Game Preview: Texas State vs Arkansas State

By Caleb-Ryan Davis
Sports Reporter

The Texas State Football team, who has an overall record of 5-5 this season, will walk onto the field at Bobcat Stadium for the last time this year on Thursday evening. It’s the last chance for Tyler Jones to show that he really does have “IT” and for David Mayo to show Bobcat fans what it really means to “wrap up.” Jones, only a sophomore, but nevertheless a sophomore who has come into a role with the Texas State offense where he is expected to produce, and the past couple games he has done just that. Mayo, however, is a senior and, while we don’t know if these will be his last football games, or if they will just be his last couple of games in a maroon and gold uniform with Jim Wacker font, it has been a fantastic season for the Scappoose, Oregon native.

Texas State, who is currently holding a two game losing streak, will face the 6-4 Arkansas State Red Wolves in San Marcos on Thursday evening. A lot of the conversation this season has been about bowl eligibility for the Bobcats and what bowl they might be featured in later this year if they do, in fact, become eligible. But first they’re going to have to get past the Red Wolves this week, who have seen bowl births the past three seasons. Arkansas State the last few years has played very well in the late parts of the season, going 12-2 over its last 14 games this month, which has helped lead to the four Sun Belt Conference championships and 11 bowl births in the school’s history. The Red Wolves on offense are a lot like the Bobcats in terms of production, but on defense the gap starts to widen between the two teams. Arkansas State is 14th in the nation in sacks per game and holds opponents to 338.1 yards per game. The Red Wolves’ Blaise Taylor won special teams player of the week for his game against Appalachian State where he racked up 104 punt return yards on just three attempts.

The Bobcats, who are 2-3 on the season at home, look to win for the first time in Bobcat Stadium since the 35-30 victory over Idaho in October. The point spread between the Bobcats and Sun Belt Conference opponents has been 23 points in five of the last six games combined (excluding the 34-10 loss to Louisiana Lafayette). Quarterback Tyler Jones enters Thursday night’s game behind center for what continues to be one of the nation’s most improved offenses, as he has thrown for 300 yards in the past two games against South Alabama and Georgia Southern. The Texas State defense against South Alabama had a season best four turnovers, just one week after holding Georgia Southern to season lows on offense. The Bobcats are right on the edge of winning once again and have a chance to gain bowl eligibility for the second year in a row in Bobcat Stadium and in front of the Bobcat faithful. Kickoff set for 8:30 p.m. You can catch Brant Freeman and Bill Culhane call Thursday night’s game on KTSW 89.9 or online at KTSW.NET.

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