FACTS & STATS: Site: Bobcat Stadium (30,00) — San Marcos, Texas.
Television: ESPN U. Home Record: ASU 4-1, TSU 2-3. Away Record: ASU 2-3, TSU
3-2. Neutral Record: ASU 0-0, TSU 0-0. Conference Record: ASU 4-2, TSU 3-3.
Series Record: Arkansas State leads, 1-0.
GAME NOTES: The Texas State Bobcats play their final home game of the season
on Thursday night, as they host the Arkansas State Red Wolves in a Sun Belt
Conference clash at Bobcat Stadium.
An even .500 on the campaign with two games to play, the Bobcats have dropped
back-to-back outings after winning two in a row. The squad was in action last
Saturday versus South Alabama, and suffered a 24-20 setback at Ladd-Peebles
Stadium. The final game of the regular season for TSU finds the squad taking
on Georgia State in Atlanta next weekend.
As for Arkansas State, which entered the week tied with Appalachian State for
third place in the SBC standings at 4-2, it had a two-game win streak snapped
last weekend when the aforementioned Mountaineers captured a 37-32 victory in
After this contest the last remaining regular-season outing for the Red Wolves
is a host gig against New Mexico State on Nov. 29.
Arkansas State won the only previous meeting between these two programs.
Against the Mountaineers at home, ASU led 13-0 in the first minute of the
second quarter, but then watched the visitors register 31 unanswered points en
route to the road win. Quarterback Fredi Knighten tried to give the Red Wolves
a fighting chance as he converted half of his 28 pass attempts for 147 yards
and three touchdowns, adding a fourth score on the ground, but it wasn’t
While the ASU ground game was generating a modest 167 yards on 30 attempts,
the defense was watching Marcus Cox run for 229 yards and two touchdowns all
by himself as APSU produced 294 yards and three scores on 63 attempts. Gage
Sharp tried to stop some of the bleeding as he recorded a game-high 13
tackles, of which 11 were solo, while Qushaun Lee added another 11 tackles as
the unit came up with just a single sack, but seven stops for loss.
On the season, Lee is second in overall tackles with 74, but more importantly
he has become the top ball-hawk for the unit with not only four interceptions,
but also a pair of forced fumbles and one recovery for a program that is tied
for 18th nationally in turnovers with a plus-0.70 per contest.
Unfortunately, taking some of the luster away from the turnover advantage that
ASU generally enjoys, is the fact that the Red Wolves are one of the more
penalized teams in the nation with 7.70 flags per contest, leading to 67.7
ypg of lost field position.
On the offensive side Knighten, one of just seven players to have attempted a
pass this year, has converted 61.9 percent of his attempts for 221.2 ypg and
15 TDs, against only four interceptions. Knighten is second in rushing with
582 yards and nine scorers, trailing only Michael Gordon who has 844 yards and
10 TDs in eight appearances.
Similar to Arkansas State, the Bobcats also held a double-digit lead in the
second quarter in their last outing versus South Alabama, but it too failed to
hold up in the end as the offense dried up for TSU. Quarterback Tyler Jones
converted 25-of-43 passes for an even 300 yards and a score as he shook off
three sacks, while Robert Lowe contributed a game-high 76 yards and a TD on 16
rushing attempts during the road test.
The defense forced four turnovers, coming up with three fumble recoveries and
an interception that was returned 46 yards by David Mims II, but still that
wasn’t enough to get the Bobcats back into the win column. Again, like ASU the
Bobcats are also on the positive side of turnovers to this point in the
campaign, averaging plus-0.40 per contest.
Mims now has three picks, which is second to Germond Williams who has grabbed
four balls thrown by opposing signal callers. The team as a whole has 10 INTs,
but unlike the competition which has scored twice on interceptions, the
Bobcats have yet to find the end zone.
Jones is averaging 221.1 ypg through the air while completing 64.0 percent of
his attempts, leading to 18 scores and only seven interceptions. While his
favorite target may be Bradley Miller with 39 catches for 401 yards, the
receiver has only a single score to his credit. In three fewer games, Jafus
Gaines has managed to find the end zone four times on only 22 grabs.
Even though the Red Wolves are out on the road for this one, the odds are
still in their favor due mostly to the fact that the Texas State defense tends
to be quite forgiving.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Arkansas State 31, Texas State 24