Texas State: A Numerical Perspective

Navy’s next opponent, Texas State, is very much a mystery. The Bobcats have played only one game this season, not two, and that game came against a lower-tier FCS opponent with very few resources and credentials, Arkansas Pine-Bluff. The team Navy sees this Saturday in San Marcos, Texas, should be motivated. That’s the bad news. The good news? The Bobcats don’t know what to expect of themselves.


THE TEXAS STATE BOBCATS: A NUMERICAL PERSPECTIVE

Texas State is trying to discover just where it fits in the college football world. It’s been hard for the Bobcats and coach Dennis Franchione to find clear answers the past few seasons. Franchione, whom Vanderbilt fans know well as the former head coach of Alabama, took over the Texas State program in 2011, the year before the Bobcats made the leap from the FCS to the FBS. In 2012, Texas State played in the Western Athletic Conference, only to see the WAC die and give way to an FBS with 10 conferences instead of 11. Texas State moved to the Sun Belt last season and finished a respectable 6-6. (More on that later.) The Bobcats are still getting used to their new home – the FBS – and its many rooms (aka, conferences). This game with Navy is an opportunity for the Bobcats to show what they’re made of. Yet, Texas State’s problem is that a lack of robust competition might mean that the Bobcats won’t be made of tough and resistant material… especially in the face of Navy’s triple-option offense.

Here’s a statistical evaluation of Texas State last season, keeping in mind that the Bobcats really haven’t accumulated much of a profile to this point in the 2014 season:

SITUATIONAL WIN-LOSS RECORDS IN 2013 (FBS ONLY)

Record when having more first downs than an opponent: 1-2.

Fewer: 3-4.

Statistical tie in this category (differential of zero): 1-0.

Record when having more yards than an opponent: 3-1.

Fewer: 2-5.

Record when having more rushing yards than an opponent: 4-2.

Fewer: 1-4.

Record when having more passing yards than an opponent: 1-2.

Fewer: 4-4.

Record when having more penalties than an opponent: 3-2.

Fewer: 2-4.

Record when having more turnovers than an opponent: 0-3.

Fewer: 3-1.

Statistical tie: 2-2.

Record when having more time of possession than an opponent: 4-3.

Less time of possession: 1-3.

BALL SECURITY AND FUMBLE LUCK.

Fumbles in 2013: 16.

Fumbles lost: only 6.

Interceptions thrown: 11.

TAKEAWAYS ON DEFENSE

Defensive fumbles recovered: 8 recoveries of 13 fumbles by opponents.

Interceptions made: 11.

ADDED NOTES: TEXAS STATE IN 2013

-- The Bobcats might have finished 6-6, but they were generally outclassed by most Sun Belt Conference opponents. They pulled off a 33-31 upset of South Alabama but did nothing else of consequence in the league, beating 0-12 Georgia State for their only other conference victory.

-- Texas State’s best performance in 2013 was its 42-21 win over a Wyoming team that entered the game with a 3-1 record at the time. Wyoming’s offense had been averaging 556 yards per game, and Cowboy quarterback Brett Smith had been averaging 403 total yards per contest. The Bobcats’ defense limited Wyoming to 356 total yards, 200 under their average at the time, and Smith was held to 292 total yards without a rushing or passing touchdown. Wyoming scored only once in the final 33 minutes of the game. Texas State controlled the ball for 37 minutes and 54 seconds, a stat Navy has likely examined in its survey of Texas State’s 2013 season. Texas State rushed for 256 yards against Wyoming, which is why it was able to keep the ball away from the Cowboys’ high-powered offense. The Bobcats will seek to establish that same formula against Navy.

-- Texas State’s non-conference wins last season came generally against the cream puffs and tomato cans of the college football world: Aside from the win over Wyoming, the Bobcats defeated an FCS team, Southern Mississippi, and Idaho.

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