Best case, worst case for 2024: UTSA Roadrunners

Graphic by Dave Campbell's Texas Football

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With spring football and the portal movement slowing down (fingers crossed) forecasting the 2024 season becomes an easier proposition. The 13 FBS programs in the Lone Star State share a common feeling heading into June: Hope. New faces and new opportunities provide a fresh slate for rosters and coaching staff. 

The 2024 season is a new day for the Great State. Texas reunites with Texas A&M in the SEC and SMU joins the P4 as ACC members. But what are the best- and worst-case scenarios for each team in the upcoming season? We’ll breakdown at each one.

We started with Texas and Texas A&M and continue with UTSA. 


2023 results: 9-4
2024 schedule
Aug. 31                Kennesaw State            
Sept. 7                 at Texas State
Sept. 14               at Texas               
Sept. 21               Houston Christian      
Sept. 28               at East Carolina            
Oct. 12                 at Rice                  
Oct. 19                 Florida Atlantic              
Oct. 26                 at Tulsa               
Nov. 2                  Memphis           
Nov. 16                North Texas     
Nov. 23                Temple                
Nov. 30                at Army                 

Best case for 2024: Don’t bury the Roadrunners just yet. Sure, Jeff Traylor must find players other than Frank Harris and Rashad Wisdom to wear the coveted No. 0 for the first in his tenure. Reaching your ceiling while replacing the program’s leading passer, receiver, and tackler is no easy feat. But the road to and American Conference Championship game isn’t exactly built to stop Mad Max. The Roadrunners will be favored in eight games. The trip to Austin to face the Longhorns is a loss. That leaves three coin flips on the schedule – at Texas State, at East Carolina, vs. Memphis. 

If the Roadrunners win two of those three coin flips (go check Traylor’s record in one-possession games) that’s a 10-win season and a conference title berth, likely at home. Lose two, and UTSA is still at nine wins and likely traveling to Tulane or Memphis or East Carolina for a conference championship game. To do so, UTSA needs Owen McCown to replace Harris’ production and clutch gene. It’ll also take the Roadrunners leaning on a strong run game and an improved defense. 

Worse case for 2024: Leadership matters. If it didn’t, successful coaches such Jeff Traylor wouldn’t preach culture pillars like UTSA’s “210 Triangle of Toughness.” The No. 0 is the cornerstone of the program and that jersey is awarded to the offensive and defensive player with the most votes for captain as decided by their teammates. For the first and only four years of Traylor’s run, that was Harris and Wisdom. 

Without them, those coin flips that UTSA wins over the last few seasons might land on the other side. Traylor jokes that he’s a few plays from being the greatest head coach of all time and a few players from getting sent back to Gilmer – that’s how thin the margins are. UTSA is good, but they’re not good enough to play B level football and win. A few key injuries and lack of leadership could result in a team fighting for bowl eligibility rather than new banners. 

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