By Gary Fauber
Assistant Sports Editor
In Adam Sandler’s football comedy “The Waterboy,” the South Central Louisiana State University quarterback pitched to Bobby Boucher and went deep on a trick play.
With Jerry Reed’s evil coach character frantically signaling and yelling “Pass!” to his unwitting defense from the sideline, Boucher fired a touchdown pass to his quarterback, and the Mud Dogs won the Bourbon Bowl.
Last Saturday, UTSA attempted a similar play against Houston. It wasn’t nearly as dramatic, and Kam Jones’ 12-yard pass to quarterback Eric Soza fell incomplete.
One other difference: The Roadrunners didn’t win the game. They were behind 31-28 at the time, but the Cougars scored four touchdowns in the fourth quarter and won 59-28.
“It was an easy play,” UTSA coach Larry Coker said, “and we just didn’t execute.”
Not much has been easy for Coker and the Roadrunners, who started playing football in 2011. But things are far better than anyone could ever have predicted.
UTSA, which visits Marshall at 2 p.m. Saturday, is 2-3 overall in its first season as a member of Conference USA, but the program’s overall record through its first 27 games is 14-13. That includes an 8-4 record last year in the Western Athletic Conference.
“This happened fast,” said Coker, who coached Miami to the 2001 BCS national championship. “We’ve got good players. ... We want to recruit better than everybody. Right now, our players are good enough for us.”
Among them is Soza, a senior who has completed nearly 66 percent of his passes (122 of 185) for 1,342 yards. He has eight touchdowns and six interceptions.
Soza completed 29 of 40 passes for 316 yards against Houston, but was also picked off three times to take off some of the luster. Still, Coker believes is quarterback “has some magic too him.”
“I think he felt like he made mistakes in the fourth quarter, which is true,” Coker said. “His spirit is going to be fine. He is a mature young man. He understands where we are and where we’re headed. No, he’s not pleased with his fourth quarter. Sometimes you try to do too much.
“I don’t know if there is anyone in the country that I would trade for him. I like him a lot.”
— E-mail: gfauber@
By Gary Fauber
- College Sports
Herd lands ‘Other D’Antoni’
Danny D’Antoni hasn’t been a West Virginia resident in nearly 40 years. That will soon change, and his family could not be happier.
D’Antoni will be introduced as Marshall’s new head men’s basketball coach at a press conference at 2 p.m. today. Athletic director Mike Hamrick announced the hiring via Twitter Thursday afternoon.
WVU baseball begins series with Kansas State in Morgantown today
The West Virginia University baseball team will host Kansas State in a key Big 12 Conference series this weekend at Hawley Field. Game one begins at 6 p.m. today. Game two begins at 4 p.m. on Saturday, and the first pitch for game three is set for noon on Sunday.
Hamrick deserves praise for pursuit of D’Antoni
Sometimes gambles don’t pay off, but some risks simply have to be taken.
WVU post-spring depth chart filled with few surprises
Although the contents brought about as much of a surprise as a over the hill balloon at a 40th birthday party, there were a few interesting nuggets in the post-spring depth chart that West Virginia University sent out Wednesday morning.
Clutch hitting leads WVU over Marshall
Junior catcher Cam O’Brien finished a home run away from the cycle and scored three runs as the WVU baseball team defeated Marshall, 10-3, on Wednesday evening at Hawley Field.
Gardner improving with broken neck
Joedy Gardner, a well-known former West Virginia basketball player and coach, is much improved after having broken his neck in Phoenix, Ariz., several months ago.
Mountaineers have benefited from incoming football transfers
Recruiting in college football seems to get more and more attention every season. Websites like Scout.com and Rivals.com stalk the high school sidelines and blow up potential recruits’ cell phones in search of the latest information. But there’s one important aspect that often goes ignored — transfers.
WVU baseball pounds Terps
The offense had 16 hits and sophomore left-hander Ross Vance struck out six as the West Virginia University baseball team routed Maryland 14-2 on Tuesday evening at Hawley Field.
Crutchfield not interested in Division I job
You would think Jim Crutchfield would be a great candidate for a head basketball coach’s job at an NCAA Division I university.
But the Clarksburg native keeps saying that he’s perfectly content in that role at West Liberty, a Division II powerhouse. His 10-year record there is an absolutely amazing 272-49. Significantly, 10 of those defeats came in his first year at the West Liberty helm.
Stepping up: Kelly racking up wins for Lions
Sundays have become red-letter days for Chris Kelly.
- More College Sports Headlines
- Herd lands ‘Other D’Antoni’