Observations: Texas State vs Arkansas State

todayNovember 21, 2014 7

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By Warren Schorr
Sports Manager


Tonight for the second time in Texas State history, the Bobcats (6-5,4-,3) became bowl-eligible with a 45-27 victory over the Arkansas State Red Wolves (6-5,4-3). Here are some instant analysis and observations from the game:

  • I was interested to see the Bobcats intensity because in previous big games this year they’ve came out flat. The offense struggled at the beginning, but the defense had the intensity to carry the early struggles. Tonight was the best intensity the team has had all season.
  • Offensively that was the best the Bobcats have looked in the first half since Illinois. The Bobcats, on the ground, ran for 185 yards on 30 carries led by Rob Lowe, who had 93-yards on 14 carries. Through the air, Tyler Jones found C.J. Best for a pitch and catch. Best put on the after burners and ran 65-yards after the catch to the end zone. Lowe had a career high with four touchdowns and added another career high with 244 rushing yards.
  • The offensive game plan was clear from the start: run, run and run some more. In total, they ran it 57 times for 370 yards. Arkansas State runs an uptempo offense, so the plan was to keep them off the field as much as possible. The offense controlled the game, even though the final time of possession was 30:26 for ASU and 29:34 for Texas State doesn’t show it in the box score.
  • Quarterback Tyler Jones didn’t need to do it all tonight, which was a nice change from the past couple of games. Jones was 14-22, 192 yards, two touchdowns and added 84 yards on the ground with 18 carries. Over the past couple of weeks it looked like he had regressed a little bit, but tonight he regrouped and did enough for the Bobcats to get that elusive sixth win.
  • Defensively this was the best performance of the season, and a lot of it goes to one of the game ball recipients tonight, Defensive Coordinator John Thompson. This game meant a lot to Thompson, who previously coached at ASU, was the interim coach for the previous two bowl wins and was looked over in the coaching search, until he ended up in San Marcos. The familiarity of the system that ASU ran definitely had the Bobcats tonight. Tonight’s performance went deeper than the stats indicate. The defense never let the game get out of hand and whenever they needed to make a big stop they did. David Mayo had his lowest tackle total of the season with six, but he was pressuring the quarterback all night as well as forcing ASU running back to cut back to where a cavalcade of Bobcat defenders were. All around this was the best defensive performance of the season.
  • Tonight’s (paid) attendance was 12,286. The student section filled in nicely for the first half, but students hit the exits at the half. I’ll estimate the attendance was around 5,000 people.
  • With the sixth win tonight, this matches the Bobcats win total from last year. As we all know, while this win gets the Bobcats bowl-eligible, it doesn’t guarantee that they will go to a bowl game. With Georgia State (1-9) looming next Saturday, barring a catastrophe in Atlanta, the Bobcats will get to seven wins. Grumblings around town are that Louisiana-Layfette does not want to go to the New Orleans Bowl for the fourth consecutive season, so the New Orleans Bowl will look elsewhere. With the win tonight over ASU they will hold any bowl tiebreaker, so they would be next in line to head to NOLA.
  • Coach Dennis Franchione said in his press conference that he gave away two game balls tonight, which is extremely rare. The recipients were Texas State Offensive Line Coach Brad Bedell and Texas State Defensive Coorindator John Thompson. Fran said this is the second time all season they have given away game balls.
  • For the first time all season the Bobcats won when there weren’t any rolls as press box food. Coming into tonight they were 0-2 without rolls and 2-1 with rolls. Nice to see the Bobcats get the no rolls monkey off their back.
  • Scouts from the Cowboys, Colts, and Panthers were in attendance tonight. This is the second time a Cowboys scout has attended a game this year and Rams scout was here against Georgia Southern.

Bobcats next game is at Georgia State on Saturday November 29th at 1:00 p.m. As always, the game can be heard on KTSW and can be seen on ESPN3.

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