Texas State Bobcats: CFN College Football Preview 2021

·9 min read

College Football News Preview 2021: Previewing, predicting, and looking ahead to the Texas State season with what you need to know.

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– What You Need To Know: Offense | Defense
Top Players | Keys To The Season
What Will Happen, Win Total Prediction
Texas State Schedule Analysis
– Texas State Bobcats Previews
2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015

2020 Record: 2-10 overall, 2-6 in Sun Belt
Head Coach: Jake Spavital, 3rd year, 5-19
2020 CFN Final Ranking: 111
2020 CFN Preview Ranking: 121
2019 CFN Final Ranking: 114

Texas State Bobcats College Football Preview 2021: Offense

The offense started to work. The Bobcat attack that struggled to get to 221 points in 2019 hit the 300 point mark for the first time since 2015, scoring 332 points averaging 28 and 370 points per game. The passing attack improved, but the ground game could use more work with ten starters expected back.

The Bobcats played around with the quarterback situation a bit last year. Tyler Vitt and Brady McBride combined to throw for close to 2,900 yards with 26 touchdown passes and 13 interceptions, but on the way is Ty Evans from NC State to provide a push. McBride was the best option as last year went on, but it’ll be a battle for the gig.

The big plays should be there for the passing game, starting with junior Marcell Barbee, who caught 584 yards and ten scores averaging 14.6 yards per catch.

Jah’Marae Sheread entered the transfer portal after finishing third on the team in receptions, and second-leading target Jeremiah Haydel is done, but a whole lot of parts are coming in from the portal to help right away.

The offensive line gets four starters back and brings in a ton of parts from the transfer portal. The tackle combination of Russell Baker and Dalton Cooper were good enough to get All-Sun Belt recognition, but the group has to be better for the ground attack.

Leading rusher Brock Sturges is back after running for 532 yards and five scores, but smallish-speedy Calvin Hill who ran for 528 yards and five scores averaging over five yards per carry. 200-pound former Oklahoma State transfer Jahmyl Jeter adds even more pop to the mix.

– What You Need To Know: Defense
Top Players | Keys To The Season
What Will Happen, Win Total Prediction
Texas State Schedule Analysis

NEXT: Texas State Bobcats College Football Preview 2021: Defense

Texas State Bobcats College Football Preview 2021: Defense

The offense made a slew of improvements and was a whole lot of fun. The defense? Well … the offense was better. The Bobcats were last in the Sun Belt allowing 495 yards and 38 points per game, getting run over way too easily and giving up 279 passing yards an outing.

Like the offensive side, there’s plenty of experience coming back, but the transfer portal is playing a massive role to upgrade the talent and depth.

The defensive front three has a good tackle in Nico Ezidore, but the size is on the nose the 315-pound Gjemar Daniels. Ezidore is the team’s best pass rusher from his tackle spot, but Texas Tech transfer Nick McCann will bring some help.

The linebacking corps loses Hal Vinson to FIU, but Sione Tupou is a big battler on the inside who made 64 stops, but a more help has to rise up on the outside.

Four of the five starters are expected back in the secondary led by Corner Jarron Morris, a Sun Belt all-star who led the team with four interceptions with 69 tackles and 11 broken up passes.

Second-leading tackler Brendon Luper isn’t on the roster – expected to transfer out – but Kevin Anderson and Zion Childress made a whole lot of plays at safety.

– What You Need To Know: Offense
Top Players | Keys To The Season
What Will Happen, Win Total Prediction
Texas State Schedule Analysis

NEXT: Texas State Bobcats College Football Preview 2021: Top Players

Texas State Bobcats College Football Preview 2021: Top Players

Best Texas State Bobcats Offensive Player

WR Marcell Barbee, Jr.
The 6-2, 192-pounder came in from the JUCO ranks and turned into one of the most dangerous weapons in the Sun Belt. Barbee tied for the team lead with 40 catches, but ten of them went for touchdowns.

He didn’t do anything in the opener, and he didn’t hit 80 yards receiving, but he was consistent enough to be the team’s best downfield threat.

2. OT Dalton Cooper, RFr.
3. WR Javen Banks, Jr.
4. OT Russell Baker, Jr.
5. QB Brady McBride, Soph.

Related

Texas State Football Schedule 2021

Best Texas State Bobcats Defensive Player

CB Jarron Morris, Jr.
He’s only 5-9 and 158 pounds, but one of the toughest ballers around. The corner came up with 63 tackles and two picks as a sophomore, and last year he took his game up a few notches with a team-high 69 stops with four interceptions and 11 broken up passes.

