by Logan Harris
The Texas State Bobcats (2-5) will play host this Saturday to the New Mexico State Aggies (1-7) in this mid-season Sun Belt matchup. The Aggies will be coming off their first win of the season, which was a come-from-behind, 55-48, affair over Idaho last week. The Bobcats, on the other hand, will have a couple extra days to prepare, as they are coming off a Thursday night, 37-13 thrashing by Georgia Southern.
A lot of the blame going around San Marcos, after the loss, was directed towards Texas State Quarterback Tyler Jones. The dual-threat Quarterback arguably has had the worst games in his 3-year career at Texas State the last few weeks, and they’re games where he has struggled with both running and passing the ball. Jones completed 10 of his 25 pass attempts for just 85 yards (1 TD & 1 INT), and only added 27 rushing yards in the last game against Georgia Southern. For a player that has carried this offense the last 2½ seasons, that’s just not going to get the job done.
Despite the Quarterback struggles Texas State Head Coach Dennis Franchione puts the blame elsewhere. When asked about Jones’ struggles he said, “We need his surrounding cast to play well too. Getting him back on course isn’t just on him, it’s on everybody”. He also specifically alluded to the blocking and execution around Jones. Texas State has had trouble with health on the offensive line and falling behind in games, so Jones has been forced to press.
Last year when these two teams hooked up, Tyler Jones was able to lead Texas State to a 37-29 victory. Jones was his usual, dynamic self in that game as he totaled 231 totals yards and scored a touchdown without turning the ball over. If he can have a repeat performance and lead the Bobcats to another win, I’m sure the rumblings around San Marcos will die as quickly as they begun.
Up until last week, the Texas State defense had been the recipient for most of the blame for the disappointing start to the season. After a turnaround effort against South Alabama a couple weeks ago, the Texas State defense took a step back last week as the Georgia Southern Eagles ran all over the Bobcats. While attempting just 6 total pass attempts, the Eagles were able to accumulate a whopping 524 yards (503 rushing).
Coach Franchione says he’s looking forward to playing a more conventional offense after facing Georgia Southern’s triple-option. Coach Fran spoke about New Mexico State’s offense saying, “They got a good balance to their offense in rushing and passing, which makes them tough to defend.” More specifically Coach Fran went on to talk about New Mexico State’s Running back, Larry Rose III, and mentioned how crucial it’ll be to slow him down.
With the ever-so-disappointing start to the season, it’s very easy to toss the blame around. The bottom line is the schedule still features 5 opponents that Texas State went 5-0 against, last year. That includes 3 straight home games, starting this week. As ugly as it’s been so far, you can start to see some light at the end of the tunnel for the Bobcats. First things first, they got to fix their issues this week against a 1-win, New Mexico State football team.
Texas State 49 New Mexico State 28