Saturday afternoon’s contest will be the earliest kick-off of the season for the Bobcats, playing a 2 pm home game, back at the Wack.
With plenty of momentum on their side after a crucial 4OT win against South Alabama last week, the Bobcats will look to build off of their biggest win of the season.
Spav: The energy is always better after a win, but we've got to be better … There was a lot of things that bounced our way in a pretty sloppy game. We've got to have better execution @smdrsports
— Drew King (@drewking0222) October 12, 2021
It won’t be easy, as Troy has had Texas State’s number throughout the history of their matchups. The Trojans have won all six of the previous games against the Maroon and Gold, winning by an average margin of 26 points.
The Trojans will look to take home another victory against a team that has given them zero trouble throughout the years, led by Quarterback Taylor Powell.
Powell has put together an impressive season in 2021, something that the analytics will also tell you. According to Pro Football Focus, Taylor Powell has a passing grade of nearly 76.0 while having thrown just 8 passes that were deemed “turnover worthy”.
He’s been efficient through the air, boasting an adjusted completion percentage of 78.2, while producing seven big-time throws according to PFF. What’s been even more impressive, is that Taylor has taken advantage of the blitz in 2021. Completing nearly 69-percent of his throws when blitzed, Taylor Powell has proven that he can make defenses pay from the pocket.
The Trojans have been a potent passing offense throughout this season, but their running game has been a doozy. The Trojans only average 3 yards per carry, and under 100 yards on the ground per game.
While their offense seems to be pass-heavy, defensively is where they make their money.
The Trojans only give up 2 yards per carry defensively, while surrendering just four passing touchdowns on the year. They have forced nine interceptions and have forced 286 yards lost on the ground. Their offense might be one-sided, but their defense is arguably one the best that Texas State will see all year, littered with versatility and forcing you to play to your weaknesses.
Switching over to the Home Team, the Texas State Bobcats are led by Quarterback Brady McBride. McBride threw three interceptions last week, his first interceptions since week one, another three-interception performance.
This time, he was able to rebound and lead the Bobcats on an impressive fourth-quarter comeback that ended in a 4OT win against in-conference rival, South Alabama. Texas State was able to put a disastrous first half behind them and finish the game stronger than ever.
They will look to keep that momentum going as Brady McBride continues to play as efficient football as he did in the second half. In addition to McBride, running backs Jahmyl Jeter and Calvin Hill have been a crucial piece to the Cats offense.
Whether it’s Calvin Hill breaking off 10+ yard runs, or Jahmyl Jeter barreling into the end-zone, both backs have proven that they are the kind of bell-cows that you need going forward.
Defensively for the Cats, they strung together their best performance of the year in the second half. After going down 24-10, they hung in there and allowed just seven points down the stretch to keep their offense in this game.
Whether it was the turnovers created by Troy Lefeged Jr. or the pressure created by Samuel Obiang, the Bobcat defense has a strong performance to set the standard on going forward.
The matchup to watch out for is the Texas State rushing attack against the Trojans run defense. In order for Texas State to have success, they must run the football efficiently and benefit from their play-action passing game going forward. But for the Trojans, they have proven that they can stop the run with ease, forcing teams to beat them through the air, and in doing so, they’ve created multiple interception opportunities.
It will come down to the battle in the trenches, where Head Coach Jake Spavital has put the most time and resources into it. Texas State’s offensive line has been a huge talking point after numerous transfers and an emphasis on bringing in a new chapter along their front, they’ll now face their biggest test of the season.
Saturday afternoon’s contest between the Texas State Bobcats and the Troy Trojans will take place at 2 pm back at Jim Wacker Field. Tickets are available for purchase, with the game broadcast live on ESPN+.