UTSA (0-2) vs. Kansas State (1-1)
When, where: Saturday, 3 p.m., Bill Snyder Family Stadium, Manhattan, Kan.
Series history: KSU leads 1-0
Last meeting: KSU 30, UTSA 3, Sept. 12, 2015, Alamodome
UTSA's last game: Lost to Baylor 37-20, Sept. 7, Alamodome
KSU's last game: Lost to No. 18 Mississippi State 31-10, Sept. 7, Manhattan
Notable: Saturday's game is UTSA third in a row against an opponent from a Power 5 conference. BYU is the only other non-Power 5 team to start the season with three consecutive Power 5 opponents . . . The Roadrunners have lost three straight road games . . . Saturday's game will be the seventh against a Big 12 team for UTSA, which is 1-5 against the conference.
After Baylor beat UTSA 37-20 last Saturday, Bears coach Matt Rhule gave a shout-out to the winless Roadrunners.
“I want to give credit to UTSA,” Rhule said. “That’s a good football team. I like the way they play. They have edge. They’re tough. They’re big and they’re physical. They held us under 100 yards (rushing), which is unacceptable. They ran the football downhill and we knew that last week’s score was not indicative of who they are.”
Rhule also praised Roadrunners coach Frank Wilson, calling him “a winner.”
UTSA is going to need all the edge Rhule talked about when they play Kansas State on Saturday, a week after falling to 0-2 with the loss to Baylor at the Alamodome. The Roadrunners face the challenge of having to bounce back against a KSU team that could be in a foul mood after losing at home to Mississippi State.
UTSA, which opened the season with a 49-7 beating from Arizona State, has been outscored 86-27 in the first two games of the season and given up an average of 498.5 yards of total offense.
The Roadrunners, who had only two yards rushing against ASU, are averaging 237.5 yards of total offense, 50 on the ground and 187.5 passing.
Wilson said he expects the KSU defense to come after UTSA.
“Kansas State is not a team blitzes in high volume, but for whatever reason, when people play us, it ramps up a little bit,” Wilson said. “We expect movement and we’re going to prepare for the worst in case they decide to have blitz-fest, although they have not shown being a team that does it in an abundance.
“The preparation has been good. It’s not things that are extremely fancy. Again, that offensive line leads their team. They get to the runs that they desire by multiple blocking schemes, with the same emphasis whether it’s a power run, a counter run or a zone scheme.”
Saturday will be the second meeting between the Roadrunners and the Wildcats, who rolled to a 30-3 victory in 2015 at the Alamodome.
Bill Snyder is in his 27th season as KSU head coach, going 211-111-1 in two different stints.
“I’ve always watched Coach Snyder from afar and admired the job that he’s done,” Wilson said. “When you can be that consistent for 25-plus years, it speaks volumes for the amount of respect that the program has for him and he has garnered over the years. Truly one of the elite coaches in college football.”
The Wildcats had to rally from a 12-point deficit heading into the fourth quarter to beat South Dakota 27-24 in their season opener Sept. 1. KSU was overwhelmed by Mississippi State, gaining only 213 yards and giving up 538.
The Roadrunners have no illusions about the team they’ll face Saturday, saying they expect the Wildcats to be in a bad mood after being dominated at home last week.
“This opponent is the best that we’ve seen (this season),” Wilson said. “They are extremely well coached, (and have) the best offensive line unit. Every year, year in and year out, they are a top team. This team will pose a tremendous concern in our ability to stop a run game that is very formidable.”
Junior running back Alex Barnes leads the KSU rushing game with 178 yards on 38 carries.
Junior Cordale Grundy has been UTSA’s starting quarterback in the first two games of the season. He has completed 34 of 66 passes with two interceptions for 344 yards and one touchdown. Sophomore tailback B.J. Daniels is the Roadrunners’ top rusher with 114 yards and two TDs.
Junior linebacker Josiah Tauaefa is the defense’s top tackler with 15, and safety Daryl Godfrey and cornerback Clayton Johnson have 11 stops each.