By Caleb Ryan Davies
The second year in the Sun Belt Conference has been a year of ups and downs for the Texas State Bobcats, who head into this Saturday’s match up against the South Alabama Jaguars at 5-4 on the season. The Bobcats look for their sixth win of the year and the win that will grant them bowl eligibility for the second year in a row. South Alabama also enters Saturday’s game at 5-4 on the season but is 4-3 in the Sun Belt Conference, which is better than Texas State’s 3-2 mark.
While Texas State will be traveling to Mobile, AL this weekend the Bobcats have been forced to travel into opponent’s territory. The most notable game in their three win stretch may just be a game that ended with a late fourth quarter comeback over the Louisiana Monroe Warhawks. The Bobcats put up a 28-25 fight against Georgia Southern, who leads the SBC this season, and while they didn’t come away with the win, it’s hard to look at last week as anything but a bright spot for not only a Texas State defense that has struggled so far this year but for an offense that is still trying to find its identity and footprint game in and game out.
Tyler Jones, who completed 30 of 51 attempts last weekend for 302 yards, might just have found his own footing these last two weeks. If the Bobcats are going to want any sort of chance at a bowl game, Jones is going to have to keep up his own personal success. On the defensive side of the ball for the Bobcats, David Mayo has led the team all year, and continued to against Georgia Southern where he racked up seven sacks. Mayo continues to lead the nation in tackles, mainly in part to averaging 14.3 tackles in the first nine games. In the Bobcat secondary Germod Williams leads the Sun Belt Conference and is ranked in the top 20 in interceptions with four on the season.
South Alabama, who have won four of their last six, have played well this season throughout the Sun Belt defeating Idaho, Appalachian State, Georgia State and Troy before losing to Louisiana Lafayette and Arkansas State. At home this season the Jaguars are 2-2 but have scored under 20 points in the last two games combined. Texas State, a better team in most categories, might look to get away from the run heavy offense once again after showing success against Georgia Southern in the air last week. South Alabama allowed just 201.3 yards a game, but Tyler Jones and the Texas State offense will come in averaging 216.9 yards a game.
The game will be on ESPN3 at 6:30pm Saturday, Nov. 15. Radio broadcast from Brant Freeman and Bill Culhane can be heard right here on KTSW 89.9 FM.