UTSA (4-7, 3-4) vs. Louisiana Tech (8-3, 5-2)
When, where: Saturday, 2:30 p.m., Aillet Stadium, Ruston, La.
Series history: Louisiana Tech leads 6-1
Last meeting: Louisiana Tech 31, UTSA 3, Oct. 13, 2018, Alamodome
UTSA last week: Lost to Florida Atlantic 40-26, Saturday, Alamodome
Louisiana Tech last week: Lost to UAB 20-14, Saturday, Birmingham, Ala.
Their chances for a winning season and bowl bid long gone, the UTSA Roadrunners have made it clear they won't lack for motivation in their finale Saturday against heavily favored Louisiana Tech.
"You've just got to have pride," senior defensive end Jarrod Carter-McLin said. "Every man, you've got to have a will to win."
UTSA, 4-7 overall and 3-4 in Conference USA, will play the final game of its ninth season on the road against an opponent that's in a three-way tie for first in the C-USA West standings. Louisiana Tech (8-2, 5-2) trounced the Roadrunners 31-3 last year at the Alamodome and leads the series 6-1.
Carter-McLin assured that UTSA will be ready to tangle with the Bulldogs.
"Just trying to win game, man, going out the right way," he said. "Go out with a win, be the best that you can."
The Roadrunners, who will finish the season with a losing record for the second straight year, haven't won consecutive games since the first half of last season. UTSA won three in a row to climb to .500 but finished 3-9 after losing its last six games.
The Roadrunners started the 2019 season with high expectations, but their hopes took a big hit when highly touted quarterback Frank Harris sustained a season-ending injury on the second snap against North Texas on Sept. 21.
UTSA pressed on but it never gained traction.
"I don't care, in life or in football, you've just got to have a will to win," Carter-McLin said. "It's going to be times when you're out in life and you're going to get fired from that good job. Nobody cares. They don't feel sorry for you at all.
"It's the same in football. Nobody cares that UTSA isn't going to a bowl game. It's just going out there and trying to have pride in knowing that no matter what, I want to win. That's what it's about, just everybody buying into 'I want to win for me.'"
Completing his fourth season at UTSA, coach Frank Wilson praised his team's grit and resilience after a spirited workout this week.
"It's amazing, the energy, the spirit, of this football team," Wilson said. "I love this team. I love the way they care for one another. I love the way they compete. I love their never-say-die spirit. I love their gratefulness and thankfulness as we go into a holiday season to continue to put things in perspective.
"It is important for us to do the little things right, to compete day in and day out, to get ready to play a very quality opponent in Louisiana Tech and to be focused on the task at hand. And then post-practice to see them (his players) engage with one another, eager to play well on Saturday."
Sophomore quarterback Lowell Narcisse has started seven consecutive games since Harris went down. Narcisse will start again Saturday, Wilson said, but he hasn't ruled out also playing backup Jordan Weeks.
Weeks replaced Narcisse with 10:55 left, completing 8 of 11 passes for 123 yards and a 24-yard scoring strike to Carlos Strickland.
"I was proud of him, actually," Narcisse said of Weeks. "Jo Jo pays attention to a lot of things I do in practice, so that's why I try to do the right thing all the time. I don't want him to develop any bad habits. He came in and took advantage of his opportunities, so I'm excited for him."
Narcisse hit 10 of 19 passes, with one interception, for only 86 yards, but he threw for two TDs. Narcisse had his best game of the season in a 36-17 loss to Southern Miss the previous week, completing 22 of 30 passes for 325 yards and two TDs.
Wilson praised Weeks, a redshirt freshman from Wimberley.
"He continues to do the things that he's done leading into last weekend and weeks before," Wilson said. "I like his preparation. I like his readiness. We'll continue to evaluate to see ways to advantage our team, and how we can get both those guys involved."