A little good old fashioned hate is on display this week; we can only help some good football is in store for Saturday night at the Alamodome. Here’s what we’re watching for:
When Texas State has the ball…
We’ve given up any hope of any cogent offensive expression from the Bobcats. That’s the hallmark of the Everett Withers era, a little flash, less substance.
Willie Jones is an incredibly talented, raw quarterback, but the offense gives him little to work with other than the “go make something great happen!” directive.
The Bobcats seem to lose track of their weapons. Keenen Brown looks like a Mackey Award contender one week and then disappears the next. Tyler Watts is missing in action. T.J. Bedford flashes but doesn’t get enough service.
The offensive line is a work in progress, they are better than last year but still leaky. OC Zak Kuhr wants to play pace and space, but he isn’t committed to a rushing attack other than having Jones try to find lightening in a bottle.
They’ll find space limited thanks to UTSA’s front. Kevin Strong, Eric Banks, Baylen Baker, and Jarrod Carter-McLin are tough up front, and Josiah Tauaefa is as good as he’s ever been. Lorenzo Dantzler is a matchup problem for the Texas State tackles.
UTSA’s soft underbelly is its secondary which gives up 308 yards per game. It could be worse, but Arizona and Kansas State didn’t want to come across like total dicks to the media, so they called off the dogs. Baylor couldn’t run the ball, so they let Charlie Brewer sling it around.
UTSA is giving up the second worst QB rating among FBS schools behind only UConn. UConn needed a Herculean effort to squeak out a win over Rhode Island. You don’t want to be in UConn’s neighborhood. Whether Texas State can exploit the secondary isn’t a bet we’re willing to make.
When UTSA has the Ball…
Cordale Grundy’s steadily improved even as the competition level’s been somewhat on par. Last week at Kansas State he put together his best performance. If Frank Wilson inserts D.J. Gillins into the game short of an injury or a plague, Roadrunner fans will grab pitchforks and torches.
Wilson will use this week to establish his running game, the Roadrunners haven’t had an advantage up front in the first three weeks, and we expect Wilson is itching to establish UTSA’s line superiority. Expect a healthy dose of Jalen Rhodes and B.J. Daniels. Rhodes hasn’t been right physically this season, but he’s still listed as the starter ahead of Daniels. Both will pound the Bobcats.
UTSA’s skill talent is talented, and players like Tykee Ogle-Kellogg and Tariq Woolen will hold a significant height advantage, but Greg Campbell Jr. and Kirk Johnson are Grundy’s favorite targets. The Roadrunners don’t stretch the field vertically, so they’ll look to get the ball out quickly and try to make someone miss.
The Roadrunner offensive line is a step down from last year’s group. They’ve allowed an FBS second worst thirteen sacks, but they’ll be facing a front more in line with a CUSA front rather than a Big 12 front.
On Texas State’s half of the ledger, the Bobcat linebackers are the best unit of the bunch. Bryan London, Frankie Griffin, and Hal Vinson are active and disruptive, and Nikolas Daniels is a thumper.
Up front, Ishmael Davis is back in the starting lineup after a couple of weeks on the mend. If healthy, he’s the best player in the front three.
True freshman Jarron Morris starts at corner, don’t get fooled by his 5-9 stature and youth, he’s a baller who’ll come up and pop you. Kordell Rogers gives the Bobcats two good corners. At safety Jashon Waddy is versatile having moved over from corner in fall camp. After not intercepting a pass since 2016, the Bobcat secondary is downright ball hawkish so far in 2018 with three picks including one returned for a touchdown and another fumble picked up and run in last week.
If they can play similarly against UTSA, Texas State has a chance. But then if they don’t score on those turnovers, there’s no guarantee the Bobcat offense will do anything with them.
Texas State and UTSA meet Saturday night on ESPN+.