Location: Bobcat Stadium, San Marcos, TX
Kickoff: Saturday, November 28 pm CST
Radio: San Marcos: AM 1300, 930 AM, 89.9 FM. Myrtle Beach: WRNN FMHot Talk 99.5, 1450 AM/105.5 FM
Series Record: Series tied at 1-1.
Betting Line: Coastal -16, O/U: 64 1⁄2
Coastal, raise a glass and toast to your success. Oh wait, the CFB playoff committee is at it again.
It just seems for a G5 team to get any respect at all in the eyes of the committee, they have to go on a 172-game winning streak and blow out every P5 team they play. Meanwhile, a P5 team can send out a third string team to play Western Illinois Technical Institute in November or December and that warrants a jump from “hasn't played” to “here is a top-4 spot and hey, your qb is now on the Heisman list.”
Texas State has had a transitional 2020. Year two of the Jake Spavital era in San Marcos boasts a young roster. Injuries, COVID-19 protocols, inconsistencies, at times vapid play calling, inexperience...The Bobcats are on the right path but not quite there yet. Close games against SMU and Boston College, matchups against ranked teams and a plethora of nationally televised games have given the Bobcats attention that they should’ve been getting since the Jim Wacker days.
It’s been a Tale of Two Cities with these two programs. Well, more like a tale of two kitties, if you are a Bobcat faithful. I know that sounds dumb but what’s even more dumbfounding are the histories of these two teams.
Coastal first fielded a team in 2003 and while in the FCS/I-AA division won seven Big South conference titles and even took down a James Madison team ranked at #1. Having only been on the FBS level since 2017, it’s taken only three years for the Chants to go from bottoms dwellers of the Sun Belt to a CFP ranking.
Texas State (who should have already been a I-A team since the Southwest Texas days [but again what do I know]) has fielded a football program since the Ottoman Empire was still in existence and hasn’t been to any bowl games since the Palm Bowls of the early 80’s. But hey, the past is the past and if any season has been a catalyst for a program renaissance, it’s 2020.
Coastal Carolina Outlook
After winning their previous three games by a combined score of 102-20, the Chanticleers had their biggest test to date last week: a rumble with Sun Belt powerhouse Appalachian State.
Coastal held off App State with a 34-23 win despite being held to their second lowest offensive output this year. But three interceptions of Mountaineer quarterback Zac Thomas would be the defining factor in the Chants win.
Quarterback Grayson McCall will have to have a much better time out against Texas State than he did against App State to avoid the upset. McCall was held to a season low 57.1% completion rate and was held to his second-lowest output of the season. Though he did have 69 rushing yards and a score.
But Coastal’s biggest asset is their defense. The Chanticleers have held opponents to just a 57.8% passing completion rate and a 7/11 touchdown to interception ratio.
Texas State Outlook
Wow, Brady McBride had one hell of a game last week. The Bobcat signal caller had a career high 443 yards passing with five passing touchdowns in a 47-45 win over Arkansas State. Those two numbers were the highest since Texas State great Tyler Jones threw for 475 yards and five td’s versus Incarnate Word in 2016.
The ‘Cats would finish with 505 yards of total offense, their highest total since dropping 547 on Texas Southern in 2018.
For the Bobcats to pull off the upset, they’ll need to keep up the momentum on both sides of the ball. Yes, the offense did go over 500 yards, but the defense gave up 654 yards themselves. They won, however, because they didn’t let the Redwolves take full advantage of drives.
Texas State’s defenders were in the business of both Redwolf quarterbacks enough to know which flavor of body spray Logan Bobber and Layne Hatcher were wearing. Though they both threw for over 200 yards against the Bobcats, the defense did enough to make them throw erroneous passes to stop drives.
Coastal has the weapons and the strategy to chug along to a major bowl. But they are going up against a fired up and inspired team in the Bobcats’ season finale. Texas State will have to stop their clock eating running attack enough to get the defense off the field and catch a breath. Coastal will win if they can get the ground game moving and never let up. Texas State will win if they can make some stops on defense and force a few Chanticleer mistakes.