By Caleb-Ryan Davis
After a disappointing 35-21 loss to the Navy Midshipmen last Saturday the Bobcats look to rebound, but this time in unfamiliar territory for the first time this season. The Texas State football team will be in Champaign, Ill. for a week four match-up against the University of Illinois, in which they look to improve a 2-1 record before traveling to Tulsa for the last game of the month.
Tim Beckman’s Illinois team enter this week’s game at a 2-1 this season after losing to Washington last Saturday at 44-19. Sophomore quarterback Wes Lunt is 11th highest in the Football Bowl Subdivison for yards thrown with 971 this season and nine touchdowns (good for 6th in the FBS). So far this season, Lunt has eight pass plays of 30+ yards and the Big play will be something for the Bobcats to look out for on Saturday.
Texas State running back Robert Lowe leads the Sun Belt with 121 yards pregame rushing after being named to the preseason Second Team All-Sun Belt. Starting quarterback Tyler Jones broke 500 yards passing on the season last week against the Midshipmen. Jones, a sophomore, left the game with a career high 82 yards rushing against Navy and will continue to adapt to the new hurry-up offense that the Bobcats are featuring this season.
Looking at the Texas State Defense, linebacker Trey McGowen comes into the Bobcat spotlight at a crucial time for the team after star defense Mike Orakpo left in the first half of last Saturday’s game due to an ACL/MCL injury that will take him out of the starting roster for the rest of the season.
McGowen, who made his first career start against Navy, had a career-high nine tackles and ends up fourth on the team with 10 tackles this season. David Mayo continues to have his best season since coming to Texas State, as he left the Navy game with a single game season high 15 tackles.
This first meeting between the Bobcats and the University of Illinois will be broadcast on KTSW 89.9 FM, as well as on television on ESPNews at 3 pm CT.