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UTSA coach Jeff Traylor senses new ‘energy’ in the program after comeback win over Memphis

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As UTSA coach Jeff Traylor works to bolster national recognition for the 210 Roadrunners brand, he joked that Saturday’s game couldn’t have gone better.

As kicker Hunter Duplessis prepared to enter for the deciding field goal, Traylor called the timeout with two seconds remaining to allow the final game to score 2 … 1 … 0.

“It’s quite a great plan,” Traylor said. “Never let the facts get in the way of a good story, do you?” “

The victory kept UTSA undefeated at 4-0, earning Roadrunners votes in the AP Top 25 poll for the second time in program history. Traylor described the game as “the epitome of our culture”.

Whether or not Serendipity 210 played a role, Traylor said he felt a new sense of conviction and energy around the program. The Roadrunners arrived at San Antonio Airport on Saturday night to an unfamiliar scene of fans holding signs and honking their horns, and more and more supporters waited for the team on the campus soccer field.

“I can just feel this town starting to go, ‘I really think these guys are legitimate,’” Traylor said. “I can feel it, and I hope it shows on Saturday at the Alamodome. … I feel an energy that I haven’t felt since I’ve been here.

Traylor said he tries to embrace and spread this passion, diverting time away from lunch breaks or personal workouts to fill a role as the show’s figurehead. He and his assistants handed out pizza on campus two weeks ago, and he said they were planning to hand out Whataburger taquitos to students on Wednesday morning.

Part of Traylor’s aspiration to make UTSA a premier Group of Five program is to cultivate a committed fan base, and he likened the process to a jet plane taking off. After a period of initial force, the aircraft finally reached cruising altitude.

“The hard part is the early years,” Traylor said. “Once you throw it, it’s a snowball. It starts and you can’t stop it. … Weren’t there. We are far. We’re a jet trying to take off, but this Saturday win helps you get the jet off the ground much faster. “

Traylor underscored UTSA’s commitment to San Antonio and area players, calling the program the “old-fashioned, cheesy version of college football” that represents the Texas high school mentality.

To embed this culture into a sustainable program, Traylor said he needed help from all corners of the community, whether it was a donor writing a check, a fan buying tickets. for a match or anyone giving a like to UTSA on Twitter.

“Being where we all want to be – and this city deserves it, and this university deserves it, and these kids deserve it – it’s going to take us all,” Traylor said. “There are people in San Antonio who are looking to help a good cause, and these kids are a good cause.”

After the Roadrunners battled the 21-point deficit, Traylor said Saturday was “the epitome of their belief” in the program’s convictions.

Traylor saw four players with an air of doubt or hesitation at UTSA’s lower times, but Roadrunners executives stepped in to crush those feelings.

“You could hear our players empowering themselves to continue playing,” said Traylor. “We never had that look in our eyes like we were going to leave.”

As UTSA’s esteem grows nationally, Traylor said the Roadrunners will do their best to block praise, this week focusing on the cultural pillar of “trusting the process.”

Instead of basking in the glow of receiving the top 25 votes, Traylor is hoping to continue moving the goalposts and ‘bear stinging’, wishing players would be motivated by not breaking the standings.

Traylor acknowledged that this will be the toughest week yet for the Roadrunners to keep a cool head, as the undefeated UTSA is a 21-point favorite against 0-4 UNLV ahead of their meeting at 5 p.m. Saturday at the Alamodome.

But Traylor warned that the UNLV’s losses were against ranked opponents Arizona State, Iowa State and Fresno State, as well as a top 10 FCS foe in eastern Washington.

He cautioned against complacency with a roster of talented Rebels, warning the Roadrunners that if they “start eating the cheese, this thing will be over in the blink of an eye.”

“If I need to buy another 120 rat traps and put them in your lockers, if you need me to drink a whole gallon of queso to prove what it will do to a human, I’ll do whatever. it takes to get their attention. ” Traylor said.

greg.luca@express-news.net

Twitter: @GregLuca


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