Location: Bobcat Stadium, San Marcos, TX
Kickoff: Saturday, September 28th 6 p.m. CST
TV/Radio: ESPN3/San Marcos: AM 1300, 930 AM, 89.9 FM. Thibdaux: 100.3 FM ESPN New Orleans
Series Record: Colonels lead the series, 16-14
Last Meeting: Bobcats won the last meeting 38-12 in 2011
Betting Line: There ain’t none.
“Well, well, well. Look who it is you ol’ summabitch! Nicholls State, I haven’t seen you in a while. How you been? That’s great! Your ranked at #9 in the nation in FCS? Whoa, congrats. You ready to stir up the former rivalry know as the Battle For The Paddle? You didn’t bring it. Because you refuse to bring it? Whatever.”
Anyways, all apologies for the breach of privacy of a conversation transcribed from the side of Texas State to Nicholls. They used to have a thing back in the day when they were both in the FCS. It involved a paddle and well the Bobcats moved on from Nicholls and they left some stuff at their place in Thibodaux and never kinda gave it back.
It’s silly but it’s football. Some purists don’t like humor in their football. I don’t need humor but that how I cope, personally.
That’s neither here nor there because we are in week five of the college football season. Knee deep in the greatest season ever. Why? Because it’s happening now and any week that has college football is a good week.
Nicholls & Dimes. Ex’s and O’s
One thing about this offense is that it’s been getting better and more efficient as the weeks have trudged along. Their first game was against Big XII member Kansas State and they got pounded, 49-14. A matchup that on paper is expected; the Colonels only gaining 276 yards of total offense to 573 total offense given up to the Wildcats on defense.
This Colonel’s running game has been steadily improving racking up over 220 yards rushing a game. Running back Julien Gums has been flossing opponents’ defenses for 92 yards a game on an average of five yards a carry and five rushing touchdowns. With Texas State allowing over 1,000 yards on the ground and nine touchdowns already through four games and a six yard average per play. Look for Gums and the rest of the Colonel’s ground game to exploit this nook.
The offense will be dictated by the play of quarterback Chase Fourcade. The preseason FCS All-American senior is a true dual-threat signal caller who has thrown 526 yards and three touchdowns along with four scores on the ground. In his career Fourcade has thrown and rushed for 83 career touchdowns.
Defensively Nicholls is similar to the offense in terms of steady improvement. Through their first three games the rushing yards allowed have declined and the passing yards have increased. It’s been due to the Colonels having the ability to shut down the running game and forcing the opposition to become one dimensional.
The defense has cut down opponent’s time of possession in half since their opening game against Kansas State and only allowed 2.6 yards a rush last week against Sammy Houston State.
Crescit Eundo Momentum
Flash back to last Saturday at Bobcat Stadium and you had one of the most exciting games in recent memory. A TXST 37-34 triple-overtime thriller win against Georgia State. But can the Bobcats capitalize on the momentum of the victory?
The running attack had been awful up to last week. With only 73 or so yards gained in three games on a 1.1 yard per rush average the offense was about as exciting as going to the store with your mom (if you liked shopping with mom, disregard that last reference). Against Georgia State the rushing game took off with 221 yards of rushing led by Caleb Twyford’s 137 yards on 27 carries. Anthony D. Taylor added 54 yards on the ground and two touchdown’s in easily Texas State’s most impressive offensive performance so far in 2019.
Texas State needs to rely on that same ground and pound game to avoid the upset.
Gresch Jensen got the call last week under center versus Georgia State despite another game plagued by mistakes but he played well enough to get the start against Nicholls State this Saturday. In all fairness Jensen played well even though he produced his lowest offensive production. Jensen only threw 129 yards against the Panthers but did it on a 64.0% completion rate and didn’t throw any interceptions or fumble.
Jensen has some skill but at times can be limited. If he can get the ball off under two seconds and the play calling feeds into his strengths (high completion rates in out routes) the Bobcats can have success. If he starts to struggle against Nicholls State expect to see Tyler Vitt inserted.
This game despite being a FCS “warmup” the Colonels are no cake walk. They are No. 9 in the nation for a reason and have given FBS teams fits in recent years.
If Texas State’s defense can clamp down in pressure situations like they did last week, Jensen can keep his composure when the pocket collapses and the running game gets going.
If Nicholls State can run the ball all over the Bobcats defense it may be a long day.
As for the prediction gimme the 52-27, Texas State win.