As one of the handful of FCS teams making the jump to the Division I FBS level this year, the UT - San Antonio Roadrunners will have a lot to prove when they make the transition to the Western Athletic Conference (WAC). The Roadrunners experienced a so-so year during Larry Coker's first year at head coach during 2011, finishing with a 4-6 record. However, it was the program's very first year in existence, and Coker hopes to build a strong roster and a new contender on the Texas college football landscape during the coming years. With many big-name teams leaving the WAC this year, this could be the Roadrunners' best shot at respectability on the FBS level.
Entering the 2012 season, Eric Soza has a year of experience under his belt and looks to be the unquestioned starter at quarterback. His ability to run and pass has made the Roadrunners' offense far more versatile and has opened up opportunities for other playmakers. The team will need extra production out of their running backs, and they will rely on David Glasco and Evans Okotcha to carry the load. The receiving corps remains largely the same, with returning starters Kam Jones, Brandon Freeman and Kenny Harrison returning to run the quick routes that the Roadrunners' offense is based on.
Defensively, the Roadrunners have a talented group of defensive linemen with size and speed that will give them a chance in the trenches against touch WAC programs. Marlon Smith and William Ritter will hold down the end spots, while Richard Burge is a force on the interior. The team loves to use safety-linebacker hybrids to improve their skills in coverage, so players like Cody Berry and Brandon Reeves will be instrumental in the Roadrunners' plans this year. In the secondary, the team will return both starters at cornerback, while safety standout Triston Wade will return to prowl the middle of the field.
The 2012 season will represent a major jump in competition for the Roadrunners, but won't face their first WAC opponent until the end of September against New Mexico State. Showdowns against Rice, Utah State and Louisiana Tech look to be the biggest games on the schedule, and they are must-wins if the Roadrunners want to compete for the WAC title. After only a year, UT - San Antonio has made a major leap into the Division I FBS level and fans are more than ready to see their team hit the field on the biggest stage.