The UTSA Roadrunners bolstered their future football schedules this week by adding two programs with close ties to the university. UTSA will kick off the 2019 season by hosting Incarnate Word of the Southland Conference in the Alamodome. The following season UTSA will gain quite a bit of national attention by traveling to Baton Rogue to face LSU in their season opener. Both scheduling agreements were first reported by FBSchedules.com
UTSA’s decision to sign a scheduling agreement with UIW will placate repeated calls from San Antonio football fans who sought to see the cross-town universities face off on a football field for the first time. While UIW does not currently attract large crowds to their home games, it will be interesting to see if the local match up generates any buzz within the city. I could see UIW alumni that are casual football fans finally showing up to their first UIW game once the Cardinals face UTSA in the Alamodome.
The Roadrunners will see a lot of familiar faces on the sideline when they welcome the Cardinals to the Alamodome. Most notably, UIW special teams coordinator and defensive line coach Polo Gutierrez was UTSA’s running backs coach from 2010 to 2016. Eyebrows were raised across the UTSA community after Gutierrez threw some subtle shade at the university in a recent interview with Kens5.
Nothing toward UTSA, but the campus [at UIW] has such a great college feel. All the buildings with the red brick. It just has that college feel. It feels like when I was at New Mexico State and we went [to] play Auburn. You saw that campus and it was like, this is what college is supposed to be, that old-school tradition.
The UIW roster is full of athletes that UTSA recruiting gurus will recognize. South Texas athletes such as Roberto Limon, Devyn Jensen, and Noah McMeans were all recruited by UTSA but never received scholarship offers from the Roadrunners. Former UTSA walk-on George Schwanenberg is also now a reserve linebacker for the Cardinals.
UTSA’s 2020 season opener at LSU should be a fun game. The ties between the programs are numerous as UTSA Head Coach Frank Wilson was a beloved position coach in Baton Rogue before making the move to San Antonio. It will mark UTSA’s first game against the Tigers and the program’s third game against an SEC opponent following 2016 and 2019 games against Texas A&M.
Of course the likely loss will provide a major financial windfall for the Roadrunners. LSU will be sending a cool $1.4 million UTSA’s way in exchange for the one-off game. The game is also highly likely to be available on some type of national television outlet which could give a nice boon to UTSA’s brand visibility. UTSA has been making a huge push in recruiting the state of Louisiana and having the opportunity to share the field with the Tigers on a future date will likely be extremely appealing to Louisiana recruits.
The Roadrunners have one additional slot to fill for both the 2019 and 2020 season. In 2019 UTSA will face Incarnate Word, Baylor, and Texas A&M outside of C-USA play. The 2020 out-of-conference schedule will contain LSU, Texas State, and Memphis.