Texas State searches for improved run game, defense against Louisiana

Photo by Gerald Castillo

Texas State Football

Texas State sophomore running back Anthony D. Taylor acknowledges that little mistakes and the Bobcats’ tendency to shoot themselves in the foot has hurt the team this season. 

But Taylor, who recorded the team’s first 100-yard outing Saturday with 102 yards against ULM, said Texas State can show improvement when it fixes those problems. 

 “When we’re behind the chains, it’s hard to get the offense going,” Taylor said. “If we correct those little minor mistakes, we can run the ball all day, and when we can run the ball then we can throw the ball outside to our receivers. But yeah, just the little minor mistakes, which we will clean it up.”

As Texas State (1-5, 0-2 Sun Belt) enters Thursday night’s road matchup against Louisiana (2-3, 1-1), head coach Everett Withers said the Bobcats need to find a way to improve their running game and defense if they want to start being competitive. 

 “We’ve got to find a way, and those are the two things that we’re really focusing on right now,” Withers said at his weekly Monday press conference. 

Texas State averages 131.5 rushing yards per game and holds the No. 96 ranked rush offense in the country. The defense, meanwhile, gives up an average of 410.3 yards per game and is ranked No. 86 in total defense. 

It’s the little mistakes on offense that Taylor wants to see absolved. 

“If we don’t kill ourselves, we can beat any team that we go against,” Taylor said. “It’s just the little mistakes. We’re just going to focus on cleaning it up and focus on the little details every day, and we should be good. It’s just little minor mistakes and we cut the minor mistakes out and focus on the little details then we can be successful.”

On defense, sophomore defensive end Jordan Mittie said everyone needs to be accountable.

“It’ll be a similar offense as this past week,” Mittie said. “We’ll have to be more accountable in the run game, and then the same thing in the secondary - Be accountable, do your job, just do what you need to do.”

Playing inside Cajun Field will provide an extra challenge as the Bobcats hold an 0-2 record there and are 0-4 overall against Louisiana. On the field, Withers said big linemen on both sides will be another challenge. He also highlighted junior quarterback Andre Nunez, the Ragin’ Cajun receivers and their defensive backs. 

Despite the challenges, the Bobcats are looking forward to Thursday’s game. 

“I think all of us are ready to get back out there and kind of redeem ourselves,” Mittie said. “But it’s a new week. It’ll be nice to play on Thursday. Quick turnaround for both teams so it’ll really come down to who prepares best for the short week.”

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