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UTSA vs Arizona first half impressions

Evaluating the offense, defense and special teams in the first half

Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

Offense

The first play for Arizona's offense resulted in a sack, and that's pretty much been the tone of the night. The offense has stalled out quite a few times. Also, Layth Friekh was starting at left tackle over Freddie Tagaloa.

It was a quicker offense for Arizona moving forward and Anu Solomon looks a lot more crisp on the shorter 12-yard-and-under passes, even connecting with Johnny Jackson over the top for a long gain late in the first quarter. David Richards was able to bring in the first offensive touchdown of the season.

Johnny Jackson has really benefited from the switch back to receiver. Expect him to still be in the mix once Samajie Grant and Tyrell Johnson come back. He looked to be one Anu's favorite targets throughout the first half.

Running game not impressive with Nick Wilson, stuffed up the middle on multiple attempts. Not too many holes were being made for him from the offensive line. Nick Wilson fumbled inside Arizona's 30 yard, which gave UTSA great field position. Jared Baker got all the carries after that.

Defense

Anthony Lopez got the game started with an easy pick six and didn't stop there. He was swarming to the ball at all times on defense, coming up with a few tackles at the line of scrimmage.

Aside from the first defensive stop for Arizona, the defense could not keep up with UTSA. The Roadrunners were attacking DaVonte' Neal for the most part, as he was giving receivers a pretty large cushion to work with. Arizona couldn't figure out how to defend UTSA's tight ends either. They were open across the middle and often towards the sideline.

There seems to be no plan of attack for Arizona on defense, rotating about 20-24 guys on defense. The defense is looking straight up miserable.

The depth of Arizona is taking a hit early into the season. Ippolito out for the year, Tellas Jones and Anthony Fotu were suspended for the game, and Will Parks left the game for a period of time. But it didn't stop there.

The main story of the first half was Scooby Wright. He was being evaluated on the sidelines all night long. His left leg, below his knee seems to be causing him some trouble. At the beginning of the second quarter, he was seen with an ice pack over his left knee.

Special Teams

DaVonte' Neal is still returning punts, which is kind of concerning.

Only one kick was taken out of the end zone for Arizona, and it was an 18 yard return for Jared Baker.

Skowron was kicking pretty deep into the endzone and didn't give UTSA many chances to run it back.

Kickoff seemed solid for the most part. No returns went past the 25 yard line, although UTSA did take one to the house, but it was called back at around the 18 yard line.