By Kory Guidry
In year two of the Jake Spavital era, the Texas State Bobcats are entering a season with more anticipation of where the future of the program is heading than in recent memory. Spavital will be taking over the play-calling duties for the offensive unit that struggled in 2019.
Last season, the strength of the Bobcats team was their defense; they allowed the fewest passing yards of any team in the Sun Belt Conference.
With the defense most likely to take a step back this year, the Bobcats will need the offense to take some major steps forward this season. In 2019, they were the worst scoring offense in the conference and averaged under 20 points a game.
The Bobcats were outscored by 170 points in 2019. This was the worst point differential of any team in the conference. There is no question that for this team to take the necessary steps forward, the offense will need to take some weight off of the defense.
Texas State beat reporter Keff Ciardello agrees with that sentiment.
“I think that the offense is going to have to carry the defense this season, but that is really based on the unknown factors. A lot of new faces on the defense that I haven’t seen play. Plus, some injuries to key guys like Khambril Winters,” Ciardello said. “I have a lot of confidence in the offensive line this season. More so than I have in recent years because of depth. A lot of it sits on quarterback play but the offensive line should help.”
Luckily for the Bobcats, they have a head coach who has experience being a part of some of the best offenses in college football.
Spavital was the co-offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach for Texas A&M in 2013. A year where the Aggies posted as one of the top 5 offense in the country. He became the offensive coordinator in 2014.
He then led the Aggies to a top-five offense in the SEC in back to back years. In 2018, his final stop before taking the head job at Texas State, he posted the second-best offense in the Big 12 while at West Virginia.
This should give Bobcat fans hope that Spavital has the ability and experience to get it done at a high level.
Much of the onus of fixing the offense will be placed on his shoulders, as well as on sophomore quarterback Brady Mcbride. McBride is a mobile playmaker at the quarterback position with a gunslinger mentality.
McBride fits the mold of a Jake Spavital quarterback. Spavital likes a guy with some mobility and is not too bothered by height, or lack thereof.
He recruited guys like Johnny Manziel and Kyler Murray during his time at Texas A&M. McBride has not proven to be on par with those two as a player, but he is similar to them in stature and the style in which he plays.
SMU head coach Sonny Dykes certainly feels that Spavital has got the right guy under center.
“I think he’s going to be the perfect quarterback for what Jake (Spavital) wants to do,” Dykes said.
The Bobcats will kick off their season live on ESPN, Saturday at 3:30 p.m. against SMU.
Featured image by Gage Sutton.