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How UTSA Graded Out Against Arizona

Despite a valiant effort, the UTSA Roadrunners failed to upset Rich Rodriguez's Wildcats in the Alamodome. Let's take a look at UTSA's position units and figure out how the Roadrunners were able to compete.

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Quarterback: B

All things considered, Tucker Carter had a respectable outing against Arizona. Carter went 22-33 for 228 yards, one touchdown and one brutal, game-ending interception in his second start. Carter looked much more comfortable throughout this game than against Houston and tossed some impressive passes through traffic. Despite the improvement, Carter still has quite a few areas that he needs to improve on. Arizona provided Carter with several opportunities to pick up 10-15 easy yards on the ground during busted plays but Carter elected to continue waiting for a receiver to create separation instead of picking up first downs with his feet. Carter's faith in his arm is admirable but he needs to learn to take what the defense is giving him. The senior quarterback generally took good care of the football but made some unwise throws across his body that could have easily been picked off. He also did this.


Running Backs: B-

David Glasco, Jarveon Williams and Brandon Armstrong combined for just 84 carries on 22 carries. A respectable four yards per carry, sure, but the unit failed to create a play of over 16 yards and notched just one touchdown. UTSA will need more production from this unit to carry the offense through the season.

Offensive Line: B-

Split decision here as the offensive line provided great pass protection but failed to create a push at the line of scrimmage to open up the running game. Nate Leonard struggled in particular as Arizona's nose tackles gave him hell all game long. It's hard to get a run game going when your center is getting beat at the point of attack. Tucker Carter hit the turf on three occasions due to sacks but most of those were due to excellent coverage from Arizona's secondary. Carter had a few plays where he had an absolute eternity in the pocket. It will be interesting to see if the offensive line improves once Josh Walker returns from injury.

Tight Ends: A

David Morgan finally showcases his potential. The 6'5" tight end looked uncoverable against Arizona on his way to a five catch, 76 yard performance. A bit surprisingly, Morgan was the first UTSA receiver to catch a pass for a touchdown this season. Cole Hubble also had a catch for 22 yards. Both tight ends blocked well as UTSA was able to rush on the edge much more effectively than through the offensive line.

Wide Receivers: C

Arizona's speed in the secondary prevented UTSA's wide receivers from creating separation. Since so few receivers were winning one-on-one battles, UTSA ended up having to move to five-wide sets to generate some space for the passing game. Kam Jones had the best evening, as he caught three passes for 33 yards and rushed in a touchdown from 18 yards out.

Linebackers: B-

I think the linebackers needed a half to adjust to Arizona's speed as Drew Douglas and Jens Jeters improved significantly as the game progressed. Jeters had eight tackles and Douglas recorded seven tackles, two of which came behind the line of scrimmage. Douglas was very solid in pass coverage as well. This duo should continue to improve throughout the season as Jeters gets more reps as a starter.

Defensive Line: B+

Jason Neill and Ferrington Macon recorded sacks as UTSA's defensive line turned in yet another impressive performance. The pass rush wasn't as consistent as it was against Houston and players had trouble getting off of their blocks but the line kept Arizona quarterback Anu Solomon from settling into too comfortable of a groove. I'm grading this unit on a curve as Arizona's offensive line is big, strong, and experienced.

Secondary: A

Outside of one terrible gaffe (Cayleb Jones' 85 yard touchdown on the first play from scrimmage) the Roadrunner secondary was terrific against one of the most talented groups of wide receivers in the nation. Anu Solomon only completed 17 of his 32 completions, averaging just over seven yards per passing attempt. After Jones' 85 yard scamper, Samajie Grant had a catch for 20 yards. The rest of Arizona's receivers failed to catch a pass for more than seven yards. The only thing keeping UTSA's secondary from earning an A+ ranking was the lack of turnovers.

Special Teams: C

While Sean Ianno was brilliant on kick offs, he missed a 25 yard chip shot that would have sent the game to overtime, ceteris paribus. Kristian Stern was inconsistent on his punts, despite pinning Arizona and hitting the Bernie earlier in the game. UTSA also allowed an 18 yard punt return. These small mistakes might have cost UTSA a chance at an upset and will continue to hinder the team's success moving forward if they are not corrected.