By Andrew Zimmel
The first thing that needs to be said is that I don’t think Texas State ends the season with more than two more wins, and that puts the ceiling very high for this team. Even the thought of a three win season should make fans, alumni and players all warm and fuzzy inside. The Bobcats will travel to newcomer, Coastal Carolina, this Saturday to try to sneak out their first Conference win of the season, and break a 15 game losing streak to FBS teams that has gone as far back as the two point OT victory against Ohio last season. For any other team, a Sun Belt Conference newcomer would make you feel like a scheduled win coming out of a bye week. Not for the Bobcats.
Here are some things the Bobcats and Chanticleers share:
- Both teams have lost to conference opponents by an average of 14 points per game.
- Both teams have not beaten a Sun Belt foe so far this year, so Saturday’s game will force someone to have a conference win.
- Neither team has been favored in a Sun Belt game so far this season.
The Chanticleers have been able to score more touchdowns, rush and pass for more yards and have a more well rounded special teams unit. The Bobcats are leaning on their defense, again, even after a time and time again it has been shown to have glaring holes in the secondary and having trouble getting the quarterback and stopping the run in the past few games. The team can still feel the loss of Ishmael Davis who was on path to be one of the better defensive players, but was lost to a leg injury during the UTSA stomping. The Core Four of Bryan London, Gabe Lloyd A.J. Krawczyk and Frankie Griffin have all stepped up, combing for 178 tackles this season, a very large chunk of the Bobcats total defense.
Still, the defense has been thing that has prevented Texas State from being left even further behind than they already are. When you look at the offensive side of the ball, it leaves you scratching your head. One fan said it the best during the UTSA game, “It’s like having a box of fireworks, but all the wicks have been cut off.” Comparing ex-Quarterback Tyler Jones numbers this year to Damian Williams is something for that may have fans shaking their heads, especially for the hype that Williams came in with.
|(Through 7 games)||Passing Com- Passing Att.||Passing Yards||TD-INT|
|Jones (2016)||166-262 (63.3)||1,713||10-9|
|Williams (2017)||81-153 (52.9)||917||4-4|
However, that’s not counting the rushing yards that Williams brings to the table (or the fumbles). It also should be noted that the Bobcats had a one more win last year at this time, but the feeling is the same. Hopeless.
Looking at Coastal Carolina, the Chanticleers open as only seven point favorites showing that even Vegas doesn’t know what type of team will show up in Conway. It could be a Bobcats team that will be able to pounce early on that gives up over 400 yards of offense per game, or will it be a Texas State team that looks disinterested and sluggish. Either way, this is the most important game of the year for the Bobcats. As a fan, the thinking should be, “We barely beat an FCS team to start the season, we were ran over at home by our rivals, we got our hopes of after Applachian State, and now we are fighting not to be crowned ‘Worst Team in the Nation.” If the Bobcats can beat Coastal Carolina, then the team limps to a finish line with two wins and built in excuses; if they lose then the next match ups are against New Mexico State (loss), Georgia State (far-shot but not impossible) and the two power houses in the Sun Belt Conference, Arkansas State and Troy. If you’re a Bobcat fan, this weekend is the weekend to get your lucky rabbit’s foot hold your breath.
Andrew’s Final Prediction:
Coastal Carolina 28
Texas State 17
See you on Saturday, Bobcats!
Featured image by Tino Manor.