Kickoff: November 19th, 3:00 pm CST
Location: Aggie Memorial Stadium, Las Cruces, NM
T.V.: ESPN 3
Radio: AM1300/AM930/89.9 FM
Series Record: 2-1 Texas State
Betting Line: New Mexico State -9 1/2, O/U 65 1/2
Last Meeting: 31-21 NM St (2015)
Three games remain for the Texas State Bobcats. Three games to end 2016 on a high note. Three games to keep a team at the bottom and play spoiler to two. So what’s it gonna be Bobcats? Hopefully sustainability.
The New Mexico State Aggies may have a losing record matching Texas State at 2-7 and they may have not had the greatest success in the past, but what makes the Aggies so dangerous is their ability to get that devastating win. Just ask New Mexico this year and Kentucky who had their backs against the wall for three quarters.
Bobcat coach Everett Withers has stated in his weekly luncheon/press conference despite a losing record the program’s moral is rising and practices are going good. Young players are given playing time and the identity of Texas State is being built every game.
For the past five games Texas State has played the same identical game. Fast start with a big run by the opposing team with a lead that the Bobcats are unable to climb out of. Last week against the Idaho “ball of yarn” Vandals was the epitome of the 2016 season. For Texas State to survive after the first quarter their offensive line needs to pick up the pace and strive for rhythm.
Tyler Jones has been running for his life and his rushing stats back that up (104 attempts for 13 yards). The rushing game has been eh and if the hurry-up offense stalls the running game needs to amp up and get Texas State running back Stedman Mayberry a-rolling.
More than just great Mexican Food
New Mexico State may not be a powerhouse, but boy do they have a couple of great players especially junior running back Larry Rose III. The 2015 Sun Belt Offensive Student-Athlete of the year smashed Texas State last year in San Marcos for 207 yards on the ground and 3 touchdowns (2 rushing, 1 receiving) in their 31-21 win. Despite an early season injury the second leading rusher in NMST history still poses a threat. Senior linebacker Rodney Butler is a workhorse leading the team with a whopping 128 tackles.
In order for the Bobcats to stop New Mexico State their best players should continue their blazing path. Freshman linebacker Bryan London tallied 20 tackles against the Vandals last week. London has reached double-digit tackles in all but two games and is a promising star-in-the-making for Texas State. Redshirt freshman Anthony Taylor leads the nation in blocked kicks and spearheads the Bobcats who also the nation in blocked kicks with 6 in a surprisingly well-rounded special teams unit.
Drop your socks and grab your building blocks
The offensive line of Texas State has been struggling all season. A combination of veteran leadership and young players shuffling about the revolving door of said line has led to inconsistency, but not without purpose. All the games have been learning experiences according to Coach Withers. The Bobcats third down efficiency needs a lot of work. The ‘Cats went 0-8 last week against Idaho on third down and that my friends does not win games.
As per every week the Bobcats are against the wall as their stalling history continues to dominate their game plan. New Mexico State may be a bottom dweller in the Sun Belt, but Texas State should not see this as a throw away game. I see the offense finds a rhythm and takes care of business in the Land of Enchantment. Bobcats win 34-31.