UTSA Roadrunners vs. New Mexico Lobos Preview
Where: University Stadium – Albuquerque, NM
When: Saturday, December 17, 2016 – 2:00 PM ET
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Betting on the UTSA Roadrunners (+7)
Although UTSA had an up-and-down season, as evidenced in having an even 6-6 record, they still showed flashes of their great potential. New coach Frank Wilson did a good job of instilling positivity in the school’s young program, which is only in its sixth year.
As they try to give the university its first bowl win, look for the team’s backfield tandem of Jarveon Williams and Jalen Rhodes to be given plenty of opportunities. Each rushed for 15 TDs and over 700 yards on the season, and they are combining for 135 YPG.
Don’t overlook their passing game, too. Dalton Sturm doesn’t have appealing numbers in terms of yards (171 YPG) but his 18-5 TD-INT ratio is what you’d want in a QB. Also, he has a good pair of receivers in Kerry Thomas and Josh Stewart, who are big-play magnets, as they produce 17.7 yards per catch and 13 TD grabs between them.
For the defense, it’s the defensive front that will likely have a ton of work, given New Mexico’s run-heavy style. The Roadrunners are giving up 157.8 rushing YPG on 4.3 yards per carry.
Betting on the New Mexico Lobos (-7)
The Lobos are on the New Mexico Bowl game for the second straight year. They will have revenge on their minds, as they left the field last year after a heartbreaking 45-37 loss to Arizona.
Like UTSA, New Mexico is also invested in the run. The Lobos are clearly more dedicated, though. There is no mystery as to which guys should be stopped and be cautious about. It’s the backfield, without question.
Led by their trio of backs – Tyrone Owens, Teriyon Gipson, and Richard McQuarley – the team is rushing the ball 53 times per contest. Owens and Gipson are the main yard-producers, as both ran for over 1,000 yards on 8-plus yards per carry, but McQuarley has been getting the most touchdowns, with 16.
The three have scored 35 rushing touchdowns between them, which is 15 more than what the whole team has combined, both rushing and receiving. That’s how vital and utilized they are on offense.
When they met with UTSA in 2014, then-freshman QB Lamar Jordan smoked the Roadrunners defense by rushing for 106 yards and one TD, helping the Lobos earn a 21-9 win.
New Mexico (-7) wins, 34-24, UTSA struggles on containing the run.
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