Home 1st and 210 TXST Football: Texas State back after the bye against South Alabama

TXST Football: Texas State back after the bye against South Alabama

South Alabama quarterback Jake Bentley passes as South Alabama defensive lineman Jamie Sheriff closes in during a scrimmage Saturday, April 3, 2021, at Hancock Whitney Stadium in Mobile, Ala. (Mike Kittrell | AL.com)

The (1-3) Texas State Bobcats return to Bobcat Stadium to take on in-conference rival, the (3-1) South Alabama Jaguars. The Bobcats will look to pull off an upset against an in-conference foe that neither has been able to get the upper hand on throughout their school’s history.

Texas State University

It will be the tale between two teams that have had different beginnings to their 2021 season, as the Jaguars are coming off a close defeat against the Lousiana Ragin Cajuns, their first loss of the year.

For Texas State, they’re coming off a two-game losing skid, one of which came against the University of Incarnate Word, a shocking defeat to a D1 program that came into the contest as (11) point favorites.

Saturday afternoon’s contest against the Jaguars will be in honor of “Family Weekend” there at Bobcat Stadium, Texas State’s annual weekend where fans and families can explore the city of San Marcos and enjoy a home football game.

Hopefully, for the Maroon and Gold, the family fanfare will pay dividends with a home-field advantage. Texas State will come into Saturday’s contest as a 3.5 point underdog.

The reason being, South Alabama’s offense has been an issue for opposing defenses all season long. It starts with their Quarterback, Jake Bentley, who’s played efficient football throughout the year.

Despite throwing just two touchdowns through four games, Bentley has only four turnover-worthy plays to his name in addition to boasting an adjusting completion percentage of nearly 77-percent. He won’t fling the pigskin up and down the field, but he’s as efficient as Texas State has seen this season.

South Alabama quarterback Jake Bentley passes as South Alabama defensive lineman Jamie Sheriff closes in during a scrimmage Saturday, April 3, 2021, at Hancock Whitney Stadium in Mobile, Ala. (Mike Kittrell | AL.com)

With Bentley under center, the Jags have a trio of backs who have performed admirably throughout their season. Kareem Walker, Terrion Avery, and Bryan Hill, all three have posted grades from Pro Football Focus of 65.4 or higher as rushers, with all three having three or more 10+ yard rushes.

Though they have a multitude of strengths offensively, South Alabama’s lone weakness has been their offensive line. Their entire unit has posted a season grade of under 59.7 as blockers both in the run and passing game, committing five penalties on the season.

That will be the key for Texas State to pull off the upset here, is winning the battle in the trenches. The Bobcats have six of their rotational defensive players posting grades of 62.3 or higher as pass-rushers. In addition, they have four defensive linemen posting run-defense grades of 68.5 or higher.

Offensively, the Bobcats have had a rollercoaster ride for the ages throughout 2021. Quarterback Brady McBride has had back-to-back outings that were consistent and competent. He’s yet to throw an interception since week one, throwing six touchdowns and zero picks since the week one debacle against Baylor.

Not only that, McBride has posted passer ratings of 113.4 or higher every week since week one while committing just two turnover-worthy plays since the home opener. McBride and the Bobcats offense has been up and down, but Brady’s stayed poised and collected in the pocket despite the results.

The ground game has been quietly impressive, as the trio of Calvin Hill, Brock Sturges, and Jahmyl Jeter have all posted yards per carry averages of 4.6 or better. The unit collectively has scored five touchdowns and has had 18 rushes of 10+ yards on the year.

Despite being underdogs once again at home, the Bobcats have a chance to complete a big victory against an in-conference opponent. Managing this efficient Jags offense both through the air and on the ground by dominating the trenches will be most important.

On the offensive side, the Bobcats must take advantage of their zone-blocking scheme by getting out and active in the second level and getting the defensive line moving in order to free up their trio of big-money backs. It’s a possibility, but in order to do this, Texas State must finally put it all together to secure their first home victory of the year.

Sep 26, 2020; Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, USA; Texas State Bobcats quarterback Brady McBride (2) passes the ball during the first half against the Boston College Eagles at Alumni Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

Saturday’s game between the Texas State Bobcats and the South Alabama Jaguars will take place at Bobcat Stadium at 6 pm. Family Weekend will be in full effect, with Texas State hoping to gain a much-needed home-field advantage to secure their first win at the “Wack”.

Tickets for this game are available for purchase, but this game will be broadcasted live on ESPN+.

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Stephen Michael 26, is a journalist, social media coordinator, host, and entertainment reporter. Michael graduated in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in Communication Arts and earned a Master's Degree in Digital Media in 2020 from the University of the Incarnate Word. He has worked covering the San Antonio Rampage, Stars, and San Antonio Futbol Club. He was the host of the Project Spurs Roundtable on NBC affiliate News 4 San Antonio from 2015-17.


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