Tyler Jones is winding down his Texas State career and rewriting the Bobcat record book. Unfortunately Jones' senior season hasn't resulted in wins. Saturdays blowout loss to Idaho was the Bobcats seventh straight loss to an FBS team in 2016. We watched, rewatched and charted Jones start against the Vandals, good, bad, and ugly.
|@Ohio||W 56-54 (3OT)||40||55||418||72.7%||38||4||2|
|Incarnate Word||W 48-17||31||40||475||77.5%||46||5||0|
|@Georgia State||L 41-21||27||47||300||57.4%||26||1||2|
|@Louisiana Monroe||L 40-34||19||35||193||54.3%||19||0||2|
|Louisiana Lafayette||L 27-3||20||28||142||71.4%||24||0||1|
|@Appalachian State||L 35-10||28||38||183||73.7%||20||0||1|
Here are the major takeaways from the Bobcats' afternoon vs. Idaho.
- Texas State's offensive line is a train wreck that cannot be salvaged. Idaho is not a pass rushing dynamo and they didn't need to be vs. Texas State. The Vandals rarely rushed more than four and didn't need to, they pressured without bringing extra men. Jones was running for his life most of the afternoon.
- Related to that, Texas State botched five shotgun snaps. One led to a safety, but they were all painful. Texas State can't afford to play behind the chains and bad snaps put the Bobcats in bad situations too often.
- Texas State's running game is non-existent. Even before the game got out of hand, the Bobcats couldn't muster a running attack. After the game got out of hand, they abandoned it.
Let's move on to Jones' afternoon, here's his passing chart:
On the afternoon Jones went 11 of 15 for 167 yards. (His actual boxscore was 12-16 for 175, however it appears Jones was credited with a pass actually completed by Connor White in the fourth quarter)
Jones was 7 for 7 on passes behind the line of scrimmage for 88 yards, all to running backs. Jones attempted 5 passes from 0-9 yards, completing 2. Jones attempted just 2 passes from 10-19 yards, going 1 for 2 for 15 yards and he attempted 1 pass of 20 or more yards, completing it for a touchdown and Jones' longest completion of 2016.
Jones' passing chart shows the Bobcats failure to challenge the Vandals downfield. This is in large part because Texas State's offensive line couldn't protect, so many of Jones' throws were scheme throws to backs behind the line of scrimmage. Watching Texas State this season the Bobcats are able to make defenses defend the entire field, in particular vertically beyond 10 yards. As a result Jones' is dead freaking last among qualified FBS quarterbacks in yards per completion.
We suspect inexperience at the receiver position has also contributed to the dinking and dunking that Jones has done all season.
The bigger bi-product is that defenses, including the Vandals', don't need to defend vertically and therefore safeties can play closer to the line, thwarting the run game. Corners and safeties can afford to play more aggressively because they know the front will be able to pressure and the back end won't need to cover for any extended period of time.
Of Jones 15 attempts he was blitzed just three times, he was 1 for 3 when facing more than a four man rush. Still, has noted above, Idaho pressured plenty with just four. On nine of Jones drop backs (60%) the Vandals forced either a sack, an escape, or an errant throw. The pressure forced a fumble and a couple of errant throws, and the Vandals sacked Jones four times.
Texas State ranks 126th out of 128th in sacks allowed (33) among FBS teams. (UNT ranks 127th with 40 and San Jose State is last at 43.)
The Bobcats never tried to extend the defense vertically, with their current line issues, its doubtful 2016's version will have the capability. Jones will need to do what he's done all season, get rid of the ball quickly and hope someone can make a play. Hope is not a sustainable strategy.