AState at Texas State Preview

This one is all about post-season positioning. Texas State is trying to get to bowl eligible status while Arkansas State, already eligible, is trying to improve its post-season chances. There is also the extra attraction of former Red Wolves staffers John Thompson and Brad Bedell on the Texas State staff.

Thompson is an A-State legend after leading the team to consecutive bowl victories as interim coach. A-State, coming off a shocking home loss to Appalachian State, wants to finish strong with two victories to improve its chances of securing a bowl game

The Bobcats (5-5, 3-3 Sun Belt.)

Schedule: UAPB 65-0; Navy, L 35-21; at Illinois, L42-35; at Tulsa, W 37-34; Idaho W 35-30; ULL, L 34-10; at ULM, W 22-18; at NM State, W 37-29; Ga. Southern, L 28-25; at So. Alabama, L 24-20.

Coming off a 28-25 road loss at South Alabama, Texas State looks to even its home record to 3-3 vs. the Red Wolves. Texas State’s three losses were against Georgia Southern, UL Lafayette, and Navy. They defeated UAPB and Idaho.

Texas State has a potent offense, averaging 440.4 yards per game and a creative defense under Thompson.

The Cats forced a season-high 4 turnovers vs. USA after holding Georgia Southern to season-lows in total and rushing yardage. The Bobcats forced three fumbles and intercepted a pass against the Jaguars. Texas State also held Georgia Southern to just 227 yards rushing and 268 total yards.

QB Tyler Jones enters Thursday night’s game having passed for 300 yards in each of the last two games and three times this season. He completed 25 of 42 passes for 300 yards and a touchdown with no interceptions at South Alabama. He also passed for 302 yards against Georgia Southern and a career-best 337 yards against Illinois.

Brandon Smith leads Texas State’s wide receivers with 28 catches for 318 yards and a touchdown. Smith caught 13 passes for 183 yards in the last two games against Georgia Southern and South Alabama.

Arkansas State

The Red Wolves need one more victory to secure a winning record for the fourth consecutive season, just the fifth time since joining the FBS in 1992. With a 4-2 Sun Belt record, A-State needs one more league win to secure a winning SBC record for the seventh season, including the last four in a row. The Red Wolves, 34-15 overall and 34-15 in league play the last four seasons, have won 12 of their last 14 conference road games dating back to 2011. . . A-State stands 34-15 over the last four seasons. A-State stands 12-2 over its last 14 games in November.

The Red Wolves have scored at least 30 points in 31 of its last 45 regular-season games, including the last five in a row

Thinned by injuries, A-State has 17 players who have made their first career start this season. A-State has used six different offensive starting lineups and a different defensive starting lineup in all 10 games

A-State has outscored seven opponents in the fourth quarter this season. The Red Wolves had two fumble recoveries vs. Appalachian State, giving them at least one in three consecutive games and 11 for the season.

The fumble recoveries gave A-State 14 turnovers gained over the last three games and 24 for the season.

Senior LB Qushaun Lee took over fifth place for career-tackles on Sun Belt list with 357. He is six shy of former A-State safety Tyrell Johnson’s career total, which ranks fourth. Junior QB Fredi Knighten has recorded a career-high four touchdowns responsible for three times this season, He has 15 touchdown passes this season, which is tied for the sixth most in school history.