Texas State prepares for Arkansas State

Photo by Gerald Castillo

Texas State Football

Texas State heads into its final two games of the season looking to fix the mistakes that have plagued it all season. 

Defensive coordinator Randall McCray points to critical errors in the secondary, which resulted in a 33-30 loss to Georgia State on Saturday, and a 45-35 defeat against New Mexico State on Nov. 4. 

“The last two games we played, the only touchdowns have been on mental errors, like critical, big, bad errors,” McCray said. “Those aren’t things that we teach in our defense. So, we want to make sure we correct on mental errors, and I tell them every day, ‘Mistakes will beat you faster than a mismatch. I don’t have to be as good as that guy but if I don’t make mistakes then I’ll be able to compete with him, and we can’t make mistakes.’”

Texas State (2-8, 1-5 Sun Belt) faces a difficult challenge against Arkansas State (5-3, 4-1). 

“These guys are big,” McCray said. “Quarterback (Justice Hansen) runs the offense really well. He’s a year into it. The tailback (Warren Wand), he’s really small but he runs around the defense and does a great job. He’s physical. His height is 5’5,” 191 pounds, that’s deceptive. He’s really, really powerful. I know their top two receivers have 36 catches. Their next two have 26 and the next one has 23. So, they know how to move the ball around and they put you in trouble with their (run-pass-option). Their coaching staff does a really good job. I know it’s going to be a daunting task but the good Lord willing, we’ll be ready for it.”

The Red Wolves possess the No. 11 passing offense in the country averaging 320.3 yards per game. The Bobcats allow 285.1 passing yards per game. Head coach Everett Withers said Texas State will need a strong pass rush against Arkansas State to help the secondary. 

“Helping our secondary by rushing the passer with an even pass rush will help us, and then doing a better job,” Withers said. “I think we had four blown assignments in the secondary. When you blow an assignment against good passing teams, they find them. They’re usually big plays.” 

Offensively, the Bobcats want to continue show growth. Texas State has scored 30.7 points per game over the last three contests, and has averaged 461.7 yards of total offense. Co-offensive Zak Kuhr said the Bobcats have improved because the team understands the offense better. 

“Confidence and swagger and knowing and owning their job,” Kuhr said. “These guys have owned their job because they know it like the back of their hand now, and obviously when you get a little bit of success, you get a little roll of momentum into it and just continues to roll, roll, roll and grow.”

McCray admitted that the team struggled early in the week during practice, but he’s seen an upswing as the Bobcats near their matchup against Arkansas State on Saturday at 2 p.m. inside Centennial Bank Stadium in Jonesboro, Arkansas.

“We’re just trying to get better each day and work, and you can see they’re having fun now,” McCray said. “I think they’re back to normal. We’re going to go out there and give it our best.” 

San Marcos Daily Record

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