Tennessee football is looking to bounce back from its first loss of the season last week at Florida when it host the University of Texas-San Antonio to Neyland Stadium Saturday.
The Road Runners are off to a disappointing 1-2 start to the season with narrow losses against Houston and Army and a tight win over Texas State. UTSA entered the season just outside of the top 25 thanks to last season’s success and the return of veteran quarterback Frank Harris.
But Harris missed last week’s game against Army and is questionable for Saturday’s matchup.
Here’s what UTSA coach Jeff Traylor said about Harris’ status and Tennessee ahead of the Road Runners trip to Neyland Stadium.
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On Frank Harris status
“It’s not changed. It’ll be day-to-day and we’ll see how he looks. If he’s not 100% he will not play.”
On if this being a non conference game makes it more plausible to rest him
“That sounds great but there’s just no way you’re going to keep a kid like Frank Harris off the football field if he’s 100%. One, he’s done too much for the program. Two, he’s too good of a player. He’s the leader of our team. If he’s 100% you have to let the kid play to get better.”
On what stands out about Tennessee and what they’ll have to do to make it a game
“They’re just very talented. Josh has done a fantastic job there. It’s only year three and they had a big season last year with 11 wins. Their offense plays faster than anybody in the country. I think that’s factual and not one of those Jeff Traylorisms— coach talk. I think that’s actually factual with the snaps per minute. They’re really talented. Two receivers that are NFL projects. Two running backs who are hard to tackle. Couple offensive linemen are NFL guys. The quarterback is an NFL guy. I’d say five to six NFL guys on the defense. Going to be an unbelievable crowd. Coming off a loss which you never want to play a team coming off a loss. It’s going to be a rough environment against a good football team. What would be different about 2023, right? The schedule lines up just perfect every week.”
On if they have to change anything offensive line wise before playing Tennessee
“Of course. You’re blocking guys that are way superior athletically. They’re long, they’re faster, they’re bigger. We’ve got to be creative this week. We do. You’re playing a far superior opponent as far as their talent. But our guys will compete. They always do.”
On how linebacker Martavius French will respond to playing his former team (Tennessee)
“I’m sure he’ll be excited. I’m looking forward to it for Martavius. He’s really matured and he’s coming along like (UTSA linebacker) Jimmori (Robinson) has with his maturity off the field.”
On if there’s anything French can offer preparation wise having played at Tennessee
“That’s pretty much everybody in college football right now. We’re all sharing each other’s rosters. Who knows what everybody is telling each other but we’ll get some information from Martavius but who doesn’t these days? The transfer portal, with coaches and players, we all got somebody on somebody’s staff who knows everything about everybody.”