UTSA Prepares For Season Opener

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UTSA will open its 12th season of football and third under 2021 Conference USA Coach of the Year Jeff Traylor on Saturday, Sept. 3, against No. 24/25 Houston in a matchup of teams coming off 12-2 campaigns last fall.

Kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m. at the Alamodome and the game will air on CBS Sports Network and Ticket 760.

The Roadrunners, who are receiving one vote in the USA TODAY AFCA Coaches Poll, and Cougars are meeting for the third time in a series that has seen the road team claim each previous matchup. This marks the second occasion that the programs have met in a season opener. The two schools were scheduled to meet in the 2017 lid-lifter in San Antonio, but that game was canceled due to Hurricane Harvey. Saturday’s contest falls on the 11th anniversary of UTSA’s inaugural game, a 31-3 home triumph over Northeastern State in front of an NCAA modern startup program record 56,743 fans on Sept. 3, 2011. 

UTSA will celebrate the first-ever conference championship in program history prior to Saturday’s season opener. A banner that honors the 2021 Conference USA champion Roadrunners will be unveiled in the rafters of the Alamodome. UTSA defeated Western Kentucky 49-41 in front of 41,148 fans last Dec. 3 at the Alamodome to secure its first league crown. The Roadrunners earned a spot in the C-USA Championship Game with a thrilling 34-31 victory over UAB with 35,147 fans on hand on Nov. 20, 2021. 

Opening drive 

• UTSA will open its 12th season of football and third under 2021 Conference USA Coach of the Year Jeff Traylor on Saturday against No. 24 Houston. 

• A banner honoring the 2021 Conference USA champion Roadrunners will be unveiled prior to kickoff. 

• Both teams are coming off 12-2 campaigns last fall. 

• This will mark the third meeting with the Cougars in a series that has seen the road team claim each previous matchup. 

• The Roadrunners have won their last three season openers and are 9-2 all-time. 

• UTSA has come out on top in three consecutive home openers and is 7-4 all-time. 

• The Roadrunners have won 10 straight games in the Alamodome and are 12-1 under Jeff Traylor at home. 

• Jeff Traylor boasts a 19-7 record at the helm of the Roadrunners, the best record through 26 games for a UTSA coach.  

• The Roadrunners are 7-1 against teams from the state of Texas under Jeff Traylor. 

• UTSA has won 15 of its last 18 contests dating back to November 2020. 


Season-opening success 

UTSA has won its last three season openers and is 9-2 overall in the first game of the year dating back to the inaugural 2011 campaign. The Roadrunners defeated UIW 35-7 in the 2019 season opener, outlasted Texas State 51-48 in double overtime two years ago and upended Illinois 37-30 last September to give them five victories in the last six lid-lifters. Saturday’s matchup with Houston is the second time the two teams have faced off in a season opener, with the Roadrunners scoring a 27-7 road victory in 2014, and it also will mark only the fourth time UTSA has opened a season at home. The Roadrunners were slated to open the 2017 campaign versus Houston but Hurricane Harvey forced that game to be canceled.  


UTSA’s All-Time Season Openers (9-2) 

Date                 Opponent                                Score 

Sept. 3, 2011    Northeastern (Okla.) State        W, 31-3 

Sept. 1, 2012    at South Alabama                      W, 33-31 

Aug. 31, 2013   at New Mexico                          W, 21-13 

Aug. 29, 2014   at Houston                                W, 27-7 

Sept. 3, 2015    at #22 Arizona                           L, 32-42 

Sept. 3, 2016    Alabama State                          W, 26-13 

Sept. 9, 2017    at Baylor                                   W, 17-10 

Sept. 1, 2018    at Arizona State                         L, 7-49 

Aug. 31, 2019   UIW                                          W, 35-7 

Sept. 12, 2020  at Texas State                           W, 51-48 (2OT) 

Sept. 4, 2021    at Illinois                                   W, 37-30 


Tough at home 

UTSA has been tough to beat at home under third-year head coach Jeff Traylor. The Roadrunners have won 10 consecutive home games and are 12-1 at the Alamodome in the Traylor era. The last and only home loss in the last two seasons was a 28-16 setback to Army on Oct. 17, 2020. UTSA is 38-28 all-time at the Alamodome 


Scouting Houston 

The Cougars enter Saturday’s contest ranked No. 24 in the AP Top 25 and 25th in the USA TODAY AFCA Coaches Poll. Houston is coming off a 12-2 campaign that saw them play in the American Athletic Conference Championship Game and cap the season with a win over Auburn in the Birmingham Bowl. Head coach Dana Holgorsen is 19-15 through three years at the helm and 80-56 for his career. 


Series history 

UTSA and Houston have met twice previously with the road team claiming both previous matchups. The Cougars scored a 59-28 victory in the first meeting on Sept. 28, 2013, at the Alamodome. UTSA posted a 27-7 triumph a year later, spoiling the opening of Houston’s TDECU Stadium on Aug. 29, 2014. 

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