Houston vs. UTSA, season opener for both teams
When, where: TBA
Series history: Tied 1-1
Last meeting: UTSA 27, UH 7, Aug. 29, 2014, Houston
UTSA record in season openers: 5-1
Notable: Eleven players on the current UTSA roster, including defensive end Marcus Davenport , a Stevens High School graduate, played against UH in 2014.
Tickets: Call (210) 458-UTSA (8872) or go to http://goutsa.com/sports/2016/1/21/Tickets.aspx
SAN ANTONIO – UPDATE: UTSA Athletics announced Tuesday afternoon that the season-opener game originally scheduled for September 2 between the University of Houston and the University of Texas at San Antonio would be postponed.
"The universities will explore rescheduling the game for a date later in the season." read the press release sent to KENS 5.
With the Houston area reeling from the catastrophic flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey, the University of Houston football team has had good reason to be distracted since the monster storm slammed into the Texas coast Friday night.
The Cougars moved their football operations to the University of Texas campus in Austin on Friday, leaving Houston ahead of the deluge that has displaced thousands in the city.
The Cougars are staying at an Austin hotel, and have practiced at UT's indoor facility since arriving in the city.
Roadrunners coach Frank Wilson addressed Houston’s plight in his weekly session with the media Monday. Selected players regularly attended the weekly sessions in the past, but new NCAA bylaws now prohibit schools from making players available to the media on their day off (Monday).
“Both teams are preparing,” Wilson said in a transcript of the session provided by the UTSA sports information office. “They’re in Austin preparing. We’re here preparing. Certainly, our thoughts and prayers; we’re conscientious of the natural disaster that just happened. Of course, that’s on your mind. But you continue to prepare for the game."
Asked if any of his players have been affected by the storm, Wilson said: “One of our freshman walk-on tight end’s family got a little wind damage, but nothing overwhelming where they lost their home or a loved one. Nothing of that nature.”
Wilson said he called UH first-year head coach Major Applewhite on Monday morning.
“We wanted to send our thoughts and prayers,” Wilson said. “Administratively, I know Lynn Hickey (UTSA athletic director) has been talking to their officials back and forth, as well.”
Wilson, 43, knows all too well the tremendous damage a hurricane can cause. He grew up in New Orleans and was an assistant coach at LSU for six seasons before landing his first head-coaching job at UTSA in January 2016.
“I’ve been in positions where we’ve had to welcome players’ families and take them in,” Wilson said. “I’ve been on the other half at LSU, where we played South Carolina and they had just gone through their deal. You do the humanitarian thing. You do the thing that’s natural to you and that is to be serving, to be conscientious, to have a heart during that time.
“Our sport is unique because it kind of brings us together. Something that seems so gloomy sometimes is the thing that’s needed to make us conscientiousness of what’s going on and more readily available to serve one another, to help.”
The Roadrunners returned to practice Sunday after taking Saturday off. Wilson and his staff worked Monday to put the finishing touches on the team’s game plan for UH.
What’s it been like to prepare for a game despite the distractions?
“You go about it (preparation) no different than any other week,” Wilson said. “The distraction; you try to allow it to be that of a minimal. That team itself is a distraction enough. They’re a very, very good football team. Between both quarterbacks — Kyle Allen and Kyle (Postma) — I think they’re both very good quarterbacks.
“I heard some rumblings that it may be a quarterback controversy, but when you go back and look at that young man play, No. 3 (Postma), he is a very elusive, dynamite quarterback. I don’t know if they’re going to use both of them, one of them or what, but both are very challenging to prepare for.”
The Roadrunners and Cougars have met twice since UTSA’s inaugural season in 2011. UH routed the Roadrunners 59-28 on Sept. 28, 2013, at the Alamodome, but UTSA beat the Cougars in the 2014 season opener for both schools at UH’s new stadium.
Wilson was asked if he thinks the Cougars will be ready to play despite the distractions.
“Over the years usually, whether it was an LSU team that had to travel to Arizona State to play them for a home game, or vice versa, somehow they find a way to play inspired,” Wilson said. “I promise you they won’t come into the game ‘woe is me’ or licking their wounds.
“They’ll be prepared and they will not be looking for empathy. They’ll be a well-prepared football team. Major Applewhite does a great job with his staff. They’ll be ready to play and it’s going to require us to play very well.”