It’s tough to find positives for the Bobcats after a game like that, but there were a few. Texas State had just one penalty, a false start on Adrian Bellard. That is an exceptional display of discipline if you consider the environment they were in (80,917 reported in attendance). The three times the Bobcats made it into the red-zone, they scored, two touchdowns and a field goal. Their vertical game left much to be desired (we’ll get into that) but they were effective on short yardage plays, especially on plays designed for the tight ends. Four different tight ends made at least one catch, Ryan Carden (three catches, 12 yards), Lawrence White (two catches, 14 yards), Chris French (two catches, 14 yards and a touchdown) and Gabe Schrade (one catch, 11 yards). Head Coach Dennis Franchione went for it five times on fourth down and the Bobcats were successful on three of those attempts. They won the time of possession battle in the first half by one minute and the offense was able to get off 75 plays for the game, two more than FSU’s 73 plays. Outside of our Player of the Game, Lumi Kaba, Connor White had a decent day after subbing in for Tyler Jones when the game was out of reach. He went 10-17 for 68 yards, including a four-yard touchdown pass to TE Chris French. He also had the best yards-per-carry average, gaining 26 yards on three rushes for an 8.7 YPC average. Granted, that was against second and third string players but I imagine FSU backups are just as, if not more so, talented as anybody in the Sun Belt.
Outside of CJ Best, six catches for 43 yards, the receivers had a hard time getting open. They caught 13 passes and gained 91 yards as a unit; nine of those catches and 70 of those yards went to Best and Ryan Garrey (three catches, 27 yards). There has yet to be a No. 1 receiver established amongst this group and none of them separated themselves against the Seminoles. The loss of Brice Gunter may prove more detrimental than expected as this group doesn’t have a ton of size. Justin Gamble did make his first catch as a Bobcat but Kwamane Bowens was robbed of his, as he was called out of bounds when he appeared to get two feet down towards the end of the game.
The offense had a rough night, to say the least. Despite getting more plays than the Seminoles, FSU more than doubled the Bobcats offensive output, 636 to 300 yards. The Seminoles also doubled the Bobcats in rushing, 266 to 132 yards, and had four touchdowns to TXST’s zero. Tyler Jones and Everett Golson each threw 25 passes but, with only three more completions than Jones, Golson tripled Jones’ yardage, 302 to 100 yards, and threw four touchdowns to Jones’ zero. While Jones’ completion percentage wasn’t terrible (16-25, 64%), the fact that he only passed for 100 yards for an average of 6.25 yards-per-completion isn’t great. I don’t feel this is a testament to Jones’ ability as much as it is to the play calling. Jones was off the mark on a handful of attempts but he wasn’t given enough opportunities to throw it deep. He had a 25-yard completion to Chris Nutall in the second quarter but, Nutall was wide open as the defense bit hard on a play-action. That being said, it is tough to open up the playbook when you are only averaging four yards an attempt on the ground.