There were very few takeaway’s from UTSA’s loss to UAB last week, mainly because the play on the field merely reiterated what we’ve seen repeatedly from UTSA over the past two years.
Anemic passing offense? Check, UTSA completed just eight passes on 20 attempts.
Discipline issues? Check, UTSA committed nine penalties for 78 yards, granting UAB three freebie first downs while UTSA was still competitive in the game.
Poor play calling? Check, see below.
We're lucky that UTSA's play calling was so bad tonight, because that one 4th and 1 deep in UAB territory should've ended in a touchdown. Instead they ran a weird pitch all the way back behind the line to McCormick. It never had a chance and was basically a free turnover pic.twitter.com/p2Y2Z7R00h— The Daily Dragon (@F5DailyDragon) October 13, 2019
While the play on the field mirrored how UTSA has performed for the past two years, the turnout in the Alamodome was a staggering new low. UTSA reported the official attendance at 15,728, already a new program low in attendance, however that figure includes season ticket sales. Rumors have spread that the actual number of tickets scanned was around 8,000.
If accurate, that means Frank Wilson’s son played in front of more people in his high school football game last Friday than his millionaire father coached in front of the following day, as 10,568-seat Dub Farris Stadium was at capacity for Brandeis High School’s last outing.
My experience in the Alamodome certainly backs up the rumored actual attendance. As soon as I walked in the concourse I immediately knew we were in for a record-low turnout. Entire sections of season ticket holder seats were completely vacant, and many of my friends that make up the most dedicated fans of the program chose to skip the game.
Even coming off a win against UTEP, it’s clear the apathy surrounding the program has reached a new low and fans are saying so with their feet and wallets.
And who can blame them? Watching this UTSA team play is as frustrating of an experience as you can get as a football fan. The team is constantly shooting itself in the foot and playing ugly, uninspired football.
As SWC Roundup pointed out this week, Frank Wilson has won just 11 games through his last three seasons at UTSA and only one of those victories has come at the hands of a team with a winning record.
With Frank Wilson in his fourth season at UTSA, this program’s ceiling is clear. Wilson is able to recruit enough high level athletes to beat the bottom feeders on the schedule each year but when the opposing team has enough talent to stand toe-to-toe with the Roadrunners, Wilson’s teams are exposed as unprepared, undisciplined, and out-schemed.
A coach can say and do all the right things, but at a certain point you are who your record says you are.
The fans know it, and the odds makers know it. Despite holding an 0-6 record, Rice is still listed as a four point road favorite over the home team Roadrunners this week, another new embarrassing low for the program.
Even though they’ve won two more games than Rice this season, who would dare to pick the Roadrunners this week? The Owls and Roadrunners have shared three common opponents this year and the Owls lost those games by an average of 10 points. UTSA lost to the same three teams by an average of 29 points.
Frank Wilson had a two year head start on the rebuilding battle with Mike Bloomgren at Rice, yet Bloomgren’s squad is already 19 points per game better than Wilson’s squad when comparing common opponents.
If UTSA does pull the “upset” it’s hard to imagine the win moving the needle much with the fan base. They’ve seen enough to know this is not a good football team, nor is it an entertaining product.
With revenue streams shrinking as UTSA works to raise funds for the Roadrunners’ upcoming athletics facility, Athletic Director Lisa Campos runs the risk of holding on to Frank Wilson too long and losing the trust of UTSA boosters and alumni who will be asked to financially support the construction of the new facility.
Assuming a loss to Rice, next week may be the best time to fire Frank Wilson if Campos chooses to move in that direction. The Roadrunners will have a bye week to adjust to their interim coach, then a competitive showing against Texas A&M and a win against Old Dominion could be enough to get fans back into the Alamodome for the two remaining home games.
It’s a critical period for UTSA athletics and the administration must act decisively to combat fan apathy, lest the program abandon the lofty dreams upon which it was founded.