Texas State won’t travel too far for its ESPN BracketBusters game this year and knows its opponent pretty well to boot.
Last year, the Bobcats went 1,006 miles north to play the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, S.D. Texas State beat the Jackrabbits, 93-92.
On Feb. 23, the Bobcats board the bus and head east on IH-10 to face Lamar. Texas State and the Cardinals were opponents in the Southland Conference until the Bobcats left for the Western Athletic Conference last July.
Lamar holds the all-time series advantage over Texas State, 29-27. The Cardinals handed the Bobcats an 81-65 loss last year in San Marcos.
Things haven’t gone too well for Lamar in 2012-13. One year after making the NCAA Tournament, the Cardinals are 2-20 overall and 0-10 in the SLC. Lamar’s two wins came against Long Island University and Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.
If Texas State didn’t play Cardinals, rumors circulated that Doug Davalos’ team would take on Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
Here is what Texas State head coach Dennis Franchione said about the last-second touchdown the Bobcats scored against Lamar. Texas State led 40-21 with less than a minute to play, but true freshman running back Chris Nutall punched one in as time expired, giving Franchione’s squad a 46-21 win.
“What I got to do is give Tyler and these younger guys as many plays as I can get them,” Franchione said. “I wasn’t trying to score, nessarily. I was just trying to get them as many plays as I can. I wanted to make sure Chris got another touch, Tyler executed another play and all those young guys got another play. If it was minus-two we would have got another play to learn from.
“Fortunately, or unfortunately, we scored, but that wasn’t necessarily the goal to do anything to Lamar. I need to take care of my football team and they got to take care of their football team. That’s what I’m trying to do, is help my kids get as far along as they can. If they took that wrong, I certainly apologize for the score, but I mean, I need to do what’s best for my guys.”
With a win tonight against Lamar, Texas State would extend its winning streak to five games. The Bobcats and Cardinals kick off at 6 p.m. inside Bobcat Stadium.
For Texas State, junior quarterback Shaun Rutherford needs to continue to grow and the running game must perform better than it did last week. The Bobcats only rushed for 139 yards, well below their season average of 198.5.
Lamar has a talented duo in senior quarterback Andre Bevil and senior split end J.J. Hayes. The pair connected 10 times for 212 yards last week, so Texas State’s secondary, notably redshirt freshman cornerback Craig Mager, will have its hands full.
Stay tuned to this blog for more information throughout the day.
In lieu of the Bobcat Live Chat, feel free to ask questions in the comments below. If you’re going to the game, leave an attendance prediction as well. From what we’re hearing, it could be a record night for Texas State.
Traded emails with Lamar University beat writer Christopher Dabe from the Beaumont Enterprise about the Cardinals and Saturday’s game.
Take a gander.
Lamar head coach Ray Woodard didn’t show up to the weekly Southland Conference Coaches Teleconference on time today. Woodard speaks with the media each week at 10:41 a.m. CST, but this week, he began fielding questions at 11:27.
“I was down watching tape, trying to figure out how to stop all of this option stuff,” Woodard said.
Texas State hosts the Cardinals on Saturday at 6 p.m.