Posted on August 27, 2012 at 8:27 AM
Monday, Aug 27 at 8:53 AM
The UTSA football team has waited for more than 10 months to get another shot at South Alabama, which handed the Roadrunners one of the toughest losses of their inaugural season last year.
With Tropical Storm Isaac barreling toward the Gulf Coast, UTSA may have to wait a little longer for the rematch.
The Roadrunners and Jaguars are scheduled to open their seasons Thursday night in Mobile, Ala., but with Isaac expected to make landfall as a hurricane late Tuesday or Wednesday, it's almost certain the game would be postponed if the weather forecasters are correct.
"Obviously, if the conditions aren't safe, we're not going to play Thursday night," UTSA coach Larry Coker said Sunday after practice. "We have several options. We're in conversations with them and Lynn (Hickey, UTSA athletic director) has been texting their athletic director. Obviously, we'd both like to play. We'll see."
Coker said the game could be rescheduled for this weekend – including Monday, since it's Labor Day – or for Oct. 6, when both schools have an open date.
The Roadrunners are scheduled to fly to Mobile on Wednesday, so the decision to postpone the game would have to be made by sometime Tuesday.
"Obviously, we're not going out there unless it's safe," Coker said.
Soza keeping game in perspective
Coker was offensive coordinator at Miami in 1998 and the Hurricanes' head coach in 2005 when they had two games postponed because of hurricanes.
"Those are things out of your control and they are destructive and distractions," Coker said. "It's just something you have to adjust to, especially if you're in a place like Miami. I don't think Mobile is quite like Miami. LSU and those places, you're going to have some of those type games."
Anticipating rainy weather if the game is rescheduled for this weekend, UTSA offensive coordinator Kevin Brown had his quarterbacks put in extra time after practice throwing and taking snaps with balls soaked in water.
Starting quarterback Eric Soza downplayed the effects rainy weather would have on the Roadrunners.
"It'll be a level playing field for everybody," he said. "We can't do anything about it. We just have to make the most of it. I just want to play. We just want to get on the field, and if it's Thursday, great. Friday, even better. Saturday, you know what? Let's play Saturday ball again. Saturday night lights and let's go do it."
While the Roadrunners are eager to play, Soza said it's important not to lose perspective.
"Football is just a game," Soza said. "We've seen what a hurricane can do and how destructive it is. If it's the cause of us not playing a game, you know what? We're still blessed. I just pray to God that it's not a bad hurricane.
"If it does hit landfall, then I'll pray for everybody in South Alabama. Hopefully, they can take cover and survive the hurricane because you never know about Mother Nature.
South Alabama beat UTSA 30-27 in double overtime last Oct. 8 at the Alamodome. The Roadrunners had a chance to win in regulation, but Sean Ianno's 26-yard field goal was blocked on the final play of the fourth quarter.
"We feel that we should have won the game," Coker said. "That was a difficult loss for us. Obviously, that's behind us and now we have a chance to go to their place and play. That was probably the most difficult loss of the year."
Extra points: Sophomore letterman Cody Rogers is listed as a starter at defensive end on the Roadrunners' latest depth chart after being moved from linebacker at the end of fall camp. "We're just getting the best players on the field and he's one of them," Coker said. . . . Bennett Okotcha, a freshman cornerback who redshirted at Oklahoma last year, has transferred to UTSA. He is the younger brother of Roadrunners junior running back Evans Okotcha. Under NCAA rules, Bennett Okotcha must sit out the 2012 season. He will have three years of eligibility remaining beginning next season. . . . Junior safety Cody Berry (shoulder) and freshman redshirt wide receiver Sean Hessler (knee) will miss the entire season this year. . . . Sophomore letterman Cody Harris has been moved from offensive tackle to offensive guard, where he's listed as a starter on the right side of the line, and sophomore Dominique Henderson has been moved from defensive end to defensive tackle.