FACTS & STATS: Site: Bobcat Stadium (30,000) — San Marcos, Texas.
Television: ESPN3.com. Home Record: GSU 4-0, TSU 2-2. Away Record: GSU 3-2,
TSU 3-1. Neutral Record: GSU 0-0, TSU 0-0. Conference Record: GSU 6-0, TSU
3-1. Series Record: Texas State leads, 1-0.
GAME NOTES: The Georgia Southern Eagles will try to continue their incredible
run through the Sun Belt Conference when they visit the Texas State Bobcats on
It has been quite the introduction to the FBS ranks for Georgia Southern,
which is 7-2 overall in just its first season playing at this level. The
Eagles haven’t just been scraping by either, with an average margin of victory
of 31 points. They posted yet another convincing victory last Thursday,
topping Troy, 42-10, to improve to 4-0 in league play with their sixth
Texas State hasn’t been as dominant this season, but the Bobcats are still
putting forth a solid effort from one week to the next. They have logged an
overall record of 5-3, including a 3-1 mark in Sun Belt action. A 37-29 win
over New Mexico State last weekend was their third positive outcome in the
last four games.
These teams have met once before, with Texas State rolling to a 50-35 victory
during the 2005 season when it was also playing at the FCS level. The Bobcats
moved up to the FBS ranks for the 2012 season.
The offensive dominance of Georgia Southern has been a sight to behold. The
Eagles are easily the best offensive team in the Sun Belt, amassing 517.8 ypg
behind an average of 7.7 yards per play. No other team is averaging more than
470 or 6.5 in each category. In fact, the Eagles are one of only 17 teams in
the nation averaging more than 500 total yards per contest.
Their ground attack has been the key, as they generate 402.7 rushing yards per
tilt. No other squad in the country is above 360.
Matt Breida (1,104 yards, 12 TDs) is the team’s leading rusher. He has tallied
at least 60 yards in every game this season, and has five 100-yard efforts to
his credit. He only managed 72 yards against Troy, but that worked out just
fine as quarterback Kevin Ellison (883 yards, 11 TDs) racked up 99 yards and
three scores, while Favian Upshaw (269 yards, two TDs) picked up 96 yards and
a touchdown on seven carries. La Ramsby (566 yards, nine TDs) contributed 55
yards and two touchdowns in the win as well. He has had at least one touchdown
run in seven straight games.
Ellison isn’t asked to throw the ball very often, with only 82 pass attempts
this season. He has completed 56.8 percent of those throws, picking up 765
yards and five touchdowns, compared to only two interceptions.
Kentrellis Showers (13 receptions, 295 yards, three TDs), BJ Johnson (18
receptions, 274 yards, three TDS) and Zach Walker (16 receptions, 214 yards)
are the only players on the team with more than six catches.
It hasn’t been the offense alone carrying Georgia Southern to victory, as the
Eagles are also one of the better defensive teams in the Sun Belt. They rank
second in the league in scoring (20.9 ppg) and fourth in total defense (379.1
Texas State may not be the same offensive juggernaut that Georgia Southern is,
but it is still a solid team. The Bobcats sit fourth in the Sun Belt in total
offense (444.9 ypg), while scoring a robust 32.1 points per game.
Tyler Jones leads the unit from under center. He is a dual-threat quarterback,
who can throw as well as run. In terms of passing, he has hit 66.2 percent of
his throws for 1,609 and 15 touchdowns, compared to only five interceptions.
However, he has thrown for less than 200 yards in each of the last four games.
He had at least 220 yards in each of the first four. In addition to his aerial
exploits, Jones has tallied 382 yards and four touchdowns on the ground.
Bradley Miller (28 receptions, 285 yards, TD) leads the team in receptions,
but Jafus Gaines (22 receptions, 289 yards, four TDs) has been the more
dangerous target, leading the way in yards and touchdown receptions. Ben Ijah
(20 receptions, 205 yards, three TDs) is another option.
In the backfield, the duo of Robert Lowe (594 yards, six TDS) and Terrence
Franks (518 yards, seven TDs) provide the Bobcats with a lot of depth when
they want to run the ball.
Texas State has been less effective on the other side of the ball, sitting in
a tie for seventh in the conference in total defense (460.9 ypg), while
ranking fifth in points allowed (26.4 ppg). However, they are third in sacks
While Jones will present a challenge to the Georgia Southern defense, with his
ability to make plays through the air and on the ground, the Bobcats don’t
have the defensive acumen to slow down the high-octane rushing attack of the
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Georgia Southern 31, Texas State 22