Arizona Wildcats at Texas-San Antonio Roadrunners
Alamodome – San Antonio, Texas
Thursday, September 4, 2014, 8:00 pm Eastern, TV: Fox Sports 1
Opening Line: Arizona -8
Current Line: Arizona -7
Opening Total: 54
Current Total: 54 1/2
Opening Money Line: Arizona -270 / UTSA +230
Current Money Line: Arizona -270 / UTSA +230
The Arizona Wildcats and Texas-San Antonio Roadrunners both opened the season with impressive wins last Friday. The two teams meet Friday night in San Antonio for the second time ever. The Wildcats beat the Roadrunners last season 38-13 in Tucson in the first game of a home and home series.
Arizona is coached by Rich Rodriguez. Arizona beat UNLV last Friday 58-13 in Tuscon in the season opener. The Wildcats easily covered the 21 point spread and nearly went over the 58 point total by themselves.
Going into the game, Arizona had questions at quarterback and running back. Freshman QB Anu Solomon and senior RB Terris Jones-Grigsby started in place of the graduated B.J. Denker and Ka’Deem Carey respectively. Those questions were answered quickly as Solomon threw touchdown passes of 39 and 63 yards in the final 1:40 of the first quarter. The two teams traded field goals in the second quarter to make it 17-3. After another UNLV field goal Solomon threw his third touchdown pass of the game with 50 seconds left in the half to make it 24-6 at halftime. It would never get closer than that in the second half.
Solomon threw a 92 yard touchdown pass to the returning Austin Hill who missed all of 2013 with a knee injury. UNLV added a touchdown to make 31-13. However, they would not score again and Arizona scored 27 straight points to close out the game.
Arizona set a school record for total yards in a game by shredding UNLV for 787 yards, including 425 passing yards from Solomon. That was an Arizona freshman record, for the Las Vegas native. He completed 25 of 44 passes with 4 touchdowns and no interceptions. Solomon also had 8 carries for 50 yards on the ground.
The rushing game was also clicking on all cylinders with 353 yards on the ground. Jones-Grigsby had 13 carries for 124 yards and a touchdown. Nick Wilson had 7 carries for 104 yards including an 85 yard touchdown run.
Hill had 3 catches for 110 yards and a touchdown. Samajie Grant had 4 catches for 101 yards and a 63 yard touchdown catch. Nate Phillips and Davonte Neal also caught touchdown passes.
Arizona held UNLV to 371 total yards including 252 passing yards. The Rebels had the only turnover of the game, an interception. Both teams had 7 penalties for almost identical yardage. The Rebels were 4/16 on third and fourth down conversions, and the Wildcats were 14/24, including a perfect 3/3 on fourth down conversions. UNLV had 20 first downs and Arizona had 32.
Texas-San Antonio is coached by Larry Coker. The Roadrunners were a 7.5 point underdog at Houston last Friday and the total was 56. However, UTSA completely dominated Houston in a 27-7 upset. The Roadrunners forced six turnovers and held Houston to 208 total yards, including -26 rushing yards.
UTSA scored two first half touchdowns on runs from running back David Glasco II to take a 14-0 lead into the locker room. Jarveon Williams added another touchdown run in the third quarter to make it 21-0 Roadrunners. UTSA added 2 field goals to take a 27-0 lead. The normally potent Cougars scored a meaningless touchdown late in teh fourth to avoid the shutout and make the final 27-7.
UTSA wasn’t exactly an offensive juggernaut either with only 267 total yards. The Roadrunners overcame 14 penalties for 115 yards and a turnover of their own in the win. UTSA had 17 first downs and was 6/18 on third or fourth down conversions. Houston had 18 first downs and were 6/20 on third and fourth down conversions.
UTSA quarterback Tucker Carter was 15/24 with 121 passing yards. Glasco had 25 carries for 81 yards with 2 touchdowns, and Williams had 12 carries for 54 yards and a touchdown.
Six Arizona players are listed as questionable or out, including three defensive linemen.
Arizona is 4-1 ATS in non-conference games, and after passing for 280 yards or more, 13-27 after rushing for 200 yards or more, 3-7 against teams with winning records, 2-5 after a cover, 1-4 in September, and after a straight up win of 20 points or more, and 1-5 after a win.
UTSA is 8-1 ATS in non-conference games, 6-1 in September, 5-1 overall, 8-2 after a cover, 4-1 after allowing less than 100 rushing yards, 6-2 after a straight up win, and 7-3 on grass.
While Arizona was supposed to blow out an inferior UNLV team, UTSA’s upset over Houston was a real eye opener. We don’t really know if the Roadrunners are really that good on defense, or Houston is really that bad on offense. UTSA has a lot of upperclassmen on the team and won’t be intimidated by a team from a major conference like the Pac 12. One thing is clear though, the Roadrunners must play better on offense or they will get destroyed. I think Arizona pulls away late to win and cover, but Coker and UTSA keep it close for awhile.
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