The 2019 offseason has been one of the most memorable for Texas State since...well, ever. It’s gotta be by a mile thanks in parts to the hiring of quarterback guru extraordinaire Jake Spavital as new head coach and a veteran team who are the most experienced squad in the FBS and poised to make a conference title run.
Texas State has won 10 games in four seasons and fans are excited about the young and optimistic head coach and his meticulous staff, plus the veteran defense has done nothing but improve over the past three seasons.
Here I made a brief rundown of all the Texas State games. Nothing too stat filled or detailed, just something to tide you over until the season starts. Of course, follow Underdog Dynasty throughout the season for in-depth previews of every Bobcat game.
August 29th @ #11 Texas Agriculture & Mechanical:
*Aggies lead all-time series 2-0
*Bobcat Head Coach Jake Spavital was OC/QB coach for Aggies from 2013-2015.
It’s a shame the game was changed to a Thursday Night to appease the SEC Network, so grown-folk Bobcats with day jobs and children may not travel well to College Station for this one.
In the spirit of rivalry among Texas football fans, both Aggie and Bobcat social medialites have been sparking it up on Twitter and MySpace (as ish-talking is done nowadays) but on the field, A&M coach Jimbo Fisher has had his players lay off the social media presence to concentrate on the gridiron. To start 2019, Coach Spav and his retooled ‘Cats are ready to put up a fight against his former team despite whatever the spread is.
Even in a loss an impressive performance can set the tone for a successful season for Texas State. The Bobcats will also be looking for their first G5/major conference win since 1986 (victory at Rice 31-6 in 1986).
September 7th vs. Wyoming:
*Cowboys leads the series 1-2
*No coach has coached Wyoming for more than 9 seasons (Lloyd Eaton 1962-1970).
Home opener. A new coach, new system, new era but will it fill seats with Bobcat asses?
The most consistent OOC rival for Texas State recently, the Cowboys and Bobcats have met three previous times (2011, 2013, 2017).
Cowboy head coach Craig Bohl is entering his sixth season in Laramie and has led Wyoming to three straight winning seasons and two bowl berths.
The offense will be led by quarterback Sean Chambers who won the job back in the spring and he will run a pro-style offense contrary to his dual threat style that he flashed last year in his injury-cut freshman season.
September 14th @ SMU:
*Mustangs lead the series 1-0
* Texas State are 17-32-1 vs former Southwest Conference members
Another former SWC member on the schedule, the Mustangs are a team on the improvement train. During the offseason, former Texas quarterback Shane Buchelle transferred to Southern Methodist giving the Mustangs an experienced signal caller who can handle the weight of the team.
The Mustangs run an air-raid offense but were inconsistent last year. Whether or not the offense shows up against Texas State will be a burning question.
September 21st vs Georgia State:
*Series tied at 3-3
*The panther originated in Asia 11 million years ago and have over 40 species in their genus but these Panthers only have a .274 winning percentage.
The Panthers make the trip from the ATL in this early Sun Belt opener.
Georgia State has a questionable 2018 ahead. After facing off against two difficult opponents in Tennessee and Western Michigan and FCS Furman the Panthers could be entering San Marcos at 1-2 and facing an opponent that will expose Georgia State’s true colors and prove or disprove if they are as inconsistent as the analysts say they are.
September 28th vs Nicholls State:
*The Colonels lead the series 16-14
*Nicholls State still have the original paddle which is the trophy of this defunct rivalry game
An old Southland foe make a return to San Marcos for the former rivalry game known as The Battle for the Paddle (look out for an article on the rivalry as the game approaches).
In 2017, the Colonels took Texas A&M to the brink losing 24-14 and last year beat Big 12 member Kansas 26-23 so this is far from a FCS cupcake game.
October 10th vs Louisiana-Monroe:
*Warhawks lead the series 11-4
*ULM hero Stan Humphries once threw a touchdown to TXST legend Ricky Sanders when they were both members of the Washington Redskins
This nationally televised Thursday night game will be the 7th installment of the rivalry between the former Northeast Louisiana Indians and the former Southwest Texas State Bobcats.
Last year’s 20-14 win over Texas State was a chippy affair with the players jawing back and forth with each other proving to be an exciting Sun Belt rivalry.
