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Everything you need to know before heading to UTSA's season opener

The Roadrunners get an early test as they begin a season of high expectations.

SAN ANTONIO — After racking up the wins, securing a Conference USA championship and garnering national attention last year, the Roadrunners enter the 2022 season with heightened expectations. 

No longer an underdog program to be taken for granted, head coach Jeff Traylor's team was picked to finish atop the conference once again in July's preseason poll. They've improved their record each of the past four seasons, reaching double-digit wins for the first time in 2021 before finishing the campaign 12-2. 

UTSA's encore begins Saturday at the Alamodome. Here's everything you need to know before going. 

Who are they playing?

The 'Runners begin the season with a big-time test, matching up against No. 24 Houston. The Cougars are coming off a 12-2 campaign of their own, capped by a Birmingham Bowl victory over Auburn. 

Houston is one of three Texas teams, along with No. 10 Baylor and No. 6 Texas A&M, to be ranked ahead of the season.

The teams have matched up just twice before, and not since 2014, when UTSA defeated Houston 24-7 on the Cougars' home turf. 

What time is the game? 

Kickoff at the Alamodome is set for 2:30 p.m. 

Are tickets still available?

They are! Tickets range from $10 to $200, depending on how close you want to be to the action. They're also available at the Alamodome box office if you happen to be in the neighborhood. 

Hardcore fans can buy season tickets through UTSA. 

How much is parking?

Aside from the various city lots along Cesar E. Chavez Boulevard, parking at the Alamodome will cost you $25 (make sure to bring a card; the facility has gone cashless). Tailgating is reserved for those with permits sold through UTSA. 

What about COVID protocols?

Alamodome officials say they aren't requiring proof of coronavirus vaccination for their events, but does recommend that visitors wear masks when they can, as well as social distancing when possible. Complimentary masks will be available at entrances. 

Is there anything I'm not allowed to bring?

The usual: guns, knives, noisemakers, laser pointers, pets and alcohol. See the full list here.

In addition, there are limits on the kinds of bags guests can bring in. Backpacks are prohibited, especially if they aren't clear. Large tote bags, camera cases and bags to store folding chairs are also no-goes. See the full policy here

How else can I watch?

If you're not planning on going, you can still tune in via the CBS Sports Network so long as you have a TV providers. Otherwise, you can catch the action over the radio waves via Ticket 760.

How much of last year's team is returning?

Senior quarterback Frank Harris is expected to be back under center for the Roadrunners, as is the reliable Zakhari Franklin, who hauled in more than 1,000 yards as the top receiving option last year. Senior safety Rashad Wisdom is also returning after leading the team in tackles each of the past two seasons. 

But UTSA's rushing attack will have to make up for the All-American-sized hole left behind by Sincere McCormick, who forwent his senior season for a chance at professional football (he was signed by the Las Vegas Raiders in May after going undrafted, but was placed on the injured reserve list a few weeks later). 

McCormick rushed for more yards than all but six players last season, while scoring 15 times. Looking to make up for that production is senior Brenden Brady, who rushed for 308 yards while scoring four touchdowns last season. Others in the UTSA rushing corps are relatively unproven. 

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