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Texas State Aims to Repeat History versus Houston

todaySeptember 24, 2015

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by Logan Harris
Sports Reporter

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Texas State Bobcats. Photo by Kiersten Ehr

This Saturday, the Texas State Bobcats (1-2) will travel up the road just a bit to take on the University of Houston Cougars (2-0), in Houston at TDECU Stadium. The last time these two teams locked up was back in 2012. Texas State came into the game as 34-point underdogs in what was the program’s 1st game in its history competing in the FBS.

Texas State was able to complete one of the biggest upsets in NCAA Football history that day, and it did it rather impressively in a 30-13 blowout.

This time around, the Bobcats won’t be sneaking up on the Cougars, like they did back in 2012. Since then, Texas State has established themselves as respectable competition at the FBS level as they have now been bowl-eligible 2 straight seasons. So even if the upset doesn’t have Houston on high alert, their foes’ recent success should.

Despite the upset, Texas State will still come into the game as pretty heavy underdogs, as Houston is currently a 16½-point favorite. Based on the early season results from the two teams, the spread is about where it should be.

Houston has gotten off to a fantastic start here in the early going in 2015. After a ho-hum victory over Tennessee Tech at home to start the season, the Cougars had a very impressive road win against an always-good Louisville team (34-31). With Greg Ward Jr. at the helm, leading this team, Houston’s expectations this season are sky-high.

On top of that, Houston will be fresh off their first bye-week of the season, while Texas State will be looking to bounce back after a shootout loss to Southern Miss (56-50).

Texas State, who had goals of receiving the program’s 1st ever bowl game invite coming into the season, now find themselves behind the 8-ball a little bit. Though Southern Miss is no one to scoff at, a whole lot of bowl-hopefuls had last week’s home match up against the Golden Eagles marked up as a win, coming into the season. So with one of the toughest teams on the schedule coming up, and conference play yet to start, the sense of urgency has to be picked up, if the Bobcats want to reach the goals they set coming into the season.

Key Matchup

Greg Ward Jr. vs. Texas State’s Defense:

Houston will go as far as Greg Ward Jr. will lead them this year. On the other side, Texas State will go as far as their defense will let them go this year. Ward Jr. in the early going has looked like he could be the most dynamic non-power5-conference Quarterback in college football, while Texas State’s defense has proven to be the team’s achilles heal in the first few games.

For most of last week’s loss to Southern Miss, the Golden Eagles’ offense marched up and down the field on the Bobcats’ defense, seemingly with ease. The Bobcat offense has looked dynamic and impressive so far, but the defense hasn’t been able to get the timely stops and turnovers the team has needed.

On the other side of the field, you have the aforementioned Greg Ward Jr. that the Bobcats will be tasked with having to slow down. Ward is the team leader in both passing and rushing for the Cougars, and is fresh off arguably his best game of his career against Louisville where he posted 236 passing yards and 3 TDs through the air and added another 98 yards on the ground.

If Texas State’s defense doesn’t step it up, and Ward Jr. keeps playing the way he has been, this game could end up being another shootout… a shootout in which Houston brings much more ammo.

Prediction:

Texas State 33                      Houston 40

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todaySeptember 24, 2015

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