2022 Texas St. Bobcats Preview

by Matt Fargo

Texas St. Bobcats

2021-22 Season Record 4-8 (3-5 SBC West) - 7-5-0 ATS -5-7-0 O/U

Returning Starters

Offense - 10
Defense - 6

Overview

Texas St. joined the FBS ranks in 2012 under head coach Dennis Franchione for a one year stint in the WAC before going to the Sun Belt Conference in 2013 where it posted a 13-11 record in the first two years but it has been all downhill since. The Bobcats have endured seven straight losing seasons, compiling a 19-65 record over that stretch and is still seeking the first bowl game for the program. Current head coach Jake Spavital is entering his fourth season and while a 4-8 record last year is hardly a big move, it was the best record over the past seven years and can provide some necessary confidence to a team in dire need of something positive. Texas St. returns 16 starters and has a No. 23 returning production ranking including No. 7 on offense where some big steps forward are expected. This could be the make or break year for Spavital as he leans on a veteran group.

Offense

The offense regressed slightly from 2020 which really did not make a difference as it was terrible to begin with and finished No. 104 in total offense and No. 101 in scoring offense. The running game was inconsistent, the passing game was nonexistent but they did avoid turning the ball over too much with 19 giveaways including just one over the last four games. Quarterback Brady McBride was not the answer and he left for Appalachian St. and it will be up to a trio of potential starters to take hold of the job led by Arkansas St. transfer Layne Hatcher who was not very good on a very bad team last season but this offense can fit his style. The backup from last season Ty Evans is also in the mix. The receiving corps is solidified with Javan Banks and Marcell Barbee combining for 1,068 yards and 10 touchdowns. The running game will have to step up and an experienced offensive line will help. 

Defense

The defense improved by over 60 ypg and five ppg but it was still bad as the Bobcats finished No. 106 in total defense and No. 109 in scoring defense. There are good core pieces in place but nothing stands out to provide any glimpse of significant improvement heading into the season. The Bobcats finished with only 18 sacks which was tied for No. 112 in the nation so a stronger pass rush is vital. Issiah Nixon led the team with four sacks and he returns in a hybrid role which means the defensive ends will have to step up and create pressure. The linebackers are the strength of the defense with Sione Tupou and London Harris combining for 108 tackles but need to do more behind the line. Texas St. had only 11 takeaways, which was No. 118 in the country, and that included just three interceptions, second fewest in the nation so the secondary needs to make plays happen.

2022 Season Outlook

There has been progress made in San Marcos but it has been very little and with so many teams in the Sun Belt Conference having taken a step up at some point over the last decade, the Bobcats have been unable to do so after a promising start in their first two seasons here. However, this is the first time in a while that there are expectations to improve even more and if things can go their way, the first ever bowl game is within reach. The nonconference schedule is in their favor as aside from a trip to Baylor, the three other games against Nevada, Florida International and Houston Baptist are all winnable. Conference action starts on the road at newcomer James Madison which is part of a tame road slate as they get Appalachian St. and UL-Lafayette at home. The O/U win total is set at 5 and playing seven teams that had losing records, avoiding any devastating losses is paramount.  

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

© 2022 Al McMordie's BigAl.com. All Rights Reserved.