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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, October 19, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Bobcat Stadium (30,000) -- San Marcos, Texas. Television: ESPN3.com, Sun Belt Network, CSS. Home Record: GSU 0-4, TSU 2-1. Away Record: GSU 0-2, TSU 1-2. Neutral Record: GSU 0-0, TSU 0-0. Conference Record: GSU 0-1, TSU 0-2. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: Both the Georgia State Panthers and the Texas State Bobcats will attempt to halt losing streaks on Saturday night when the Sun Belt Conference foes square off at Bobcat Stadium in San Marcos.
Georgia State's first season as a member of the FBS has been even more difficult than expected, as it has dropped each of its first six games, with three of those losses coming to FCS foes on its home field (Samford, Chattanooga, Jacksonville State). The Panthers put forth their best effort of the season last week versus Troy, but they surrendered the game-winning touchdown late in the fourth quarter to lose, 35-28, and fall to 0-1 in league play.
Texas State, which debuted in the FBS last season, has been much more impressive in 2013 with a 3-3 record, but after winning three of its first four games this year, it has dropped a pair of Sun Belt bouts in consecutive weeks. The Bobcats most recently hosted ULM last weekend and were done in by throwing a pair of pick-sixes as they fell in a 21-14 final.
This marks the first-ever meeting between these football programs.
The Panthers haven't been able to get much going this season, as they rank last in the Sun Belt in scoring at a mere 16.5 ppg, but their performance against Troy last week was definitely a step in the right direction as they posted 28 points and 422 yards.
Ronnie Bell is far from a marksman under center, as he is completing a measly 46.4 percent of his passes while tossing four interceptions, but he has managed to throw for 215.0 ypg and nine touchdowns. He was largely inefficient against Troy (22-of-50), but he still finished with 370 yards and a career- best four touchdowns.
Despite a lack of talent surrounding him, Albert Wilson has still quietly performed like one of the top receivers in the nation by tallying 33 catches for a Sun Belt-leading 670 yards to go with six touchdowns. He has already posted three games of at least 150 receiving yards this season.
The rushing attack is virtually non-existent, as the team averages just 2.8 ypc. Travis Evans is the primary back with 66 carries for 237 yards and a touchdown.
Georgia State's defense has been even more of a disappointment than the offense, as it ranks last in the league in surrendering 37.7 ppg and 497.2 ypg, while allowing opponents to convert 53 percent of its third-down attempts.
Joseph Peterson leads the unit with 44 tackles, while Tarris Batiste is not far behind with 35 stops and 5.5 TFL. Brent McClendon (32 tackles, INT, two FF) and Jarrell Robinson (4.0 TFL, 2.0 sacks, INT) have also been strong playmakers.
Although Texas State's offense has performed marginally better than Georgia State's in terms of scoring (22.8 ppg), it ranks last in the league in total offense (310.2 ypg).
Poor play from the Bobcats' quarterbacks is largely to blame for the underperforming unit. Tyler Jones (.625 completion percentage, 329 yards, TD, three INTs) had recently taken over as the starter, but he threw two interceptions last week and was pulled in favor of Tyler Arndt (.556, 447 yards, zero TDs, INT). Jones is the more dynamic rusher of the two, picking up 160 yards on 27 attempts.
The team's strength comes on the ground, where it racks up 168.0 ypg. Robert Lowe is the top performer with 442 yards and six touchdowns, while Chris Nutall also gets plenty of work with 256 yards and four scores. Both backs average at least 5.7 yards per carry.
Andy Erickson paces a modest receiving corps with 18 receptions and 167 yards, although he has not yet scored a touchdown.
Defensively, Texas State has played very well, giving up just 23.5 ppg and 383.2 ypg. Despite last week's loss to ULM, the unit was dominant in allowing just seven offensive points and 192 yards while forcing two turnovers.
David Mayo is well on his way to an All-Conference selection, as he has racked up 53 tackles, 2.0 TFL, a sack and three interceptions. Michael Orakpo has also been a difference-maker with 35 stops, 6.5 TFL, 3.5 sacks and three forced fumbles.
Texas State still has plenty of issues to work out with its quarterback situation, but no matter who is calling the shots, the Bobcats defense is for real and they shouldn't have much of an issue dismissing a floundering Georgia State squad at home.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Texas State 27, Georgia State 13
10/16 10:40:06 ET
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