Texas State vs. Louisiana-Monroe prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins the game between the Bobcats and Warhawks.
Texas State vs. Louisiana-Monroe Game Preview
When: Saturday, October 15 – 7:00 p.m. ET
Where: Malone Stadium, Monroe, LA
Reeling Texas State and Louisiana-Monroe are looking at each other as an opportunity to gradually change the direction of their 2016 seasons. The Bobcats became Georgia State’s first victim of the year last weekend. Even worse, they weren’t even competitive, losing 41-21 in a game they actually led, 14-0, before falling apart. The Warhawks and first-year head coach Matt Viator haven’t won since beating FCS Southern University in the opener. UL-Monroe couldn’t even hold off Idaho at home last week, falling in a heartbreaker on a field goal in the waning seconds.
What To Know About Texas State
The Bobcats can move the ball on the softer defenses on the schedule, leaning heavily on the all-around playmaking ability of seasoned QB Tyler Jones. Stopping opponents? That’s an entirely different story in San Marcos. Texas State has been routinely gashed this season, save for the Week 5 visit from overmatched Incarnate Word. In four games with FBS teams, the Bobcats have allowed 549 yards and 50.3 points per game. And backfield pressure has been virtually non-existent for a team with only three sacks in five games.
What To Know About Louisiana-Monroe
Yeah, the Warhawks have a new coaching staff and have faced a tough schedule that included consecutive road games with Oklahoma, Georgia Southern and Auburn. But that home loss to Idaho was a really bad sign of what might lay ahead. Reasons for hope? The defense, while vulnerable, is making plays upfield, including seven stops for loss from WLB David Griffith. Meanwhile, the offense cranked out 523 yards a week ago, most coming from the run-pass ability of shifty second-year QB Garrett Smith.
Offense: Louisiana-Monroe. The Warhawks are more likely to run the ball and pass protect, the difference in a battle of improvisational QBs.
Defense: Louisiana-Monroe. Both units are extremely leaky. Texas State is just a notch lower in a matchup of hapless defenses.
Special Teams: Texas State. P Lumi Kaba averages just below 44 yards an attempt to give the Bobcats the best leg in the matchup.
Coaching: Push. Viator and Texas State’s Everett Withers are first-year coaches at this level, with plenty to prove during their Sun Belt careers.
Intangibles: Louisiana-Monroe. Both teams are stumbling, but the Warhawks have the luxury of not having to hit the road for a second straight week.
Matchup To Watch
Jones vs. Griffith
If Jones is contained, Texas State is in a heap of trouble, since the Bobcats are averaging only 2.3 yards per carry this season. Griffith, and to a lesser extent MLB Chase Day, are safety-sized linebackers with the range and the quickness to pressure Jones and make sure he doesn’t do damage outside of the pocket.
Spread: Louisiana-Monroe -7
Over/Under: No line (as of posting)
Texas State vs. Louisiana-Monroe Prediction
When everything is boiled down, this week’s matchup in Monroe hinges on the duel between Jones and Smith, versatile quarterbacks who can move the sticks with their right arm and their feet. Advantage, Louisiana-Monroe. True, the Warhawks are coming off a tough loss. But in defeat, they captured a tailwind on offense. Smith will build on last week’s effort at the expense of the troubled Texas State D, running for a score and throwing for a couple more to snap the team’s four-game losing skid.
Texas State vs. Louisiana-Monroe Score Prediction: Louisiana-Monroe 40, Texas State 27