By James Jordan II
The Bobcats are heading into Saturday’s game against Idaho looking to snap their recent losing streak. The Bobcats lost last week to Appalachian State in Boone, North Carolina, 35-10. It has been a rough stretch for the Bobcats, losing four games in a row and now having a record of (2-6) overall and (0-4) in Sun Belt Conference play. Meanwhile the Idaho Vandals have won three of their last four games with an overall record of (5-4) and (3-2) in the Sun Belt Conference.
Texas State vs Idaho History:
The last meeting between the two teams resulted in a 38-31 victory for the Vandals, snapping their 4 game losing streak against the Bobcats which dated back to 1993. Texas State and Idaho football programs have a (4-4) overall record against each other. From 2011-2015 Idaho has lost a total of 50 games, but this year’s Idaho football team hasn’t been the Idaho football teams of past seasons.
“What really impress me is that this team seems to have got better as the years gone on.” Head coach Everett Withers said. “They play with a lot of energy and enthusiasm, you watch them on tape and they play that way all the time,”
The Vandals have four losses on the season, but they were all respectable losses against four teams that are at least five games above .500 this season. Idaho’s first two losses came at the hands of the #4 Washington Huskies and the #23 Washington State Cougars. The other two losses have come against the #1 and #2 seeds in the Sun Belt Conference: Appalachian State and Troy. So a win for Texas State would be a great confidence booster for a young team trying to shake their losing streak.
Idaho Key Players:
The Bobcats will need to have an eye on in this weekend’s matchup with the Vandals will be their running backs Aaron Duckworth and Isaiah Saunders. Duckworth is a smaller back, but has plenty of quickness and packs a lot of punch in his running style. Saunders is similar to Duckworth, but he is a true power-back tipping the scale at 223 pounds. Both backs combine for over 800 yards rushing and six touchdowns on the season for the Vandals.
Texas State Key Players:
The Bobcats will continue to rely on their up-tempo offense and quarterback Tyler Jones to give them a chance to put the ball in the end zone. Jones almost has 2,000 all-purpose yards on the season and 14 touchdowns on the ground and through the air. Running back Stedman Mayberry is continuing to carry the bulk of the load in the running game for the Bobcats, leading the team in rushing yards with 454. Mayberry is the reception leader for the Bobcats on the season as well, registering 33 catches for 238 yards.
When it comes to the Bobcats defense, the bright spots have come from freshman linebacker Bryan London and senior defensive back Javante O’Roy. London has been the most consistent Bobcat on the defense this year and leads the team in tackles (83) and tackles for loss (5). Meanwhile, O’Roy leads the Bobcats in interceptions on the season (2) and provides the senior leadership that every team needs in their secondary.
Special teams could play a big role in this game and Idaho has one of the most talented kickers in college football. Senior kicker/punter, Austin Rehkow has been a Lou Groza award (Best collegiate place-kicker) finalist and semifinalist the past two season for the Vandals and is on the watch list for the award this year. Rehkow has made 21 of his 23 field attempts on the season and averages over 40 yards per punt. The Bobcats should consider him a weapon on the field because of his ability to put points on the board with his leg and the ability to flip field position on punts for the Vandals.
Texas State vs. Idaho will be held at Bobcat Stadium at 3 p.m. this Saturday, Nov. 12. The game will be available on ESPN3.
Featured image by Madison Tyson.