Game Preview: Arkansas-Pine Bluff

The Bobcats welcome Arkansas Pine Bluff to Bobcat Stadium for the first game of the season. BI has the breakdown of what to expect from UAPB.

Texas State has its work cut out for them, as they face a very confident UAPB squad who is predicted to compete strongly in the SWAC. Led by RS JR QB, Ben Anderson, the Golden Lions offense will give the Bobcats defense the test we are all waiting to see.

UAPB is coming off of a 2-9 season after a plague of various player disqualifications and other distractions. That didn't stop the pre-season recognition from coming in, with five players making the preseason First Team ALL SWAC, on offense and four on defense. The Golden Lions have talent in key positions and could pose some problems for Texas State even though they come from the FCS ranks.

Offensively UAPB averaged 421 yards per game, 166 on the ground and 255 through the air. However, on defense the Golden Lions gave up 40.5 points per game as well as 484.9 yards of total offense. With twelve returning starters (7 on offense and 5 on defense), the Golden Lions have about as much experience as the Bobcats starters. Twelve, 8 on offense and 4 on defense return for Head Coach Dennis Franchione.

Ben Anderson is the senior signal caller for UAPB, and comes into the season already with a nice resume. At 6'2 205-pounds, Anderson has good size, a strong arm and possesses 4.6 speed for when things break down. As a red shirt freshman, Anderson won the SWAC championship and led the Golden Lions to their first ten win season. Anderson ended last season with 3,611 yards of total offense, rushing for 824 yards on 183 carries with nine TDs, while passing for 2,787 yards, completing 58.8% of his passes, with 19 TDs and 11 INTs. Anderson is the Preseason Offensive Player of the year for the SWAC and is obviously expected to have a good season.

Side note: Anderson's worst game last season, by far, was against Coach Thompson's defense at Arkansas State. The Red Wolves got to him sacking him six times and holding him to 166 yards passing and -11 rushing.

LB Antonio Jenkins will lead the defense, and serves as the defensive captain for the Golden Lions. Jenkins finished last season with 94 tackles including six TFL.

With a stable of running backs and several other key weapons on offense the Bobcats will face a defense, who gave up just over 40 points per game a season ago, and look to wear them down over the course of the game. The no huddle strategy will test the Golden Lions to see where they stand against a no-huddle offense.

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