2. DT Nico Ezidore, Jr.
3. LB Sione Tupou, Jr.
4. S DeJordan Mask, Soph.
5. S Zion Childress, RFr.

Top Incoming Texas State Bobcats Transfer

QB Ty Evans, RFr.
The Bobcats already have decent quarterback options, and there are a bazillion transfers to choose from both from the portal and the JUCO ranks, but Evans could be the biggest difference-maker if he turns into the main man to run the attack.

The NC State transfer has 6-3, 215-pound size and can get the ball all over the field. He’s not going to run much, but he’ll stretch out the passing game.

– What You Need To Know: Offense | Defense
Keys To The Season
What Will Happen, Win Total Prediction
Texas State Schedule Analysis

NEXT: Texas State Bobcats College Football Preview 2021: Keys To The Season

Texas State Bobcats College Football Preview 2021: Keys To The Season

Texas State Bobcats Biggest Key: Offense

The offensive line has to be better. The skill parts are there, the yards will come, and there should be more explosion, but the attack has to do a better job of winning on third downs. That starts with giving everyone more time to work.

The Bobcats have size and experience up front, but the line allowed 27 sacks on the year and 7.4 tackles for loss per game. The ground attack has the backs, but the team averaged a mere 131 yards per game.

Texas State Bobcats Biggest Key: Defense

Get pressure from somewhere other than the defensive interior. The Bobcats had a whole lot of problems on D – they finished last in the Sun Belt – and the changes have to come from the front six trying to get behind the line.

Nico Ezidore did his part, but he’s a tackle. He came up with a team-high 3.5 of the mere 12 sacks, and he generated 13 of the mere 53 tackles for loss.

The rest of the line isn’t going to do too much, but that means the outside linebackers and even the defensive backs have to be more disruptive.

That means …

Texas State Bobcats Key Player To A Successful Season

LB London Harris, Jr.
With Hal Vinson gone to FIU, Harris – or one of the other outside linebacking options – has to rise up and be more disruptive.

He didn’t do too much over his first two seasons, but the 6-2, 220-pounder worked on the outside in his first junior campaign and was fine. The 41 tackles in the rotation were nice, but there was only one sack and 1.5 tackles for loss.

Texas State Bobcats Key Game To The 2021 Season

South Alabama, Oct. 9
It’s one of those measuring stick games that Texas State will deal with all throughout the Sun Belt season. There were several good fights and nice performances in losses last year, but the 30-20 loss at South Alabama wasn’t okay.

This time around, the Bobcats open the Sun Belt season up against the Jaguars after getting a week off. There are other winnable home dates against Troy and ULM to play, but the road games are a bear.

Lose, and there’s no realistic hope of pushing for a winning conference season.

Texas State Bobcats Schedule Breakdown & Analysis

2020 Texas State Bobcats Fun Stats

– Penalties: Opponents 84 for 794 yards – Texas State 62 for 597 yards
– Sacks: Opponents 27 for 202 yards – Texas State 12 for 72 yards
– Field Goals: Opponents 18-of-23 – Texas State 9-of-12

NEXT: Texas State Bobcats College Football Preview 2021: What Will Happen, Season Prediction

Texas State Bobcats College Football Preview 2021: What Will Happen, Season Prediction

Is this the Sun Belt team we’re all missing?

Last year that was Coastal Carolina – who looked like it had a too-tough schedule and was probably going to struggle a bit – and then it ripped through everything in its path.

Texas State has the experience with 18 starters back along with a great kicking game, and it has an interesting coaching staff that should be able to create ways to finally start winning.

Yeah, head man Jake Spavital and his team went 2-10 last year, but four of the defeats were by a touchdown or less, the offense was a whole lot stronger than in previous seasons, and now there’s hope to be more than just competitive.

Set The Texas State Bobcats Regular Season Win Total At … 5

Recruiting … whatever. Spavital loaded up with JUCO transfers and a TON of help from the portal, so now there’s more mature depth, options, and potential starters to push the established veterans.

Now the Bobcats have to be on the right side of the close games.

If this is going to be any sort of a good year, they have to beat Incarnate Word, South Alabama and ULM at home. Start with a base of three wins, hope to pull off a victory on the road against FIU and/or Eastern Michigan, and come up with an upset somewhere else.

And that’s a problem.

Georgia State, Louisiana, Coastal Carolina and Arkansas State are all going to be issues on the road, and Georgia Southern at home isn’t easy.

Texas State, though, is ready to make a big jump, though. At the very least it’ll be an entertaining ride.

– What You Need To Know: Offense | Defense
Top Players | Keys To The Season
Texas State Schedule Analysis