2013 Season Recap
The Good: We've got running backs for days. Seriously. Between Robert Lowe, Chris Nutall, Terrence Franks, and Tim Gay, the running corps put together 170 rushing yards a game. Robert Lowe alone contributed 80 yards per game, second in the conference. The running backs scored most of the offensive touchdowns this year, Lowe himself scoring 60 points. The rushing defense was the best in the conference all season long. The front 7 allowed only 100 yards per game on the ground by week 6. Mayo, McMiller, and Orakpo all linebackers were 3rd, 7th, and 15th in the conference in tackles per game. Texas State arguably had the best rushing defense in the Sun Belt, and were the heart of the defense the entire season. The Bad: Texas State did have some problems of their own this season. The QB situation took about 4 weeks to figure out, then once it was finalized, Tyler Jones broke his throwing hand in the 9th game of the season. QB Jordan Moore left the team mid-season, returned, and now left agin. With senior Tyler Arndt struggling and Duke DeLancellotti not getting a shot until the last game of the season, it was too late. This was undoubtedly the biggest factor in losing the bowl bid, as Texas State was bowl eligible after their 9th game. To compound matters, Texas State didn't have a receiver that broke the top 20 in any Sun Belt category, a response from the inconsistent QB play. Defensively, Texas State played much higher than expected all season, until it counted the most. Against power rush teams, Texas State couldn't compete. Spread offenses were generally unsuccessful against State, but Troy and Lafayette gave them a run for their money through the air. The Future: Coach Fran has found his quarterback. Tyler Jones, a dual threat, highly efficient QB is only a freshman this year. His numbers should only go up, right? That will remain to be seen as the Texas State offense loses three of it's top WR's: Ben Ijah, Isaiah Battle, and Andy Erickson. Tight End Ryan Carden will be the only returning pass catcher as a sophomore. As far as RB's go, there's youth in spades. Lowe and Nutall are both sophomores. Jamel James and Rickey Harper, both freshmen, didn't play hardly at all this year. Tim Gay is coming back for one more season also, so the rushing attack should be full speed ahead next season. We can't leave out C.J. Best, who arrived on campus this fall with much recruiting acclaim, but played sparingly. With the departure of Antonio Andrews from WKU, a case can be made that Texas State has the strongest running back group in the Sun Belt Conference. Defense on the other hand will change drastically. Aaron Matthews, Justin Iwuji, and Xavier Daniels, all starters in the secondary are seniors. Craig Mager is a junior and will be the only returning starter in the secondary. This will be a large test to the coaching staff, bringing on so many new starters. Damion McMiller, second on the team in tackles will graduate as well. Jordan Norfleet will need to be replaced on the line along with Jamie Clavell-Head, Blake McCulloch, and D.J. Yendrey. 7 of the 11 defensive starters are current seniors. Currently the 'Cats have 3 D-line commits and are searching for more. Overall, with the offense so young and the defense so old, roles are certain to change for the future of this program. The offense may find themselves in more shootouts if they want to become bowl eligible again next year. The defense will have to learn to be as strong of a force as it was this past season and will be interesting to see how every new starter performs. This is the beauty of college football.
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