No. 15 BYU looks to stay unbeaten vs. UTSA

NCAA Football

BYU has a chance to go to 4-0 on Saturday when the Cougars welcome Texas-San Antonio to Lavell Edwards Stadium in Provo, Utah.

The 15th-ranked Cougars have blown out their first three opponents by a combined 148-24. BYU’s ranking is the highest the program has been since 2009, when the Cougars rose to No. 7.

The Cougars and Roadrunners (3-1) will be playing each other for the first time in both schools’ history.

“Finding another way for us to try to be at our best, that’s the focus of this team,” BYU head coach Kalani Sitake said Monday. “I feel like we’ve done that three times and now we’re looking forward to doing it a fourth.”

BYU leads the nation in total offense and total defense. On offense, the Cougars average 585.7 yards per game and a whopping 8.1 yards per play. Defensively, the Cougars have held opponents to 214.3 yards of total offense per game.

“I think we really need to just stay humble as we keep finding that success. The mindset has to be let’s get better this week and find the things that we struggled with the last game,” BYU linebacker Isaiah Kaufusi said. “The target on our backs is definitely going to get bigger, but we can’t really focus on those things and what people are saying.”

Quarterback Zach Wilson — with as many touchdowns accounted for as incomplete passes, 11 — is drawing postseason award attention. Wilson is coming off a five-touchdown performance against Louisiana Tech in which he completed 24 of 26 passes, threw two touchdowns and rushed for three scores.

The Roadrunners were 3-0 until a 21-13 loss at UAB last Saturday in Birmingham, Ala. UTSA running back Sincere McCormick rushed for 150 yards on 22 carries and the Roadrunners had opportunities by forcing four UAB turnovers, but it wasn’t enough.

After using three quarterbacks in the UAB game, UTSA hopes to have junior Frank Harris back as the starter on Saturday. Harris left in the second quarter of the Roadrunners’ win over Middle Tennessee on Sept. 25 with an injury.

Harris leads the team in passing yards with 508 and is second in rushing yards with 162. UTSA builds its offense around the run game.

“We thought these first four games were going to be fall camp for us. Then we were going to play our last eight, and we were going to have our lineup set and hopefully have our offensive line set, just know our people,” head coach Jeff Traylor said. “We know our roster a little bit better now. That is all it is, us (coaches) trying to get to know our players and them trying to get to know us.”

Taylor knows his team is a big underdog, the spread up to 34 1/2 points in Tuesday’s odds.

“We are going to look at this as an opportunity,” he said. “We are going to go up there and find a way to scrap and see if we can hang in there with them and pull off a shocker.”

–Field Level Media

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