By Josh Orozco
Assistant Sports Director
An end to a five-game road stand is finally in sight for the Bobcats.
Texas State is on the heels of their third 1-5 start to the season in the last four years as the ‘Cats head to Provo, Utah for the first time in program history.
Here are three things to watch for during Texas State’s final non-conference game of the season against the #12 BYU Cougars.
Transfer wide receiver Marcell Barbee has emerged as one of the go-to targets for quarterback Brady McBride since his arrival this season. Barbee ties teammate Jeremiah Haydel for most receptions during the Bobcat’s five-game road stand with 14 catches.
The junior out of Pueblo, Colorado has found most of his initial success as a Bobcat against non-conference opponents.
Barbee accumulated a combined 120 yards and four touchdowns on eight catches against UTSA and Boston College earlier in the season.
Following an efficient outing last game against South Alabama, an impressive showing against BYU may in fact prove that it’s just a Barbee world and everyone else is living in it.
‘Cats on Target
Leading tackles with the crown of the helmet have been an issue for head coach Jake Spavital and the Bobcats multiple times throughout the first half of the season.
Texas State received three targeting calls just last week alone against South Alabama, two of which resulted in disqualifications. As a result, Markeveon “Binky” Coleman will sit the first half against the Cougars.
Spavital emphasized the importance of avoiding targeting to his team during practice this week as a call that shouldn’t be taken lightly.
“Some of it is unfortunate because of the speed of the game,” Spavital said. “But again, that is something that is a new rule that has been a big emphasis on making sure that player’s safety is at the utmost importance. We educate them on it and show it to them and we went out there and practiced it.”
BYU quarterback Zach Wilson continues to etch himself as a Heisman trophy hopeful through the first five games for the Cougars. Wilson’s 12 yards per pass completion trails only behind Alabama quarterback Mac Jones.
The high powered offense of BYU lead by Wilson ranks sixth in the country in scoring at 43.6 points per game thus far in 2020.
Coincidentally, Wilson and McBride have each thrown exactly 136 passing attempts this season. Although Wilson has doubled McBride on passing yards with those attempts, the quarterback matchup between the two plays a major factor in determining which team is victorious in Provo.
The Cougars have consistently allowed more total yards to opposing offensives each week but Texas State has never defeated a ranked FBS opponent. The Bobcats also head into their matchup against BYU as 28.5 point underdogs.
However, a competitive game produced by the Bobcats would be a positive sign moving forward in a strenuous conference slate for the rest of the season.
Prediction: BYU 42, Texas State 17.
KTSW 89.9 begins coverage of Texas State’s late-night battle against BYU at 8:45 p.m. over the airwaves. The Bobcats and Cougars game will also be broadcasted on ESPN. 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.