Arkansas State (6-5, 6-1) @ Texas State (2-9, 0-7)
Date: Dec. 3, 2016 @ Bobcat Stadium
Location/ Kickoff: San Marcos, Texas @ 6:30 p.m.
Radio: EAB Red Wolves Sports Network (107.9 FM, flagship)
Television: ESPN2, WatchESPN
Live Stats: AStateStats.com/AStateRedWolves.com
Live Game Notes: twitter.com/AStateGameDay
Vegas Line: Ark St -24 O/U 54
ASU leads the series 2-1, Winning last year 55-17
One week after losing to ULL 24-19 and the opportunity to win the Sun Belt title outright, the Red Wolves will wrap up the 2016 regular season and a chance to share the conference title in San Marcos, Texas against the Texas State Bobcats. ASU gained over 500 yards of offense against the Cajuns while holding them to under 300 yards of total offense but only two field goals and a touchdown to show for six redzone trips was ultimately the Red Wolves undoing.
Now comes the Texas State Bobcats who have lost seven straight games. The team is coached by Everett Withers who has seemingly done his best Charlie Strong imitation by cleaning house of players that didn't buy into the program. This appears to be a long term building process at Texas State as Withers chose to play the two underclassmen quarterbacks (Connor White and Eddie Printz) that will be returning next year instead of regular starter (senior Tyler Jones) in a 40-7 loss to Troy. On the upside, Texas State has blocked seven kicks on the year but on the downside they have struggled to score points, especially in conference games. The Bobcats are averaging an anemic 14 points a game against the Sun Belt foes.
The Red Wolves have proven themselves as being salty on the road with 18 wins in the last 22 conference away games.
I asked Vidal Espinoza @vidal_espinoza, who covers Texas State for UDD to help preview the Bobcats.
- At 2-9 has Coach Everett Withers started to play for the future in certain positions, such as QB?
Coach Withers has stated in press conferences that he is planning to insert younger players to plot the 2017 landscape. Junior Connor White and Junior Eddie Printz have played the last two games for Texas State at quarterback. White even started the game vs Troy and Printz played as well.
- After scoring 56 in the season opener against Ohio, Texas State has scored less than 21 points eight times. What has been the biggest undoing of the Bobcat offense?
I think what happened with their offense is that after the Ohio game teams figured out their gameplan and since their offensive line is so young and undersized they could not rely on any running game and essentially became one-dimensional.
- Who is the one player on both sides of the ball that ASU fans should be aware of?
Running Back Tyler Siudzinski has been a proven back under utilized in a paltry running game. Look for him to get more touches to get the ball moving. Linebacker Bryan London is the third leading tackler in the nation and has been one of the few consistent players for the Bobcats as a ball hawk.
- With 7 consecutive losses, is there any grumbling from the fans and almuni about how it has gone this year?
Well it's been disappointing and most fans and alumni are giving Withers a hall pass for inheriting Dennis Franchione's recruits (which were not bad) and for not having any time to recruit. Withers needs to take more accountability once the season ends but he also needs to give fans and alumni more of a progress report than giving us "great practices" when there are no adjustments made on the field.
- How do you see this one turning out?
Of course I always favor the Bobcats but realistically with the Red Wolves gearing up for bowl season and Texas State having Senior Day on Saturday I see a softer game, maybe a 20 point loss for Texas State.