By James Jordan II
The Texas State Bobcats head into this Sun Belt Conference matchup with a record of 2-4 on the season and 0-2 in the Sun Belt Conference. Texas State fell to UL-Monroe last week after being unable to overcome a 19-point deficit and lost to the Warhawks 40-34.
The Bobcats are still looking to notch a win in the Sun Belt Conference and will be going against the University of Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajun. Louisiana-Lafayette has dropped their last three games with a loss coming against Appalachian State, a double overtime loss to New Mexico State and a quadruple overtime loss to Tulane. The Ragin‘ Cajun are 2-4 overall and 1-2 in the Sun Belt Conference.
During Tuesday’s media luncheon, Texas State head coach, Everett Withers discussed how Louisiana-Lafayette defense will be similar to a previous Sun Belt Conference opponent the Bobcats played earlier in the season.
“We kind of compare them to Georgia State’s defense in a lot of ways, in the way they play. They will bring more pressure than any team we’ve played, they’re about 40 percent pressure and I mean at least five guys attacking the line of scrimmage. So we’ve got a big challenge ahead of us,” Withers said.
Tuesday’s Media Luncheon:
The Ragin‘ Cajun defense has been really stout this season despite their losing record. So far they have recorded 47 combined tackles for loss with 18 combined sacks, which has Louisiana-Lafayette tied for first in the Sun Belt Conference in that category. The Ragin‘ Cajun pressure is mainly led by redshirt freshman defensive end, Joe Dillon and junior defensive lineman, Trev Miller. Dillon and Miller combine for half of Louisiana Lafayette’s sacks on the season (9).
Offensively for the Ragin‘ Cajun, they lean heavily on the shoulders of senior running back, Elijah McGuire. McGuire was the 2014 Sun Belt Player of the Year and is on the watch list for a number of collegiate awards this season.
“He’s their number one weapon,” Coach Withers stated when asked about McGuire. “When you have a threat like that, you just got to know where he is. People put people in special spots to get them the ball, and we just have to be aware of where he is.”
McGuire leads the team with 560 rushing yards and three touchdowns on the ground.
Texas State running back, Stedman Mayberry, accumulated 116 all-purpose yards last week with a touchdown and tight end Gabe Schrade led the team in receptions (4) and receiving yards (62) against UL-Monroe last Saturday. Keep an eye on Mayberry and Schrade in this game to continue to build off of last week’s strong performances.
The key for the Bobcats and getting their first victory in Sun Belt Conference play will be taking care of the football . The Bobcats recently have started games off hot, having scored two first quarter touchdowns in each of their last two games. But the Bobcats seem to fizzle out later in the game because of turnovers. Quarterback Tyler Jones ranks second in the Sun Belt in passing touchdowns (10) and completion percentage (62.3) respectively, but also ranks second in the Sun Belt in interceptions (8).
So it’ll be on Jones and company to keep the ball out of harm’s way and to put points on the board throughout all four quarters so the Bobcats can come out with a victory.
Texas State vs. Louisiana-Lafayette kickoff will be on Saturday, October 22, at Bobcat Stadium in San Marcos, TX at 6:00 p.m. The game will be televised on ESPN3 and tune in to KTSW 89.9 to hear the game this weekend.
Featured image by Madison Tyson.