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Photo Courtesy of Steve Moakley/ UTSA Athletics

For a startup program in only its third year, any loss can take a toll on players and personnel. Rather than get frustrated with the outcomes, the UTSA football team has found its one way through adversity.

Since day one of the program, UTSA Head Coach Larry Coker introduced his mantra, F.I.D.O, to the players. Forget It and Drive On has created an atmosphere and mentality that players and coaches have embraced this season despite their difficult start.

“Well, Forget It and Drive On originated from me back in my Miami (Hurricanes) days. You know sometimes football is a funny game; there is going to be a lot of ups and downs. You just got to play this play,” a reflective Coach Coker said. “I know that’s coaches’ talk, but it’s true. You’ve to play through, and that’s a sign of maturity. I think we’re getting more mature as a football team.”

That maturity could not have been more evident than this past Saturday as UTSA defeated the UTEP Miners 32-13 at the Sun Bowl in El Paso.

UTSA opened the game strong with a 75-yard scoring drive that resulted in a 29-yard touchdown run by junior running back Brandon Armstrong. At the end of the first quarter they found themselves behind after UTEP Miner Autrey Golden returned a kickoff 100-yards for a score and UTEP kicker Jay Maddox converted a 28-yard field goal to take a 10-7 lead.

The Roadrunners drove on though, and showed signs of their maturity as a football team. They responded with an eight-play, 80-yard drive that was capped with a 28-yard touchdown run by junior wide receiver Kam Jones.

“We have to fight on. We can’t go into a game hoping to win. We got to go in and make sure we’re playing hard. We have to play hard from start to finish,” said Armstrong. “Any athlete that’s a competitor is going to make a mistake, but we have to let those go and go to the next play.”

The UTSA defense held UTEP without a touchdown, allowing only a field goal for the rest of the game. The Roadrunners also held the UTEP Miners to just 218 total yards, the fewest yards UTSA has allowed this season.

“We take a lot of pride in our defense, and the past two weeks have been a little rough on us,” responded UTSA sophomore linebacker Drew Douglas. Douglas led the team with 12 tackles, a career best.

Saturday’s win gave UTSA its first-ever Conference USA win. UTSA is now 2-0 in league openers, having defeated New Mexico State 35-13 in last year’s Western Athletic Conference opener.

UTSA is now 6-3 in road games since the 2012 season.

“When we’re on the road we have to have a stronger mentality. We have to build off each other and stick together,” said Armstrong.

Coker has been impressed with the way his team travels. They maintain a professional attitude while traveling first class, and always stay positive and upbeat after the game, regardless of the outcome.

“We’ve had two tough road trips and the guys have a lot of energy coming back,” said Coker. “They always try to feed off of the crowds on the road.”

That upbeat attitude is a testament to Coker’s F.I.D.O. mantra. No matter the score after a defeat or a win, the players continue to focus on the next game.

“We respect everyone but are intimidated by no one,” Coker said, referring to the team’s potential going forward.

The Roadrunners’ season continues on Saturday, Sept. 28 as they face the undefeated Houston Cougars (3-0) at the Alamodome. Kickoff is set for 3 p.m.

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