Football heads to San Antonio looking to run past Roadrunners’ defense

Baylor senior safety Verkedric Vaughns celebrates after stopping Abilene Christian on third down. The Bears will face UTSA at 6 p.m. Saturday in San Antonio. Photo credit: Liesje Powers | Multimedia Editor

By Adam Gibson | Sports Writer

Baylor football is headed to San Antonio for its first road trip of the season as they take on the UTSA Roadrunners at 6 p.m. Saturday.

After winning the first game of the season against ACU on Sept. 1. Junior defensive end James Lockhart said being able to start out the season with a win is great, but the team is preparing in order to accomplish different objectives they have for the rest of the season.

“In the moment, it feels good, but at the end of the day we have a goal as a team; we want to be national champions,” Lockhart said. “You can’t just sit and dwell on one win. You’ve got to keep moving forward … It started Monday: watching film, learning the opponent, working scout periods; it started today, doing inside run. So you’ve got to move on. You’ve got to shake hands with the opponent, talk to your coaches, learn, get in the film room, get ready for the next opponent and just move on from there.”

Going into a road game can be exciting, but is also a challenging way to get a win. Head coach Matt Rhule said going into a road game that is still in Texas gives the experience of an away game early on, without having to go too far.

“In the course of your four years, you’re going to have the chance to play 36 games in driving distance. I love away games. I love going to the hotel. I like the bunker mentality of getting your 70 guys in there and it’s all about us,” Rhule said. “But at the same time, it’s nice to not go too far. It’s nice to not have to get on an airplane … To have the chance to play in the [Alamodome] is awesome and to play against a team we have respect for and that we have relationships with I think makes it all that much better.

Last season, the Roadrunners made the trip to McLane Stadium, where they defeated the Bears 17-10 on Sept. 9, 2017. Rhule, now coming into his second game against UTSA, said just like last year, the Roadrunners are a quick, powerful team with a defense that has the ability to make plays to keep the Bears out of the end zone.

“I watched their game from Saturday and that was just a game that got away from them. They looked fast and athletic. They’ve got elite players on defense,” Rhule said. “Their middle linebacker, number 55 [Josiah Tauaefa], is one of the best players I saw last year, and I mean that. They’re a defense that you have to be aware of everything they do. They’re going to line up and attack us. That’s what makes for a good, fun football game. We know we’re going to get their best on Saturday.”

Sophomore quarterback Charlie Brewer was taken out of the game last week against ACU after suffering a back injury. While it was mostly a precaution to keep him from playing, Brewer said he is ready to go against UTSA and knows it will be a challenge to get a win.

“It was definitely good, especially at home, to get a win,” Brewer said. “That was nice, but we’ve got to move on to the next one this week. UTSA is a great football team. They’re very talented on defense. I haven’t really seen much of their offense. They’re a very talented football team and I expect it to be a very good environment in the Alamodome.”