Gather ’round. It’s time for Three Bold Predictions about Saturday’s game.
This week the Texas State Bobcats travel to Lubbock to face the Texas Tech Red Raiders. A sold-out crowd is expected to pack Jones AT&T Stadium.
When these teams last met, Texas State did nothing right and lost 58-10 in front of the largest crowd to ever see a game inside Bobcat Stadium.
Will the Bobcats buck the trend? Can Texas State pull the upset?
It’s about time to find out.
No. 1 — Texas State will sack Texas Tech freshman quarterback Baker Mayfield twice and intercept him once.
Reason — If these last two games showed us anything about the revamped Bobcat defense, it is getting a lot more pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Texas State struggled to make Seth Doege uncomfortable in the pocket last year and he picked them apart. Even though this will be the strongest offensive line the Bobcats face so far, they’ll be able to create some havoc and junior linebacker Michael Orakpo, as well as senior defensive lineman Blake McColloch, will profit. Junior cornerback Craig Mager answers the bell with a second-half interception.
No. 2 — Texas State’s offense will have a 40-60 (run-pass) split.
Reason — Ball control will be key for the Bobcats to win this game, but it’s going to be tough to run against the Red Raiders. Texas State might try to challenge Texas Tech on the ground early, but will need to air it out to keep Kliff Kingsbury’s team honest. Expect the Bobcats to get their tight ends involved more, including Lawrence White. Texas State will beat the Red Raiders deep for one touchdown, thrown by senior quarterback Tyler Arndt.
No. 3 — Texas State will finally convert a field goal from 40-plus yards after two weeks of utter disappointment.
Reason — Head coach Dennis Franchione was at wits’ end trying to explain why his team couldn’t kick a field goal without it being blocked. Well, this is the week the Bobcats split the uprights from at least 40 yards out. Texas State junior kicker Will Johnson has a strong leg (booted a school-record 53-yard field goal last year) and will need it against the strong West Texas winds.
Think I’m crazy? Got your own? Let me hear from you.