UTSA-South Florida Preview

UTSA v Tennessee

Photo: Eakin Howard / Getty Images Sport / Getty Images

The UTSA Roadrunners Host Southern Florida on Friday night. The Roadrunners are coming off a 34-14 win over Rice. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. at the Alamodome.

Winners of six straight games and tied for first place in the American Athletic Conference, UTSA (7-3, 6-0) will look to keep pace in league title race when it hosts South Florida (5-5, 3-3) on Friday, Nov. 17. Kickoff in the first meeting between the two schools is set for 8 p.m. at the Alamodome and the game will be televised nationally on ESPN2. The Roadrunners have won 16 consecutive games against conference opponents and are 17-0 against league foes at home under fourth-year head coach Jeff Traylor. 


• UTSA and South Florida will meet for the first time on Friday night. 

• UTSA is tied with SMU and Tulane at 6-0 atop the American Athletic Conference standings. 

• The Roadrunners have won 14 straight regular season conference games and 16 consecutive contests against conference foes when including the 2021 and 2022 Conference USA Championship Games. 

• UTSA has won 20 of its last 22 home games and is 22-3 (.880) at the Alamodome under head coach Jeff Traylor. 

• The Roadrunners are 17-0 versus league foes at home under Jeff Traylor. 

• With Jeff Traylor at the helm, UTSA boasts a 26-3 (.897) record in regular season conference games and a 28-3 (.903) mark versus league competition when including the two C-USA Championship Games.  

• The Roadrunners are 12-1 in the month of November under Jeff Traylor 

• UTSA is 7-6 all time in weekday games, including 6-3 on Fridays. 

• The Roadrunners are 37-13 (.740) in the Jeff Traylor era, the most wins and best winning percentage by a UTSA head coach. 

• UTSA will honor its seniors during a pregame ceremony on Friday night. 

• Redshirt sophomore outside linebacker Trey Moore’s school-record 14 sacks are only a half-sack shy of The American’s single-season record.


UTSA owns a 12-1 record in games played in the month of November under head coach Jeff Traylor following last Saturday’s 34-14 home victory over Rice. The Roadrunners are 2-0 this season after going 3-0 in his debut campaign in 2020, 3-1 in 2021 and 4-0 a year ago. 


Bolstered by a stiff defense and balanced offensive attack, UTSA remained in a tie atop the American Athletic Conference standings with a 34-14 victory over Rice last Saturday night at the Alamodome. The Roadrunners held the Owls to 229 yards of offense while countering that with 199 rushing yards and 182 through the air to improve to 7-3 overall and 6-0 in the league. Jamal Ligon paced the defense with seven tackles, all unassisted, while Trey Moore registered a pair of sacks to match Marcus Davenport’s career program record of 22.0. Offensively, Rocko Griffin rushed for a game-high 81 yards and a touchdown on 12 attempts, good for 6.8 yards per carry, while Robert Henry piled up 63 yards and a score on 19 totes. Frank Harris added 31 yards on the ground to go with 175 yards and a TD on 15-of-24 passing. Armed with a slim 10-7 advantage at the half, the Roadrunners scored back-to-back, unanswered touchdowns in a one-minute, 45-second span in the third quarter, eventually tacking on a third TD to break the game open with the 21-point period. 


UTSA is bowl eligible for the fourth consecutive year and sixth time in program history. The Roadrunners have played in a bowl game in each of the first three seasons under head coach Jeff Traylor. UTSA dropped a 31-24 decision to No. 16 Louisiana in the 2020 First Responder Bowl, a 38-24 contest to No. 24 San Diego State in the 2021 Frisco Bowl and an 18-12 matchup against No. 23 Troy in last year’s Cure Bowl. The Roadrunners made their first bowl appearance in the 2016 New Mexico Bowl, falling to New Mexico, 23-20. UTSA was bowl eligible in 2017 with a 6-5 regular season record but was left out of the postseason picture. Additionally, the Roadrunners were 7-5 in 2013 during their second year of reclassifying to FBS, but all bowl slots were filled by full-fledged FBS teams. 


The Roadrunners have won their last 16 games against conference opponents. The streak began with the 49-41 victory over Western Kentucky in the 2021 Conference USA Championship and continued with a perfect 8-0 regular season league slate in 2022 before extending the stretch to 10 with a 48-27 triumph over North Texas in the 2022 C-USA Championship Game. UTSA has kicked off its American Athletic Conference debut campaign with six wins in a row, including a 34-14 home triumph over Rice last Saturday. The Roadrunners now have won 26 of their last 27 contests against conference competition dating back to a three-game win streak that closed out the 2020 C-USA schedule in Jeff Traylor’s first season. In fact, UTSA boasts a 26-3 (.897) record in regular season conference games and a 28-3 (.903) mark against league foes under Traylor. Additionally, the Roadrunners are 17-0 at home versus league foes in the Traylor era. 


This week, UTSA will play on a Friday for the second time this season and sixth time dating back to last season. The Roadrunners appeared on Friday four times in 2022 and posted a 3-1 record in those contests. UTSA, which also has a scheduled Black Friday appearance next week against Tulane, will enter this week’s matchup against South Florida with a 6-3 all-time record on Fridays. Additionally, the Roadrunners have played 13 non-Saturday games in their 13-year history and they tote a 7-6 mark in weekday games. 


The Bulls improved to 5-5 overall and 3-3 in the American Athletic Conference with a 27-23 victory over Temple last Saturday. South Florida is averaging 30.1 points and 453.4 yards per game while allowing 35.6 points and 452.2 yards per contest. Byrum Brown has completed 212 of 332 passes for 2,538 yards and 18 touchdowns against eight interceptions, and he has added 659 yards and nine scores on the ground. Nay’Qan Wright is the leading rusher with 690 yards and six TDs, while Sean Atkins has a team-high 69 receptions for 808 yards and four touchdowns. Defensively, Jhalyn Shuler paces the team with 68 tackles, while Daquan Evans has 11 tackles for loss and three sacks. Head coach Alex Golesh is in his first season at the helm. 


Saturday will mark the first meeting on the gridiron between UTSA and South Florida, which has been a member of the American Athletic Conference since the league’s inception in 2013. 


Now in their 13th season of play, the Roadrunners will play the 157th game in program history on Friday when they face South Florida. UTSA is 82-74 all-time and 48-30 at home. A similar modern startup program, USF played its first season of football in 1997 and owns an all-time record of 166-153. 


UTSA has been tough to beat at the Alamodome during the Jeff Traylor era. The Roadrunners have won 20 of their last 22 home contests and are 22-3 (.880) at the facility since his arrival prior to the 2020 season. UTSA reeled off a school-record 10-game win streak at home that started with a 27-26 victory over Louisiana Tech on Oct. 24, 2020, and ran through the 49-41 win against WKU in the 2021 Conference USA Championship Game before it was snapped in triple overtime against No. 24 Houston in the 2022 season opener. The Roadrunners have won 10 of the last 11 at home and are 48-30 (.615) all-time in the Alamodome. Additionally, UTSA is 17-0 at home versus conference opponents under head coach Jeff Traylor. 

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