The 2018 prespring college football rankings, taking the first look at the Texas State Bobcats.
No. 119: Texas State Bobcats
Spring Practice Starts: March 20
Spring Game: April 14
Texas State Prespring Status
It’s been a rough run so far under head coach Everett Withers, going 4-20 in his first two seasons with the win over Ohio in his first game at the helm in 2016 the only reasonably decent victory. The other three came against FCS teams and Coastal Carolina.
There were a few good battles among all of the losses last year, but the offense only scored 207 points, the defense got worse as the season went on, and now this becomes a bit of a pressure-packed Year Three.
There’s hope with the experience returning on offense, a decent core to work around on defense, and the expectations overall way low. However, there’s a shot Texas State becomes one of the biggest surprises of 2018.
Texas State Biggest Depth Chart Battle
Running back. It’s not a lock that Willie Jones takes over the starting quarterback job without at least a little bit of a fight, but he’s the presumptive nominee. The ground game that saw 19 Bobcats registering a carry – and with the offense not going anywhere – needs to be better after finishing 101st in the nation.
The top three running backs – all underclassmen last year – return, starting with leading rusher Anthony Taylor. He only finished with 436 yards and two scores.
Texas State Biggest Issue
The offensive line has to be a LOT better. The mobile quarterbacks took a few too many sacks and plays behind the line, but the porous O line had a lot to do with the problems. The Bobcats allowed the second-most tackles for loss in the nation – giving up over nine per game – and struggled in pass protection. Fortunately, all five starters are back from a very, very young group that went through the growing pains. Now the payoff has to come.
Texas State Biggest Positive
Defensive experience. There might have been a whole lot of defensive issues, and the secondary has to be far better, but at least the veterans are there to hope for a big improvement.
LB Gabe Loyd is done, but leading tackler Bryan London is back after a monster season at one of the other inside linebacker spots. Six of the top seven tacklers, and eight of the top nine defenders are back.
Really, Why Are The Texas State Bobcats Ranked Here?
It’s hard to assume a huge jump after two abysmal years, but Withers is a brilliant recruiter and an accomplished coach who had to tear this whole thing down before trying to turn the program into a true player.
With some of the best recruiting classes in the Sun Belt over the last few years, and with a commitment to youth so far, there should be a decent jump – but it starts with a strong spring.