Texas State returns home for a critical conference game vs. defending conference champ Appalachian State. The Bobcats are coming off a solid performance at Colorado, but now the season starts in earnest with the Mountaineers. A few keys:
Find an offense, any offense
Two weeks in and Texas State's offensive identity remains in flux. As expected Bobcat offensive line struggled against Colorado, but the unit also struggled with Houston Baptist. The group looked better against Colorado. Damian Williams struggled through two games, with a 54% completion percentage and two picks vs. the Buffs and HBU. Texas State's run game shows promise but isn't yet reliable. The 'Cats have to find some scoring on Saturday.
Continue the physical play on the defensive front
Appalachian State will play a physical brand of football, particularly on the offensive side of the ball. They also play with a mean streak. The Bobcats need to rise to meet that challenge. The Mountaineers average over five yards a carry this season, continuing a trend from each of the past four seasons. App State finished first or second in rushing yards each of their three seasons in the Sun Belt. Texas State made significant strides in their first games on the defensive front, if the Bobcats can continue that progress, they can make this a long afternoon for the Eastern Division favorites.
Gabe Schrade is M.I.A.
Moving hand in hand with Texas State's offensive woes is Gabe Schrade's lack of production. The senior caught 25 balls last year for an 11-yard average. This season through two games, he's got nothing. Everett Withers mentioned in his press conference today that to throw to Schrade "the tight end's gotta get open" and he's right, but maybe a kick start could help. Move Schrade to the slot, or get him involved out of the backfield. Texas State needs offensive options now.
Notes and Numbers
- Saturday marks the 3rd meeting between the Mountaineers and the Bobcats. App State is 2-0 vs. Texas State.
- This is the first meeting in San Marvelous between the two programs.
- Both teams beat an FCS opponent and lost to a Power 5 prior to their conference opener.
- Texas State already matched its 2016 sack total, just two games into 2017.
- Appalachian State quarterback Taylor Lamb is just six TD passes behind App State career record hold Armanti Edwards.
- In three seasons in the FBS, Appalachian State averages nine wins per year.