It has been well-stated already, but the Texas-San Antonio Roadrunners lost a lot of players from last year's team -- 37 to be exact. Of those 37, 16 were starters. In just a year, the Roadrunners have gone from the most experienced team in college football, to -- well, the opposite of that.
This does not mean that UTSA is devoid of talent, however. They still have some very good players, and here are five you should be wary of for Thursday's game.
UTSA had one of the best defensive lines in Conference USA last season, if not the best, and a big reason for that was Jason Neill. Coming off knee surgery, the defensive tackle had 29 tackles (including 6.5 for loss) last year, and had 3.5 sacks as well. That number was tied for the best on the team and is highest among all returning players. Because of the season he had last year, he was named to the 2015 preseason All-Conference USA team. Against Arizona last year, he had four tackles (two for loss), and a sack. He could cause some issues for Arizona's reworked interior line.
Drew Douglas, like Jason Neill, was a major part of UTSA's defense last season. The middle linebacker had the third-most number of tackles on the team with 71, and had seven tackles for loss, a sack, and a forced fumble. Douglas is the "mental leader" of what is considered to be a highly intelligent linebacker corps. And just like Neill, he was named to the 2015 preseason All-Conference USA team. When he faced the Wildcats last year, he had seven tackles, and two of them went for a loss.
The Roadrunners struggled to move the ball through the air last season, but things might be different this year. UTSA has gone to a fast-paced offense, and redshirt freshman Blake Bogenschutz has apparently been a natural fit so far. He lit it up in the team's spring game, and has had an "outstanding" fall camp, according to head coach Larry Coker. Teammates and coaches have also raved about his football IQ. Bogenschutz played in three games last year, and didn't put up impressive numbers -- 22-39, 282 yards, 0 TD's, 2 INTs -- but it seems as if he's really developing in the revamped offense. Arizona is starting a converted receiver and true freshman at corner, and Rich Rod said he is somewhat concerned about the safeties, so it's possible that Bogenschutz takes advantage of the Wildcats' inexperienced secondary.
David Glasco II may have been the team's leading rusher last season, but Williams was the team's most effective rusher. Williams ran for 325 yards and averaged a team high 4.9 yards per carry. He had 124 receiving yards as well. Those numbers were good enough to give him the second-most yards from scrimmage on the team. Glasco is gone now, and Williams will become the featured runner this year. The Roadrunners averaged just 3.1 yards per carry against Arizona last year, but if Williams can improve that number a bit, the game could be closer than you think. In last year's matchup against the Wildcats, Williams had seven carries for 34 yards.
Wide receiver is expected to be one of the UTSA's better positions this year, but their tight end may be their best receiving threat. Morgan was the team's second-leading receiver last year, and has the most receiving yards of any returning player. The senior had 255 yards and a touchdown and was named as an honorable mention to the All-Conference USA team. He's a legitimate receiving threat and could be a nice safety valve for UTSA's young QB. However, I think the reason I'm putting him on this list is not only because he's a good player, but also because of how much success he had against Arizona last year. Morgan caught five passes for 76 yards and a touchdown. Obviously the Wildcats won't want to let that happen again.
Well, there you have it. Now you can go impress your friends with your knowledge of some of UTSA's top players.