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UTSA fans to 'orange out' Alamodome; UIW announces conference switch

UTSA Coach Jeff Traylor gives Birds Up to fans.jpg
J.J. Perez
UTSA Coach Jeff Traylor gives Birds Up to fans following last week's win against UTEP in El Paso

Roadrunner fans are urged to wear their orange shirts to "orange out" the Alamodome for Saturday's game against the University of Southern Mississippi.

The game features 15th-ranked UTSA and the unranked Golden Eagles, who are having one of their worst seasons in recent years.

UTSA head coach Jeff Traylor is headed into the game at 9-0 and under a new contract worth $28 million through 2031.

He said Roadrunner fever is running high for their ESPN+ streamed home game in the Alamodome at 2:30 p.m.

"Momentum in the city right now... Everywhere I go, it's birds up. Everybody is so into it, I would be shocked if our city does not show up Saturday," he said.

Traylor told insiderunnersports.com he does not believe his team will overlook the 1-8 Golden Eagles. Traylor suspects the Golden Eagles will be fired up to beat an undefeated team.

"They don't have a very good record, let's be honest Traylor said. "What is their head coach going to tell them? They can save their whole season right now. This could be one unbelievable moment for those guys, right? But we can't control any of that. What can we control? It's our practice habits," he said.

UTSA is favored to win the game. The team plays again at home next Saturday against the University of Alabama at Birmingham before wrapping up their historic season on the road against North Texas on Nov. 27. This year, UTSA is ranked nationally for the first time ever. It's also the football program's best season start ever.

In other local college sporting news, the University of the Incarnate Word has accepted an invitation to become part of the Western Athletic Conference on July 1, 2022.

“As we have witnessed over the past several months, Division 1 athletics can be a changing landscape and with that change will come opportunity,” said UIW President Dr. Thomas M. Evans. “The University of the Incarnate Word is committed to prioritizing what is best for our student-athletes and the Mission of the University. A move to the WAC at this time puts our student-athletes in the best position to succeed academically and competitively."

Evans also thanked the institutions of the Southland Conference for their partnership over the past nine years.

With the addition of UIW, the WAC will soon consist of 14 schools competing in 20 different men’s and women’s sports, including eight teams that will compete in football at the Football Championship Subdivision or FCS level, according to a news release.

The WAC has entered into a new media rights agreement with ESPN. More than 500 live WAC games and events including football, soccer, volleyball, basketball, swimming and diving, track and field, softball and baseball will be available for fans to watch on ESPN+.

ESPN will also produce the men’s and women’s basketball championship games.

“We are excited to be joining the WAC,” said Richard Duran, UIW athletic director. “This will raise the profile of all our sports teams and give our student-athletes a chance to compete on a different level. We consistently ask our students to be champions in the classroom, the community and in competition. This move will provide them the opportunity to do just that.”

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