Keys to the Game: Texas State at Wyoming

No rest for the weary, after a loss to rival UTSA the Bobcats travel north to the Big Sky Country and Wyoming. Not an easy chore for Everett Withers' team, but that which doesn't destroy us, typically covers the spread. A few keys for Texas State's afternoon in Laramie:

Rediscover Run Defense

Last week UTSA exposed Texas State's run defense, the first time an opponent can brag about doing that. Texas State gave up three yards more per carry against UTSA than any other opponent. The Bobcats get back Hal Vinson this week and perhaps even Easy Anayama; however, they lose Ishmael Davis for the season at defensive end. We don't think the Bobcats' top 10 rushing defense mark through three weeks was realistic, but they're improved against the run and get another chance to show it against a Wyoming team that's struggled to replace Brian Hill this season. 

Offensive help and depth

If Texas State is going to compete in Laramie at all the offense needs give the defense some help and possess the ball longer than they've been able to do all season. Going back to Colorado, Texas State played well in the first half against a PAC 12 power, but in the second half the altitude and the physicality caught up, and the defense was on the field far too long. Wyoming is no less of an altitude challenge, and Craig Bohls wants to play physically even with Josh Allen at quarterback. Add to that Texas State will be without three key receivers, Thurman Morbley, Mason Hays and Dennis Johnson for the Wyoming game and longer, it's time for some of the young receivers to play a bigger role. Look for Jeremiah Haydel, a freshman from Alief Taylor to play a more prominent role in the game plan. 

Meet the physical test

Texas State's 2017 season has been marked by improvement overall, including a significant jump in competitiveness down to down, series to series. The Bobcats don't roll over. After last week the Bobcats can't let UTSA serve as a downturn in their desire to compete. Texas State's offensive line is in their fifth game together as a unit. The upside of this group might be the most pronounced of any on the roster. Hopefully, now the game will slow down for the two freshman and sophomore starters. This week they'll see another physical four-man scheme and a well coached unit overall. Improvement from the offensive line is pivotal moving forward.

Notes and Numbers

  • Texas State and Wyoming have split their previous two meetings. 
  • Wyoming averages just 17.8 points a game. 
  • Against Power 5 opponents Josh Allen completes just 49% of his passes.
  • Thru four games Wyoming's yards per carry is down from 4.59 last season to 3.51 this season. 
  • After UTSA, the Bobcat defense dropped from top 10 in yards per carry to 70th. 
  • Texas State ranks 125th in scoring offense at 12.5 points a game. 
  • Texas State completes 61% of first down passes, 57% of second down passes, and 45% of third down passes. 

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