To Throw Or Not To Throw

When the Jaguars of South Alabama come to town on Saturday, make absolutely no mistake about it, the 'Cats are going to have to put the ball in the air. BI goes in depth on the offense having to be balanced.

It seems like everyone throughout BobcatNation is more than aware of Tyler Jones only attempting 12 passes last week against GSU for 47 yards. The win over the Panthers almost feels overshadowed by his passing stat line.

After the game on Saturday, Head Coach Dennis Franchione acknowledged that was the game plan, play conservative, hand off the ball and win with three yards and a cloud of dust. At this week's luncheon he reiterated it.

"We went into Georgia State, feeling like we could beat them if nothing happened like what happened against Monroe. We will have to be more multiple and diverse to beat South Alabama. Bottom line is against Georgia State, we did what we needed to do."

So it worked against GSU, will it again USA, heck no! The Jaguars bring with them the 39th ranked offense in all of FBS. Over 450 yards of offense every time they step on the field. The nation's 31st passing offense throwing for 278 yards a contest.

Points will need to be scored by the offense whether the Texas State defense has the Jaguars locked down or not.

Back to the question, will we see more of an open playbook and more from the arm of Tyler Jones come Saturday evening. Here was Fran's answer mid-week.

"The quarterback in our offense is asked to do a lot. Checking us to the right play, reading the ends or the tackle. On plays when we need to throw the ball, is Tyler capable of that, I think we've seen that. Obviously he had a couple bad throws against Monroe, but 14-of-18 against Wyoming. If we can do that well enough to complement Robert and Chris, then that's when we're going to be at our best."

It's not a blueprint to say that Jones will fling it 50 times, but keeping the South Alabama defense honest and from stacking the line of scrimmage with 8 and 9 defenders would be a huge plus. Robert Lowe and Chris Nutall are already the focal points of defenses facing the 'Cats. So seeing some play action, go or seam routes could open things up tremendously for the young gun slinger. Even with the running backs success on the ground, averaging 186 yards a game, the 'Cats are still only good for 4th in The Sun Belt for rushing offense.

Just as importantt will be the protection from the O-line and the play of his receivers and tight ends. While Andy Erickson and Brad Miller are more intermediate options, Isaiah Battle and Brandon Smith do have the ability to stretch the field. Smith has shown his speed and athleticism on special teams, now would be a great time to see if it carries over onto the offensive side of the ball.

Tyler Jones will only be starting the 5th game of his very young career. Keeping the game plan simple is the 'Cats best option. Would throwing some deep and intermediate routes to compliment a running attack, help. Yes! It could really open things up for an offense and a QB looking for some confidence.

Talk about the Bobcat Offense airing it out or not in our "Cats Den Insider Forum!


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