Frank Wilson was hired to fend off the stagnation at UTSA. Larry Coker helped start the program in San Antonio but had fallen into a rut. His teams struggled to adjust to CUSA by his fourth year and fell to 3-9.
Frank Wilson stepped into the role and immediately led the Roadrunners to a 6-7 season, getting to the New Mexico Bowl. That might not seem to impressive on its face, but UTSA had yet to reach a bowl game because of rules for startup programs.
That 2016 season saw the Runners hang tough with Arizona state at home, beat a title favorite Southern Miss, play an epic game vs UTEP, and beat rival North Texas at the Alamodome.
The program felt like it was on the precipice of something great in CUSA. There was a talented defense and an offense led by Dalton Sturm, a guy with a knack for making plays who had a cup of coffee in the NFL.
Everything started well in 2017, with three straight wins including a win over moribund Baylor. The truth was that Baylor, Southern, and Texas St were pushovers. Conference play saw Southern Miss slice up the once-formidable UTSA defense and North Texas jumped out to a big lead before pulling out a miracle win in the final minute.
Since then, UTSA has been struggling for offense. Since scoring 26 vs North Texas that night, UTSA has reached 30 or more three times in 23 games. They have scored in the single-digits nine times in that span.
Frank Wilson has tried to find the solution to the offensive problems, switching out offensive coordinators three times. He says the right things and has had the misfortune of not having the most talented QB on the roster healthy. Frank Harris has been injured for much of his short career. His replacements have struggled to find the right balance of mobility and accuracy.
Finding a QB is the end-all in the modern game, and injuries are not an excuse. Players get injured in this game, and things happen. Jay Hopson had injuries to Nick Mullens, lost Keon Howard to transfer, and Kwadra Griggs was briefly suspended, he found current starter Jack Abraham.
UAB went from AJ Erdley to Tyler Johnson III. FIU went from AJ McGough to James Morgan.
The point is, that the successful programs are finding the right players to play the most important position in the game. That Frank Wilson has been unable to replace Dalton Sturm is perhaps a fireable offense in and of itself.
There has been talent throughout the rest of the roster, with NFL-calibre players on both sides of the ball in his time. The simple fact is that Wilson has been unable to build an offense capable of competing in this league and the fans have lost patience with it.
Wilson is now 16-24 — a .410 percentage and is already 1-3 this season. The offense is averaging 328 yards per game, 4.84 per play, and an anemic 16.25 points per game.
What is worse is that the once-stout defense is now becoming a sieve. The run defense is allowing over 6-yards per carry. North Texas exploded for 290 on 44 carries. Tre Siggers ran for 143 on 14 totes.
UTSA is allowing a ridiculous 7.42 yards per carry on first down.
Frank Harris hurt his non-throwing shoulder again, and that spells even more trouble. If he was the only key to the offense, as seems to be the case, there is little reason to think anything will change in the near future.
Wilson has changed coordinators twice and it may be time for AD Lisa Campos to change the head man.
Article updated to change the yards per game. Originally intended to to reflect passing yards per game through three.
It’s time for a change…. if UTSA wants to become relevant, we must continue to spend money, and try and get an established head coach or coordinator, not a positions coach. Might consider looking to top fcs coaches. UTSA is a great school, with plenty of $$$$$.. Campos seems committed to building the brand- let’s let her!