Warhawk qb Caleb Evans is ULM’s biggest weapon. The dual threat threw 16 touchdowns and ran for 10 last year.
October 26th @ Arkansas State:
*Red Wolves leads series 5-1
*AkSt coach Blake Anderson was 4-1 against Texas State as a player at Baylor and Sam Houston State
Oh boy, the Red Wolves have had Texas State’s number recently. Arkansas State has ripped off four straight victories vs. the Bobcats by a 26 point average.
The first of the triáda tou thanátou (Triad of Death between Arkansas State, Troy and App State) of Texas State’s latter schedule.
Texas State will have to play mistake-free ball to have any chance of pulling off a win against a talented team.
November 2nd @ Louisiana:
*Ragin’ Cajuns lead the series 6-0
*Cajuns are also know as Acadians.
Louisiana may have the most high powered offense in the Sun Belt. A balanced attack had over 420+ yards of total offense in 2018 going 7-0 when scoring over 31 points (0-7 if they failed to hit that mark).
A marquee matchup will be the one-two backfield of Trey Ragas and Elijah Mitchell who last year gained over 2,100 yards on the ground and 21 touchdowns combined against the aggressive front seven of Texas State and their uber talented linebacking corps.
November 9th vs South Alabama:
*Series tied at 2-2
*Despite only having one .500 season they have already been to two bowl games in their 8-season FBS history
*Only one Jaguar has ever been drafted into the NFL (Gerald Everett in 2017 in the 2nd round by the Rams)
It’s homecoming for Texas State so hopefully the ol’ Southwest Texas uni’s make another appearance.
Only the fourth game the Bobcats are favored to win by the FPI, the Jaguars are one of those teams still looking for an identity. South Alabama had one of the worst offenses and defenses last year and had three passers throw a touchdown and only one player eek over the 1,000 yard total offensive mark.
If the Bobcats can play an even game they could get a win for Jim Wacker, O.A. Strahan, Spergon Wynn and all the other immortal Bobcat greats.
November 16th vs. Troy:
*Trojans leads series 8-1
*Former WWE Champion Bray Wyatt played for two seasons at Troy as a guard
Coach Chip Lindsey and his Trojans march into San Marcos as the Bobcats look for their first win against Troy in 22 years.
Former coach Neal Brown was tempted away to go coach West Virginia but that shouldn’t matter for Troy.
Lindsey inherits two experienced quarterbacks and a defense that is returning 7 starters from a squad that held opponents to just 22 points a games in 2018.
Last year, Texas State almost pulled off the upset in Alabama losing 12-7 in a defensive struggle.
November 23rd @ Appalachian State:
*Mountaineers lead series 4-0
*Entering the 2019 season, the Mountaineers have won four straight bowl games
Another Sun Belt squad whose head coach was poached is in a similar position as Troy. The talent is still there perhaps the toughest conference game for Texas State.
Favored to win the Sun Belt, the Mountaineers blazed through their 2018 schedule only being edged out in overtime by #10 Penn State and a surprise stumble against Georgia Southern.
App State could win out in 2019 with their OOC schedule consisting of a Mack Brown first year led North Carolina squad and a pedestrian South Carolina squad as their major P5 opponents.
Being just five days from Thanksgiving, I’d like to be thankful for an upset win.
November 30th @ Coastal Carolina:
*Bobcats lead series 1-0
*Chanticleers made six FCS playoff appearances between 2006-2015
So the end of the first year of the Jake Spavital era could end in a victory. Maybe.
Coastal Carolina has a quarterback controversy, questions at running back and a stable receiving corps (despite losing their #1 Malcolm Williams) so if Coastal doesn’t find any consistency by this point, Bryan London II and his myrmidons on the Texas State defense will feast.
Still there is a 40% chance that according to the S&P the Chanticleers can pull off a win. It’s mainly because of their defense, which is their strongest asset.
Texas State can land anywhere from three to six wins in 2019. Even if the Bobcats don’t go bowling in Spav’s first year as long as the team shows signs of improvement that alone could be promising.
The coaching staff is in place and the talent is present but turning the corner to become one of the top tier Sun Belt teams will take more than hype and promise.