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First-place Roadrunners host Rice in Saturday’s Military Appreciation Game

First-place Roadrunners host Rice in Saturday’s Military Appreciation Game

Tight end Oscar Cardenas celebrates a touchdown with teammate Houston Thomas during UTSA's last home game against East Carolina. The Roadrunners will return to the Alamodome at 6:30 p.m. Saturday for a key conference showdown against Rice.

NOVEMBER 9, 2023 — UTSA is currently one of three football teams in a first-place tie atop the American Athletic Conference standings, alongside Tulane and SMU. This weekend, the Roadrunners aim to keep pace in the standings against the much-improved Rice Owls, who nearly toppled the other two first-place squads over the last two weeks. The clash between UTSA and Rice will kick off at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, November 11, at the Alamodome.

UTSA (6-3 overall; 5-0 in conference play) is flying high after a big win in Denton, where the Roadrunners not only defeated their rivals from North Texas by the score of 37-29, but also achieved bowl eligibility for the fourth consecutive season. UTSA running backs Kevorian Barnes, Rocko Griffin and Robert Henry hammered the Mean Green time and time again. The trio scored all four of UTSA’s touchdowns and the Roadrunners’ rushing attack overwhelmed North Texas as it amassed 287 total yards on the ground. Meanwhile, the UTSA defense forced three turnovers to squash the Mean Green’s momentum in several key spots.

The victory was UTSA head coach Jeff Traylor’s first in a road game against North Texas. In fact, it was the program’s first win in Denton since 2013. The victory also wiped away some of the lingering resentment from the Roadrunners’ 2021 loss at North Texas, when both teams were still a part of Conference USA. It remains the only blemish on UTSA’s sterling 22-1 record in conference contests over the last three seasons.

The Roadrunners will battle another former Conference USA foe on Saturday when Rice comes to the Alamodome for a showdown that will be nationally televised on ESPNU. UTSA has dominated Rice in recent years, winning its last seven matchups with the Owls, including a 45-0 home victory in 2021 and a 41-7 road victory in 2022. However, Rice has fared much better in its first season in The American. The Owls (4-5 overall; 2-3 in conference play) knocked off their cross-city rival and new Big 12 member Houston earlier this season and lost to Tulane and SMU by only a combined seven points in their last two games. Rice will likely present UTSA’s toughest test yet in conference play.

UTSA will honor all veterans and military-affiliated fans across Military City USA during Saturday’s matchup, which has been tabbed as the university’s annual Military Appreciation Game. Lt. Gen. Kevin Kennedy of the U.S. Air Force will provide the pregame coin toss and there will be a special “military-related delivery” of the game ball during the pregame ceremonies. Furthermore, the National Anthem will feature a “living flag.”

At halftime, an Oath of Enlistment ceremony will take place on the field before the Spirit of San Antonio Marching Band and Rice University Marching Owl Band stage a joint performance to honor the military. Daniel Conway and Associates will also be presenting two UTSA ROTC students with a scholarship.

Fans who purchase a Salute to Armed Forces ticket to Saturday’s game will also receive a free camouflage UTSA Roadrunners t-shirt. This deal expires at noon on Friday, November 10.

UTSA Athletics has donated more than 5,000 tickets to Saturday’s game to military families through its “Tickets for Troops” program, thanks in large part to the generous support of Harvey Najim, Brad Beldon and Bill and Sid Greehey. The tickets were donated to Fort Sam Houston, Lackland AFB, Randolph AFB and several local veteran organizations.

Roadrunner Nation is invited to show its school spirit on Saturday at the following family-friendly events:

The National Anthem before Saturday's game will feature a “living flag.”


Fan Zone
3:30 p.m., H-E-B Plaza (north side of the Alamodome)

Roadrunner fans of all ages can take part in free pre-game festivities at the Fan Zone, including an inflatable obstacle course for kids, games, interactive displays and free UTSA gear and prizes. Shake Shack will also be giving out free frozen custard and H-E-B will be on hand with in-store product samples. The Animal Defense League of Texas will also be at the Fan Zone to introduce visitors to dogs that are available for adoption. Additionally, fan can register to win a 2023 Chevrolet Colorado that will be given away during the game on Friday, November 17 against South Florida.

UTSA Alumni Association’s Forever Rowdy Tailgate
3:30 p.m., Hoefgen Lot (499 Hoefgen Ave.)

The UTSA Alumni Association invites fans to experience the new Forever Rowdy Tailgate. Entry to the tailgate area is free for everyone. Rowdy Bucks will be available for guests to purchase to enjoy food and drinks from various vendors, including La Gloria and the 210-famous Alumni Grill Team. This game’s featured items are the Tinga Sammy Chicken and strawberry margaritas. Special guests to the tailgate will include the Spirit of San Antonio Marching Band, UTSA Cheer, Rowdy the Roadrunner and representatives from UTSA’s ROTC detachments.

Visitors may buy 10 Rowdy Bucks for $10. Alumni Association members, as well as UTSA faculty and staff, will receive five free Rowdy Bucks with a minimum purchase of 10. In honor of Veterans Day, those who served in any branch of the U.S. military will also get five free Rowdy Bucks with a minimum purchase of 10.

Spirit Walk
4:15 p.m., Alamodome, Roadrunner Alley (between Lots B and C)

This exciting tradition gets Roadrunner fans and the UTSA team pumped up for the game. Join Rowdy, the Spirit of San Antonio Marching Band and UTSA spirit squads as they accompany the team down Roadrunner Alley and into the Alamodome approximately two hours and 15 minutes before each home game. Fans can line the walkway between the Alamodome parking lots B and C to cheer on the team.



