UTSA football coach Larry Coker described the Roadrunners as "a work in progress" throughout their inaugural season last year, when they finished 4-6 with a team composed mostly of freshmen and redshirt freshmen.
While the Roadrunners remain under construction, they're growing up in a hurry. If anything, as Coker has said several times since spring training started two weeks ago, the Roadrunners are at least practicing like a college team now.
Coker was upbeat Saturday morning after watching his team end the second week of spring drills with a scrimmage at Farris Stadium, where the Roadrunners practice.
The offense looked much sharper than it did in its first scrimmage March 24, piling up 499 yards and scoring four times. The defense got in its licks, too, coming up with four turnovers on two fumble recoveries and two interceptions.
"We had a lot of big plays on offense, which we haven't had since I've been here," Coker said. "You can kind of see the skill level has really picked up. I like our quarterback play. We had three that played pretty good today.
"Defensively, we created turnovers. The thing I told them was if we don't turn the ball over and defensively, we keep creating turnovers, we'll have a chance to win a lot of football games. Those are the things I saw that really stood out. I think guys played hard and did things they're coached to do.
Holmes, Glasco stood out in scrimmage
Two former San Antonio high school standouts, wide receiver Earon Holmes (Brackenridge) and running back David Glasco II (Wagner), looked impressive. Holmes caught five passes for 127 yards and two touchdowns and Glasco scored on a 75-yard run on his only carry of the scrimmage.
Glasco burst through a hole on the right side cleared by sophomore linemen Scott Inskeep and Cody Harris.
"I've never seen a 67-yard run since I've been here on an inside running play," Coker said. "It was well blocked."
Glasco and Holmes will be sophomores when UTSA opens its second season at South Alabama on Thursday, Aug. 30.
Holmes scored his TDs on receptions of 65 and 25 yards from redshirt freshman Ryan Polite and incumbent starter Eric Soza, respectively.
"We're starting to make more big plays on offense and that's good for us because we need it," Holmes said. "Our competition this year will be much bigger, faster and stronger, so we know we've got to bust our tails in the spring and summer."
UTSA moving into WAC this season
After playing as an independent in the Football Championship Subdivision, formerly Division I-AA, last year, UTSA will move into the Western Athletic Conference this season. The WAC competes in the Football Bowl Subdivision, formerly Division I-A.
Holmes had only three catches for 27 yards last season when he missed the first four games with a shoulder injury, but he's looked impressive this spring.
"He's really stepped it up," Coker said of Holmes. "We've seen that in practice and now we're seeing it in games. That's what we need to have."
The offense's other TD came on a 16-yard pass from Tucker Carter to sophomore wide receiver Kenny Harrison.
Carter, a junior who transferred from Trinity Valley Community College, completed 9 of
16 passes for 152 yards and was intercepted once.
"We were more efficient this week than we were last week," Coker said, referring to the offense. "We've got to be more efficient getting the plays in and speeding up our offense. I thought the pass protection was the best since I've been here."
UTSA spring game scheduled April 15
Polite completed 7 of 14 passes for 142 yards and had one attempt intercepted. Soza, a junior, was 5 of 11 for 79 yards.
Junior ends William Ritter and Jarron Harris had the fumble recoveries for the defense, and sophomore safety Triston Wade and sophomore end Jason Neill had an interception each.
Backup linebackers Cody Rogers and Blake Terry, both sophomores led the offense in tackles with six each. Another backup linebacker, junior Brandon Guerrero, finished with two sacks.
The Roadrunners won't have another full scrimmage until their spring game April 15 at the Alamodome.
While Coker said he's been heartened by his team's steady improvement, he continues to challenge his players every step of the way.
"As players, they've got to take that next step," Coker said. "I told them, 'Let's don't just finish out spring practice. Let's make sure to take that next step and get better.'"