What Should UTSA Roadrunners' 2013 Expectations Be?

By Spenser Walters
Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The UTSA Roadrunners surprised a lot of people in the 2012 season by finishing with an impressive 8-4 record in their first year as an FBS school. In 2013 they will step up from the WAC and join Conference USA, so what should the expectations for the Roadrunners be in 2013? To put it bluntly, UTSA fans shouldn’t hope for much.

As I mentioned the Roadrunners played in the WAC in 2012. All that needs to be said as far as how bad that conference was is that it is no longer a football conference. C-USA is certainly an elevated level of competition for UTSA.

When comparing the 2012 UTSA football schedule with the 2013 version, the most notable thing is that UTSA played a lot of non-FBS schools last season. In 2012 the Roadrunners faced two FCS opponents, one Division II school and one NAIA team. The only team above .500 that UTSA beat last season was the 7-4 McNeese State Cowboys, the rest of their wins came against opponents that went a combined 13-67.

 The Roadrunner’s 2013 schedule is filled with nothing but FBS schools, and their non-conference schedule is actually fairly daunting with games against the Oklahoma State Cowboys and Arizona Wildcats. Simply put UTSA will be playing legitimate football teams in the upcoming season, which will be a whole different experience compared to their 2012, “welcome to the FBS”, calendar.

On the positive side the Roadrunners are returning the vast majority of their playmakers for the coming season. In fact only nine players graduated following the 2012 campaign.

Dual threat QB Eric Soza will once again be the Roadrunner’s field general. Last season he completed 58.9% of his passes for 2085 yards, 20 TDs and only 3 INTs. Add to that his rushing performance of 364 yards on 64 carries for 6 TDs and he is a big reason why UTSA has found success thus far. Having 2001 National Champion head coach Larry Coker at the helm can’t hurt either.

UTSA’s 8-4 record last season was impressive but not necessarily an overachievement considering that they beat the teams they were supposed to beat and lost the games that they were expected to lose. If the Roadrunners were to beat all of their 2013 opponents who finished with a record worse than theirs in 2012, they would go 8-4 again next season. However, I think they will be very lucky if they hit the 6-6 mark.

I’ve always cheered for the underdog so I kind of hope that UTSA, being a young start-up program, continues to do well, but if you are a big UTSA fan you should be prepared to have your heart broken in 2013.

Follow Spenser Walters on Twitter @SpenserWalters

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