Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts marks the second of five straight road stops consisting of nearly 9,000 miles round-trip for the Bobcats.
Texas State’s 2020 road swing is the most consecutive set of games away from Bobcat Stadium since 1984 where the ‘Cats traveled four weeks in a row (Northwestern State, Lamar, Southeastern Louisiana and North Texas).
As the maroon and gold look to capitalize on momentum following a 38-17 win over ULM last Saturday, here are the three things to watch for in Texas State’s first-ever matchup against the Boston College Eagles.
Search for Consistency
Texas State head coach Jake Spavital is pleased with the improvements made in Monroe last week but he also realizes the Bobcats are “far from playing their best football.”
“I just want to see more consistency on both sides, really all three phases of the game,” Spavital said. “Each side of the ball has their moments and their weaknesses, that’s a lot you can improve on.”
One of the biggest refinements for the Bobcats this season comes in the backfield. Oklahoma State transfer Jahmyl Jeter adds to the excitement at the running back position after clearing eligibility waivers by the NCAA and gives Spavital three solid backs to maintain a solid run game.
The Bobcats are on the hunt for back-to-back road wins since 2014 but a potent Boston College squad stands in their way behind first-year head coach Jeff Hafley.
Hafley and the Eagles certainly aren’t underestimating the 1-2 Bobcats ahead of their matchup at home.
“They’re an explosive group,” Hafley said when describing Texas State. “Their staff does a nice job… I have a ton of respect for them and our guys need to understand that this is going to be a very tough opponent.”
Eyes on the Red Zone
The Bobcats have found success early in the season when it comes to punching in points in between the final twenty yards. Texas State scored in 10-of-12 trips inside the red zone throughout the first three games of the season with nine scores resulting with a touchdown, ranking fourth in the Sun Belt.
Opportunities within the red zone are vital for Texas State’s scoring progress of 36.7 points per game, a massive improvement from a league-worse 18.4 points per game in Spavital’s first season.
Boston College displayed a phenomenally stout defense with their backs against the goal line in their first matchup of the year. The Eagles produced four of their five forced turnovers in or within 15 yards of the red zone last week against Duke.
Haydel: The Human Highlight Reel
Texas State fans and viewers of ESPN’s “Top 10 Plays” are no strangers to Bobcat wide receiver Jeremiah Haydel and his big-time playmaking ability. Haydel continues to impress week after week with spectacular catches and kick returns.
After only scoring five times in the first three years in San Marcos, Haydel has found a spark during his senior campaign totaling four touchdowns in the first three games. The wideout from Houston has garnered not only the attention of the college football world but also the praise from teammates such as running back Brock Sturges.
“He’s a special kid… he’s a leader of this offense for sure,” Sturges said. “Every time something is going bad he’s the one calling, he’s the one yelling picking us up. I’m real proud of him to see how this pay off for him.”
As for the Eagles, first-year starting quarterback Phil Jurkovec will operate once again without star receiver Kobay White after learning White will miss the rest of the season due to an ACL injury as announced by the team earlier this week.
Boston College looked impressive in their season-opening dominance against a well-coached Duke team. Hafley continues to push his team during practice this week to excel the “dialed down” offense seen in Durham, North Carolina.
The Bobcats are in store for one of their toughest challenges of the season as expectations continue to grow following three consecutive competitive outings. It would come as no surprise if the maroon and gold make life on the field more challenging for the Eagles than the initial 17-point betting line suggests.
Prediction: Boston College 34, Texas State 21.
Coverage of Texas State traveling to Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts to battle the Boston College Eagles begins at 4:30 p.m. over the airwaves on KTSW 89.9. Live tweets, updates and analysis on all things Texas State football can all be found on @KTSWSports on Twitter.
Featured Image by Texas State Athletics