It’s a battle of Sun Belt opponents having different seasons in the Razorback State. The Texas State Bobcats are on the road as they travel to face the Arkansas State Red Wolves Saturday afternoon. Texas State dropped its second straight and eighth in the last nine games as they fell 33-30 at home to Georgia State last Saturday. Arkansas State had their four-game win streak stopped with a 24-19 road loss to South Alabama last Saturday. The Red Wolves have won three of the four previous meetings, including a 36-14 road win in the last matchup on December 3, 2016.
Texas State Bobcats Try to Ruin Arkansas State’s Conference Title Hopes
Texas State battled to the end but came up three points short against Georgia State. The Bobcats dropped to 1-5 in Sun Belt play with the loss and will try to deal Arkansas State a crippling blow to their Sun Belt title hopes. Texas State took a 30-26 lead with just over eight minutes to play but gave up the winning touchdown with 6:01 to go and couldn’t recover. The Bobcats were outgained 530-390 though they did have a 23-21 advantage in first downs and won the turnover battle by a two to one margin. When the game was on the line, however, the Bobcats couldn’t make the grade.
The Bobcats are 73rd in the FBS with 221.8 passing yards per contest and 95th in rushing with an average of 137.1 yards per game. Texas State is a miserable 120th in scoring offense with 18.6 points a contest and 94th in scoring defense as they allow 31.1 points per game. Damian Williams has completed 174 of 293 passes for 1,822 yards with 11 touchdowns against seven picks while adding 110 yards and four scores on the ground. Willie Jones III is 16 of 31 for 270 yards with an interception while adding 141 rushing yards. Robert Brown Jr. has 66 carries for 228 rushing yards while Anthony D. Taylor contributes 94 carries for a team-high 405 yards and a score. Elijah King (44 receptions, 612 yards, three TD) and Tyler Watts (38 grabs, 317 yards, two TD) are the top targets in the passing game. James Sherman has hit all six extra point attempts and five of seven field goal attempts with a long of 38 yards. Foster Hilborn is 15 of 16 on extra points and four of six on field goals with a long of 37.
Arkansas State Red Wolves Seek to Rebound
Arkansas State saw their four game win streak snapped with the loss last week at South Alabama. With the defeat, the Red Wolves dropped to 4-1 in the Sun Belt, half a game behind Troy, Georgia State, and Appalachian State, all of whom are 5-1. Arkansas State trailed 10-0 after the opening quarter and, after cutting the deficit to five, turned the ball over on its final two drives, including one at the South Alabama one yard line. The Red Wolves had a 365-340 edge in total offense and a 23-18 advantage in first downs. They lost time of possession 33:00 to 27:00 and were burned by six turnovers in the contest while forcing just one takeaway.
The Red Wolves enter this contest 11th in the FBS in passing offense with 320.3 yards per game through the air and 101st in rushing offense with 133 yards per contest. Arkansas State is 16th in the nation in scoring offense with 37.8 points per contest and tied for 34th in scoring defense by allowing 22.5 points per game. Justice Hansen is 197 of 309 passing for 2,444 yards with 27 touchdowns against 11 interceptions while adding 296 yards and a score on the ground. Logan Bonner is nine of 21 passing for 70 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Warren Wand is the leader in the ground game with 56 carries for 306 yards plus four scores. Jamal Jones (43 carries, 197 yards) and Johnston White (56 carries, 232 yards, two TD) are next in line should Wand go down or need a breather. Chris Murray has 34 receptions for a team-high 470 yards and seven scores. Blake Mack (34 receptions, 455 yards, 6 TD) and Kendrick Edwards (26 grabs, 262 yards, 2 TD) are secondary targets in the passing game. Sawyer Williams is 33 of 37 on extra points and 11 of 15 on field goal attempts with a long of 44 yards.
- Bobcats are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games in November
- Bobcats are 1-9 ATS in their last 10 games following an ATS win
- Red Wolves are 8-0 ATS in their last 8 home games
- Red Wolves are 7-0 ATS in their last 7 home games vs. a team with a losing road record
- Red Wolves are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games after accumulating more than 280 yards passing in their previous game
Texas State has played terrible this season and in the games, they have a shot in, they inevitably find a way to let it slip away. Arkansas State is going to be fired up and ready for revenge after falling to South Alabama to create a logjam atop the Sun Belt standings. The Red Wolves are at home here, where they are 3-0 this season, while Texas State is 1-3 as the visiting team. That should be more than enough to propel Arkansas State to an easy win here.