The UTSA Roadrunners will continue their two-game road swing through the Mountain Time Zone tonight when they play the Utah Utes of the Pac-12 Conference in Salt Lake City. Tipoff is at 8 p.m. (Central time) at the Huntsman Center.
The Roadrunners are 5-4 on the season, but they’ve lost three of their last four games and they’re 0-2 on the road, including a 94-76 loss on Saturday to the New Mexico Lobos in Albuquerque.
The Utes, listed at No. 17 nationally in the NCAA’s NET rankings, are similar in strength to the Lobos.
They’re off to a fast start, 8-2 on the season and 6-1 at home, to open their second campaign under Coach Craig Smith. Additionally, they’re 2-0 in the Pac-12 after scoring recent victories over fourth-ranked Arizona at home and Washington State on the road.
Barring a run to the NCAA tournament, the Utah game will be the only matchup this season for UTSA against a team from a Power Five conference. UTSA is a 0-24 against teams from the Pac-12, the Big 12, the Big Ten, the Southeastern Conference or the Atlantic Coast Conference over the past 13 seasons.
The last time UTSA beat a P5? It was in November of 2009 when the Roadrunners traveled to defeat the University of Iowa Hawkeyes, 62-50, in Iowa City. At the time, UTSA played in the Southland Conference under coach Brooks Thompson.
UTSA, now under Coach Steve Henson in Conference USA, schedules teams from the power leagues for revenue.
The Roadrunners will collect a sizeable check for playing the game at Utah. This time, Henson also would love to bring home a victory. He is 0-12 against the P5 in his six previous seasons at UTSA.
Teams in the P5 leagues reap huge amounts of football-related television revenue, and UTSA rarely gets to play them at home.
In fact, during the 24-game losing streak, the Roadrunners have played only one of those games in San Antonio. They were able to schedule a game early in the 2018-19 season on campus in the Convocation Center against Oklahoma but lost that contest, 87-67, to the Sooners.
UTSA at Utah, 8 tonight, in Salt Lake City. After returning home Wednesday, the Roadrunners will have a few days to prepare before hosting Bethune-Cookman on Sunday. The game is UTSA’s last in non conference. Conference USA play commences on Dec. 22, when the Roadrunners host the North Texas Mean Green.