First year coach Everett Withers' Bobcats have been on top and through the ringer with two impressive victories over Ohio and Incarnate Word and two colossal spankings at the hands of top-25 competition. Last week the audience of the game against Georgia State got both sides of Texas State.
ULM has a first year coach of their own in Matt Viator and, much like Texas State, have struggled with the non-conference schedule and two loses by a combined 5 points in conference play.
A Tale Of Two Kitties
Texas State has been on both sides of the coin when it comes to game play so far in 2016. Last week against the Georgia State Panthers the Bobcats opened up on a quick 14-0 lead going into the second quarter behind two fast drives against a Panther defense that had no answer against the hurry up. Then the fast paced offense fell away and the Bobcat defense collapsed on its own giving up 34 unanswered points to a depleted Panther offense. It summarized the season so far for Texas State but to be fair the two losses going into last week's game were against the #24 and #6 teams in the nation in Arkansas and Houston, respectively. So who are the Bobcats supposed to be?
Will The Real Texas State Please Stand Up?
It's a rebuilding year for the Bobcats, yes, but we have yet to see what kind of team they are through the first five games. Four year starting quarterback Tyler Jones is on pace to have his best passing season yet in his record breaking career at Texas State but he has only rushed for 1 yard this season when you take sacks into consideration. In fact the team is only gaining 82.2 yards rushing a game and rank last in the nation in total yards rushing (411) and yards per carry (2.3).
The defense has shown sparks of what its speed can do even in the losses to Arkansas and Houston but big plays continue to haunt the Bobcats as they gave up two big touchdown runs of 47 and 71 yards against FCS Incarnate Word.
Texas State must lick the wounds of last weekend and do some identity searching this weekend against a Lousiana-Monroe team in a similar rebuilding mode. ULM has been balanced this year on both sides of the ball this year with a quarterback Texas State must account for in dual threat Garrett Smith. My prediction is a 38-25 win with Texas State's air attack taking flight and their continued ascension into an all out hurry-up nightmare for ULM.