Texas State Nuts and Bolts

Joe Yeager shares his thoughts from the Texas State game.

First Play: With Javon Bell surprisingly in the starting lineup, and a Texas State defense ignorant of his abilities playing him tight, Seth Doege reflexively called Bell's number on a fly pattern. Bell beat the corner who then committed pass interference to prevent a touchdown.

 

Expect to see this sequence play out for the remainder of the season. Press coverage on Bell is an automatic trigger for him to go deep and Doege to look his way. Eventually, the Doege/Bell combo will compel defenses to go very heavy with zone packages. A schematic victory for Tech.

 

Air Force: Eric Ward's absence from the lineup because of an injury may have been a blessing in disguise for the Tech offense. With Ward inactive, Darin Moore and Javon Bell started on the outside, and Tyson Williams and Jace Amaro started on the inside. One could argue that this is the best group of receivers Tech can put on the field. Moore, Bell and Amaro all present severe matchup problems, while the tandem of Amaro and Williams boosts the physicality of the Red Raider offense tremendously.

 

And then you throw the likes of Jakeem Grant, Bradley Marquez, Eric Ward (eventually), Marcus Kennard and Alex Torres into the mix. It's almost unfair.

 

Hands of Glue: The Red Raiders have played two games, thrown 91 passes and to my recollection there has not been a single, indisputable dropped pass. Tech's receivers are not only making the spectacular plays, they're making the routine ones as well. And it is the latter that are more important.

 

Gold Medal Performance by Offense: After the fact, one might write off the 51 points and 591 points Tech rang up by noting that the opponent was "just" Texas State. But the Bobcat defense may not be as shabby as you think. TSU held the Houston offense to 13 points and 326 total yards. A week later the Cougars put up 693 total yards and 49 points against a Louisiana Tech outfit that many football mavens respect. This Red Raider performance may be even better than you think.

 

Three-point Stance: Tech's offense rarely misfired in San Marcos, but one instance of sputtering came in the fourth quarter with the Red Raiders threatening near the Bobcat goal line. Tech's line hunkered down in a three-point stance on first and second down. On first down Michael Brewer threw an incomplete fade, and on second SaDale Foster was dropped for a three-yard loss. The idea was good; the execution was not.

 

Practically Flawless: After missing his first three pass attempts, Seth Doege connected on 25 of 29 throws. That is a completion rate of 86 percent.

 

Putting His Bid in Early: Senior safety Cody Davis had an outstanding season opener against Northwestern State and followed it up with a four-tackle performance against Texas State that was highlighted by an 88-yard interception return for a touchdown. If Davis can keep this up, he's a cinch for All Big 12 honors and maybe much more.

 

Still Much Room for Improvement: Tech's defense had a pretty good outing against Texas State. The Bobcats scored only 10 points and collected a modest 270 yards of total offense. What's more, the defense snagged its first two turnovers of the season. Still, this group didn't play lights out.

 

There were several missed tackles by linebackers, and much over pursuit on the option. Moreover, Sam Eguavoen was beaten badly for Texas State's lone touchdown. There will be plenty of material on film that Art Kaufman can use to get the attention of his players, that's for sure.

 

Bad Call/Great Call: I had no objection to Tech going for it on 4th-and-one from their own 49 yard line on the Red Raiders' first possession. I did object to that dipsy-do reverse that Javon Bell fumbled. The entire playbook was open to Neal Brown in that situation. No need whatsoever for a high-risk play that could easily go awry and put the team in a bind to start the game.

 

Far better was a call on Tech's fourth possession with the Red Raiders leading 21-0, but facing a 3rd-and-six from their own six. The Bobcats dropped into coverage expecting Seth Doege to sling it, but instead he tucked the pig into Eric Stephens midriff on a draw play that went for 46 yards. The Red Raiders would later score a touchdown on the drive, extending their lead to 28 points and effectively icing the game. It was the perfect call at the perfect time.


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