It was a field day for Baylor as the Bears offense had a bit of success with practically everything they tried against UTSA. Baylor quarterback Charlie Brewer connected with star wideout Denzel Mims seven times for 101 yards and three touchdowns as UTSA had nothing to combat them on defense and nothing to counter with on offense. The Roadrunners hardly had three first downs through the entire first half with six of their first eight possessions resulting in three-and-out.
It was an ugly sight for UTSA. Quarterback Frank Harris, who was a standout in last week’s debut, had only 93 yards passing with just one completion for over 10 yards. It looked as if none of UTSA’s receivers could get open; there were several plays where Harris had good pocket protection and ample time to make a throw, but as you could see his eyes sifting through his targets there just weren’t any viable options. He was also guilty of trying to force a few passes early on.
The third down struggles is what really crushed the Roadrunners. UTSA’s defense was getting back on the field just as soon as they were getting off, and they struggled to defend third downs (Baylor converted six of nine) just as much the offense struggled to convert them (UTSA converted seven of 18).
The offensive attack felt desperate through a good bit of the first half, and then it almost completely checked out following a 35-0 halftime score. The one bright spot was freshman running back Sincere McCormick proving his speed translates to P5 competition. McCormick averaged 7.3 yards per carry with 12 rushes for 87 yards and both of UTSA’s two touchdowns. The first touchdown, a two yard punch, was his first as a Roadrunner. His second score was a 54 yard bolt downfield in the fourth quarter. Overall, UTSA managed decently on the ground with tailbacks earning 149 yards on 24 carries total.
There wasn’t much UTSA could do differently to have a better chance at making this one competitive. The talent and experience gaps were just too far off. The receiver matchups were especially uneven on both sides of the ball. There was no answer for Mims among UTSA’s defensive backs and Brewer seemed to always have an open target as he completed 12 of his 16 passes for a 75% completion rate.
Granted, UTSA actually did well upfront on defense with creating backfield havoc, but Brewer did a great job of eluding pressure and finding a receiver when the pocket would collapse. Brewer managed to only get sacked once.
Baylor’s rushing attack had the real party. UTSA couldn’t seem to tackle these guys as weak wrapping up and missteps had running backs Trestan Ebner and John Lovett and backup quarterback Gerry Bohanon earning chunks of extra yardage on seemingly every run. The three combined for 238 total yards on just 20 carries. Bohanon averaged 13.3 yards per carry and Ebner a whopping 19 yards per carry. UTSA’s defense was picked to pieces and weren’t the slightest bit of a match for any of Baylor’s running backs.
UTSA’s lack of power at the linebacker position was wildly exposed and could be something that strictly limits the ceiling of this unit.
Despite the 49-point score differential, somehow, UTSA controlled possession for 31 minutes. They did seem to gather some poise after halftime and managed the game a lot better, only being outscored 28-14 through the second half as opposed to 35-0 in the first. At the line of scrimmage UTSA played respectably, on offense and defense.
All in all, this was a young group meeting their first Power 5 opponent after playing FCS competition the week prior. Now they know both sides of the table and just how vast the competitive landscape is in college. This was bound to happen and will ultimately do more good for this team than bad.
It’s hard to gauge how well UTSA will actually be able to hang against their C-USA counterparts with two samples so far off. Next week when Army visits UTSA at the Alamodome should give a much better idea on where this group will stand, though that game will also prove to be a great challenge in itself.