Tennessee faces their third non-conference challenge of the season on Saturday, with UTSA coming to town. If you’re a college football fan, you know plenty about this program as the Roadrunners have been one of the best group of five teams over the past few seasons.
Star quarterback Frank Harris came back for one final ride in San Antonio, but so far his season isn’t going to plan. UTSA dropped the opener to Houston, then Harris suffered a turf toe injury in week two against North Texas. He missed last week against Army, as UTSA fell 37-29.
So that leaves the question, will Harris be able to go this weekend? That’s a big unknown, and we may not know until Saturday afternoon.
“It’ll be game decision,” UTSA coach Jeff Traylor said. “If He can go, we’re gonna let him go. If he can’t, we won’t.”
Harris threw for over 4,000 yards last season while adding over 600 on the ground. He scored nine times on the ground, while tossing 32 touchdown passes.
It’s an interesting decision for Traylor. His team may be 1-2 — likely 1-3 after this weekend — but he’s still got an entire AAC conference schedule to think about. The Roadrunners have yet to play a conference game, so that title is still a possibility. UTSA also has a bye week following the Tennessee matchup before opening their AAC schedule with Temple on October 7th.
Eddie Lee Marburger started in place of Harris, connecting on 17 of 25 of his passes against Army. The sophomore tossed three touchdown passes, impressing in his fill-in role.
“This is a really good football team,” Tennessee head coach Josh Heupel said on Wednesday. “I said it earlier. They’re proud, they’re competitive, they’re tough, they’re physical, they’re coached well and they have really good players in all three phases of the football game. It will be important for us that we show up with the right mindset and competitive spirit, that we compete really hard.”
Per DraftKings Sportsbook, Tennessee is up to a 20.5 point favorite. This line opened somewhere in the teens, but quickly shot up due to the uncertainty around Harris.
Regardless of who ends up under center for UTSA, Tennessee just needs to play a clean football game on Saturday. The pre-snap penalties, mental mistakes, poor tackling and failing to do make the routine plays have really hurt this group through three games. They’ve got a chance to clean it up here before getting into the heart of their SEC schedule.
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See DraftKings.com/sportsbook for details.