Here’s what you need to know before Friday afternoon’s Cure Bowl between UTSA, Troy

Kickoff set for 2 p.m. CT; game to be shown nationally on ESPN

UTSA quarterback Frank Harris (0) looks to pass against North Texas during the first half of an NCAA college football game for the Conference USA championship in San Antonio, Friday, Dec. 2, 2022. (AP Photo/Eric Gay) (The Associated Press)

The only college FBS football postseason matchup that is featuring two teams that won their conference championship this year will take place on Friday afternoon, as the No. 22 UTSA Roadrunners take on the No. 23 Troy Trojans.

Kickoff is set for 2 p.m., and the game will be shown nationally on ESPN.

Both UTSA (11-2) and Troy (11-2) lost two of their first three games this year before rattling off 10 consecutive wins, each ending in a conference championship. The Trojans captured their first Sun Belt title since 2017 and the Roadrunners repeated this year as Conference USA champs.

It is the first meeting between the two teams.

The game will also be the first since UTSA starting quarterback Frank Harris’ announcement that he plans to return for a seventh collegiate season.

“It’s just the best thing for me, you know, I just love going out there and I’m just privileged to represent San Antonio. It was a no brainer for me to come back for just one more season while I can,” Harris said, during the bowl media day.

Harris is facing a Troy defense that has limited opponents to just 325.3 yards and 17.5 points per game. Harris ranks fourth nationally this year in total offense at 342 yards per game, while throwing for 3,865 yards and 31 touchdowns. He rushed for 588 yards and nine TDs, while leading the high-scoring Roadrunners offense to an average of 486 yards and 38 points per game.

This year’s UTSA offense has plenty of other playmakers as well, featuring wide receivers Zakhari Franklin (86 receptions, 1,100 yards, 14 TDs) and Joshua Cephus (87 catches, 985 yards, six TDs) along with running backs Kevorian Barnes and Brendan Brady (combined for 1,412 yards and 15 TDs rushing).

Troy’s QB Gunnar Watson has completed 61.9 percent of his passes for 2,705 yards, 13 TDs and 10 interceptions this year. RB Kimani Vidal is the Trojans’ leading rusher with 1,059 yards and nine TDs, while RB DK Billingsley has run for 656 yards and eight TDs on offense.

UTSA is 0-10 all-time vs. opponents ranked in the Top 25 and is seeking its first bowl win in program history, as they are 0-3 in bowl games, including last year’s 38-24 loss to San Diego State in the Frisco Bowl.

Troy is favored in the game by only 1½ points.


Troy is No. 24 in the CFP rankings. UTSA is 25th. ... The Trojans lost to Mississippi 28-10 and Appalachian State 32-28 during the regular season. UTSA’s only losses were Houston 37-35 in triple overtime and at Texas 41-20. ... Troy’s defense allowed just 3.92 points per game in the fourth quarter this season, with seven of 13 opponents going scoreless over the final 15 minutes of regulation. ... Sun Belt defensive player of the year Carlton Martial is Troy’s top defender with 563 career tackles, along with six interceptions, eight forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.


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About the Authors:

Ben Spicer is a digital journalist who works the early morning shift for KSAT.