Kickoff: November 5th, 2:30 pm CST
Location: Kidd Brewer Stadium, Boone, NC
Stream: ESPN 3
Radio: AM1300/AM930/89.9 FM
Series Record: 1-0 App State
Betting Line: App St -31 1/2, O/U 54
Last Meeting: 41-34 App State
#Partyintheendzone is a popular hashtag thrown around Texas State tweets and despite the lack of “parties” and the rebuilding of a program the Bobcats still retain their optimism.
After a disappointing 27-3 loss to Louisiana-Lafayette the Bobcats had a bye week and two weeks of practice to prepare for the Appalachian State Mountaineers. Bobcat coach Everett Withers said at the weekly press conference the younger players were getting more plays at practice in part of “evaluating the future” which means we may get to see more backups in the games.
No Rest For The Weary
The season has been trying for Texas State (2-5) but as the Bobcats settle into the season it’s been accepted as a learning experience. A week off has meant an extended period to study App State and an extra week to mend injuries. Tight end Chris French is back and just in time as wide receiver Eric Luna is out which means quarterback Tyler Jones will have to shift the way he spreads the ball around. On the defensive side the ‘cats have been pushed around especially at the undersized line. Appalachian State is averaging 210 yards rushing a game and will have to rely on speed at the line to compensate for size.
Finish What ‘Ya Started
Fast starts have been a theme for Texas State all year but the team lags behind and the offense isn’t built for fast scores. A spread offense that runs fast but chips away will need to turn down the turn overs to give the defense a breather. With the exception of the two games against ranked opponents the Mountaineers (6-2) are riding a 5-game winning streak and have exploited the weaknesses of their opponents in the Sun Belt conference.
Speaking of the defense they will need to get takeaways and maybe some points to help supplement the offense and pace the game. Special Teams has been helping that cause with punter Lumi Kaba, who in my opinion is the most solid player on the team.
The future’s so bright, I gotta throw shade. Nah, wear shades.
Everett Withers said he has been planning on inserting some of the young talent in preparation for 2017. The losses have been a pain but a more prepared and better recruited class will help. Coach Withers has also stated that Junior quarterback Eddie Printz has been getting reps in practice so maybe we’ll see some quarterback evaluation from the bench. The team is filled with so much young talent that the rest of the season may see a shift in personnel to better evaluate both sides of the ball.
A fast start for Texas State will stall as in past weeks. Or will it? Despite a push for younger players getting playing time I’m looking for the upset against the Sun Belt conference leaders after some fireworks. Coach Withers has a special homecoming with a 47-45 Bobcats win.