By Bret Strelow | App State Athletics
SAN MARCOS, Texas —
In early September, after enjoying in entrance of a sellout crowd at residence, App State traveled to Texas A&M.
It is early October, and after enjoying in entrance of three extra sellout crowds at residence, App State is touring to Texas State.
A win towards the sixth-ranked Aggies was memorable, however that is historical historical past, particularly with the Solar Belt Convention standings being affected by the end result of this weekend’s matchup.
App State’s pursuit of a convention title continues Saturday towards the Bobcats, with kickoff for the ESPN+ sport scheduled for 7 p.m. ET (or 6 p.m. in San Marcos). The present forecast requires a temperature of 88 levels and partly cloudy circumstances at the beginning of the sport.
By advantage of a scheduling quirk, the Mountaineers (3-2, 1-1) will enter mid-October having performed solely in Boone or the state of Texas.
“It is going to be an enormous deal for us to be on the highway,” App State head coach Shawn Clark stated. “We love enjoying at residence with three residence video games in a row, three sold-out crowds, however to get on the highway, you go to the airport, you fly out, you get to the resort, and also you go from dinner to conferences to your resort room with an opportunity to calm down. We’ll stand up Saturday morning, have breakfast and be capable to return to your resort room, watch School GameDay and get into our pregame ritual.
“It is going to be good for everybody in our program to be on the highway once more and to have that camaraderie and have somewhat enjoyable. Enjoying The Citadel, we had enjoyable as a soccer staff — offense, protection and particular groups — and that was good to see.”
Every of App State’s first two league video games ended with a 32-28 rating, because the Mountaineers beat Troy on a Hail Mary cross after which had been unable to construct on a 28-3 lead towards James Madison. As a first-year FBS member, the Dukes are ineligible for postseason play, so App State can nonetheless accomplish its main targets, like claiming an East Division title and profitable the Solar Belt championship.
Texas State, like Troy, is within the Solar Belt’s West Division. With an improved protection and extra balanced offense, the Bobcats (2-3, 0-1) opened head coach Jake Spavital’s fourth season with a 38-14 loss at Nevada and adopted a 41-12 residence win towards FIU with a 42-7 loss at No. 17 Baylor. Texas State received 34-0 towards Houston Christian and dedicated 4 turnovers in a 40-13 loss at JMU to open Solar Belt play.
Layne Hatcher, who performed towards App State as an Arkansas State quarterback in 2019, 2020 and 2021, has averaged 241.4 passing yards per sport in his first 5 video games for Texas State. He has thrown 11 touchdowns and 6 interceptions, with 5-foot-10, 170-pound receiver Ashtyn Hawkins’ 37 catches (at 9.0 yards per catch) giving him 24 greater than the second-highest whole on the staff.
Clark referred to as 5-8, 185-pound Calvin Hill (61.5 dashing yards per sport, 4.5 yards per carry) one of many high backs within the Solar Belt, whereas Lincoln Pare (44.8 yards per sport, 4.6 yards per carry) is one other Arkansas State switch. He led the Crimson Wolves in dashing final season.
After averaging 27.3 dashing makes an attempt per sport in Spavital’s first season, the common elevated to 31.0 in 2020 and 36.8 in 2021.
“They’re multi-dimensional,” stated Clark, who considers Spavital a great pal. “They’ll run it. They’ll throw it. Jake does a great job of spreading the soccer out and making you cowl the entire subject. … He has been the top coach there for 4 years, and yearly he is been there, they’ve run the ball increasingly more.”
App State is coming off its first defensive shutout for the reason that 2017 postseason and its seventh shutout on the FBS stage — the fifth-highest whole within the nation since 2014, behind simply Alabama’s 12, Georgia’s 11, Wisconsin’s 10 and Clemson’s eight. KeSean Brown, Tyler Chicken, Andrew Parker, Steven Jones Jr., Nick Hampton, Logan Doublin, Kevon Haigler and Donovan Spellman all had stops behind the road of scrimmage within the 49-0 victory.
App State’s offense bounced again from a quiet second half towards JMU to attain touchdowns on seven of 10 possessions towards The Citadel.
After throwing 4 landing passes (and scoring on a TD run) towards the Bulldogs, Chase Brice is one among solely 4 FBS quarterbacks with at the very least 15 landing passes and fewer than three interceptions. The opposite quarterbacks on that checklist are UNC’s Drake Maye, Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud and Wake Forest’s Sam Hartman.
Texas State’s protection has pressured 9 turnovers this season, and cornerback Kordell Rodgers has accounted for 4 of the protection’s 5 interceptions.
Defensive sort out Levi Bell, a Louisiana Tech switch, leads the staff with 3.5 sacks and seven.5 tackles for loss. Outdoors linebacker and three-year starter Jordan Revels has added 5.5 tackles for loss.
“That is most likely one of many groups in our convention that is probably the most improved on protection,” Clark stated. “They have been capable of get some transfers in and fill some holes the needed to have. They’re a number of on protection and may actually rush the passer. We’ll have our work lower out for us.”