Tickets are on sale by calling or texting 210-458-UTSA (8872) or visiting UTSA has transitioned to digital tickets through Account Manager. For more information, please visit

All students currently enrolled at UTSA are eligible for free admission to all home football games. UTSA students may purchase up to four guest tickets for student-section seating.

For walk-up sales, the Alamodome’s southwest box office will open at 2:30 p.m. Saturday and all other Alamodome box offices will open at 4 p.m. Customer service windows are located at the northeast and southeast box offices.


Parking in Alamodome Lots A, B and C, as well as in the UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures (ITC) lots, is limited to fans who already have purchased permits. Alamodome Lots A, B and C will open at noon and the ITC lots will open at 3:30 p.m. for those who have valid parking passes. Please do NOT enter the lots prior to the scheduled opening time or staff will ask you to vacate your spot(s) and re-enter once the lots are open.

Limited ADA parking spots are available in Lot A on a first-come, first-served basis. By state law, veterans with Disabled Veteran plates that do NOT have a valid state-issued disability placard are not permitted to park in ADA accessible spaces. The Disabled Veteran and ADA state-issued accessibility placard are two separate designations. 

There are also several paid public parking lots in the general vicinity of the Alamodome.


Alamodome parking lots will open at noon for tailgating and close one hour after the conclusion of the game on Saturday. Tailgating is not permitted in the ITC parking lots. Visit UTSA Athletics online for more information and City of San Antonio tailgating guidelines.

Getting to the game

Students and their guests may park at the UTSA Main Campus and catch a UTSA shuttle to the game at the North Paseo Bus Oval, just outside of the North Paseo Building. Shuttles will begin service to the Alamodome at 3:30 p.m. The last shuttle to the game will depart campus at 6 p.m. To avoid possible delays, students and their guests are encouraged to catch a shuttle early in the departure window. Students will be dropped off and picked up at the Robert Thompson Transit Station at the Alamodome. Buses will begin return service back to UTSA at the start of the fourth quarter and the last shuttle bus from the Alamodome will depart one hour after the end of the game.  

VIA will serve UTSA’s 2023 home football games. VIA’s Park & Ride Service offers roundtrip travel to the Alamodome for just $2.60. Service to all UTSA home games will be provided from the Crossroads Park & Ride, beginning three hours before game time, and return service will run for one hour after the conclusion of each game. The Park & Ride fare is $1.30 each way with discounted fares available for children, seniors, students and active-duty military. Pre-purchase tickets on VIA’s goMobile+ app, available to download free on Apple and Android devices. Cash and credit cards are accepted on game day at the Crossroads Park & Ride location.

UTSA students can use their U-Pass for service to the game. VIAtrans customers and children under age 5 ride free. VIA bus passes are not valid for this service. VIA’s day pass, 7-day pass, and 31-day pass are valid for special event service.

The drop-off and pick-up location for rideshare users is located in Parking Lot D next to the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center at the corner of Montana Street and Tower of Americas Way. From there, fans may take the walkway across Interstate 37 to the Alamodome.

Alamodome entry

Please enter the stadium early to avoid long lines. Doors open to the public at 5 p.m. Fans should read the Alamodome clear bag policy before entering the stadium, including the list of approved bags. Speed lanes will be available at security checkpoints for those with no bags. Please have your keys, phone and wallet out before getting to the scanners. Please have your tickets out or loaded on your phone with the screen brightness turned all the way up before reaching the doors.

Student seating

Student seating is general admission within sections 122-131. To accommodate increased student attendance, sections 220-226 on the Club Level will also be open for student general admission seating. The Spirit of San Antonio band will occupy sections 127-128.

UTSA gear

Fans can buy the latest UTSA apparel and accessories from the Rowdy Campus Store, which will be set up adjacent to Roadrunner Alley, which is located between Lots B and C. Merchandise sales counters are also located inside the Alamodome on the Plaza Level concourses near section 106 and 118.   


Television and radio broadcasts

Saturday’s broadcast will be televised nationally on ESPNU and will also be available on WatchESPN and the ESPN app for Apple and Android. Drew Carter will provide play-by-play commentary alongside analyst Dustin Fox.

The radio broadcast will air live in the San Antonio area on Sports Radio AM 760 The Ticket, online at, via the free iHeartRadio app and on SiriusXM channel 384. Andy Everett (play-by-play), Jay Riley (analyst) and Pat Evans (reporter) will call the action. The pregame show will begin at 4:30 p.m. and there will be a 45-minute postgame show.

Game day traditions and social media

First, get into game mode by brushing up on UTSA’s traditions including the fight song and alma mater. Then, stay engaged with fellow Roadrunners by sharing your UTSA game day experiences on social media using the hashtags #UTSA, #LetsGo210 and #BirdsUp. All Roadrunner fans are encouraged to follow UTSA Football and UTSA Athletics on X (Twitter) and UTSA on XInstagram and Facebook.

Campus experience

During the football season, the Monument lights and Student Union Tower lights will glow blue and orange during home game weeks. After a UTSA win, the lights turn orange in celebration for the rest of the weekend.

Shea Conner

UTSA Today is produced by University Strategic Communications,
the official news source
of The University of Texas at San Antonio.

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UTSA Today is produced by University Communications and Marketing, the official news source of The University of Texas at San Antonio. Send your feedback to Keep up-to-date on UTSA news by visiting UTSA Today. Connect with UTSA online at Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Instagram.




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