certainly UTSA’s terrible performance on the ground (-1 rushing yards on 34 attempts) is the main culprit for the low scoring total but head coach Frank Wilson’s and offensive coordinator Frank Scelfo’s insistence on shuffling quarterbacks certainly isn’t doing the offense any favors, especially when one signal caller has clearly separated himself in terms of production.
With a 73% completion percentage, 450 yards of passing, and four touchdowns through the air, junior quarterback Dalton Sturm boasts a QB efficiency rating of 171, nearly double that of graduate transfer Jared Johnson in spite of two interceptions from Sturm. The Sam Houston State transfer played much better in week two but he has still only completed 47% of his passes, totaling 73 yards on 15 attempts. His longest completion only notched 24 yards and he’s creating just 4.1 yards per passing attempt.
Filtering out sacks, Sturm has also been superior on the ground, having rushed for 62 yards on six carries with a blistering 15.4 highlight yards per opportunity. Johnson has rushed three times for just 10 yards.
An argument can certainly be made for Johnson avoiding sacks more effectively than Sturm given his 6.3% sack rate compared to Sturm’s 12.7% clip. I’m personally not sold on it. Even in his sophomore season Sturm showed a knack for escaping pocket pressure. Most of his sacks this season seem to come from plays where the offensive line or blocking back completely missed on their blocking assignment as opposed to Sturm simply sitting on the ball for too long. A great example of this comes on this play where Jarveon Williams just completely whiffs on his blocking assignment, allowing a blitzing linebacker to fly at Sturm unchecked like a homing missile.
The SWC Round Up wrote extensively on Sturm’s performance against Colorado State with video evidence. Sturm can certainly improve on his ability to hit his checkdowns but that’s a tall task when the pressure gets to the quarterback in 2.2 seconds, regardless of who’s under center.
Ultimately the Roadrunners need to pick a guy and stick with him for continuity’s sake. Having a single quarterback gives the offense an identity and chemistry. Constantly flipping guys in and out causes the rest of the offense to think instead of execute.
Johnson is a capable backup and it’s great that he’s gotten some snaps in the offense in case his services are needed but he has yet to lead the team on a scoring drive through two games. Sturm is the more dynamic, explosive player and UTSA will continue to lose games as long as they deprive him of snaps and opportunities to win games with big plays.