Featured Video from Scott Reichel
An important Sun Belt Conference game takes place this week as Texas State hosts Louisiana Monroe. Both teams hold identical records of 2-3 overall and 1-0 in the Sun Belt. Monroe has won the last three games head-to-head, including a 20-14 win last year but Texas State covered in that game as they had been big underdogs. This year, Louisiana Monroe is a slight favorite, giving up 3 points in the early lines. Kickoff is Thursday, October 10 at 9:15 p.m. at Bobcat Stadium in San Marcos, Texas.
The Louisiana Monroe Warhawks are coming off a valiant, but ultimately unsuccessful bid to upset No. 23 ranked Memphis last week. The Warhawks got to within 39-32 with about 6 minutes left after Caleb Evans hit Josh Pederson on a 36-yard touchdown strike, but on the next possession, Memphis iced it with a 68-yard touchdown run by Kenneth Gainwell. They now travel to Texas State to play an improved Bobcats squad. It promises to be a stern test.
The Texas State Bobcats have turned around their season with two straight wins. The scored an upset win over conference rival Georgia State and then followed that up last week with a 24-3 over Nicholls State. The Bobcats had a bye week last weekend so they should be ready to go. This is a big game for both teams as they look to keep pace with Sun Belt West Division leader Louisiana Lafayette, who has a tough game this week against unbeaten Appalachian State.
Warhawks scare MemphisThe Louisiana Monroe Warhawks came storming back last week against No. 23 ranked Memphis and almost pulled it out. The Warhawks cut Memphis's lead to 39-32 with about 6 minutes left after Caleb Evans hit Josh Pederson on a 36-yard touchdown pass. But then Memphis finished them off on the next possession as Kenneth Gainwell scampered 68 yards for a touchdown. They fell to 2-3 overall but remain 1-0 in Sun Belt Conference play. Monroe racked up 575 yards from scrimmage, led by Evans, who was a one-man wrecking crew. He went 23 for 44 for 286 yards and 2 touchdowns. he also rushed for 112 yards rushing on 18 carries with two touchdowns. Josh Johnson added 119 yards rushing on 19 carries while Josh Pederson had 7 catches for 82 yards and 2 touchdowns.
ICYMI | Video Highlight: Caleb Evans posted his first 100-yard rushing game of the season and fourth of his career with 18 carries for 112 yards and two TDs vs. No. 23 Memphis, including this spectacular 45-yard run to the end zone in the third quarter. #MEMvsULM pic.twitter.com/iuiazx3M8z— ULM Football (@ULM_FB) October 6, 2019
"We did a lot of good things offensively," ULM coach Matt Viator said, reported the Warhawks web site. "We were so close to a couple of other things there that could have made a difference. Guys are really playing hard and playing good. We've got to get over the hump."
The Warhawks offense has been solid. They average 31 points per game, which ranks 58th in the nation. They average 469 total yards per game, which is 26th in the country. That includes 249 yards per game in the air, which ranks 60th in the country, and 220 ypg on the ground, which is 27th. Their defense allows 39 points per game, which ranks 123rd in the country. They give up 506 yards per game, which ranks 126th. They give up 250 ypg in the air, which ranks 92nd, and a whopping 256 ypg on the ground, which is 129th in the nation.
Texas State wins 2nd straightThe Texas State Bobcats have won two straight games after starting 0-3. They now stand at 2-3 overall and 1-0 in the Sun Belt Conference. The scored an upset win over conference rival Georgia State and then followed that up with a 24-3 win over Nicholls State two weeks ago. In that game, their defense was stifling, allowing just 220 yards from scrimmage. Nicholls only had 75 yards rushing. Quarterback Gresch Jensen had 253 yards passing with 22 completions in 29 attempts. He had 2 touchdowns and an interception. Javen Banks had 77 yards receiving and a touchdown while Micah Hilts had 4 catches for 64 yards and a touchdown. Caleb Twyford added 73 yards rushing.
"The defense continued to play lights out all game tonight," coach Jake Spavital said, reported the Bobcats web site. "I was very pleased with how we responded in the third quarter, especially against a Nicholls team that has dominated their opponents in the third quarter this season. It was a defensive game and our defense was stout tonight."
The Bobcats offense is not great. They only average 19 points per game, which ranks 115th in the nation. They average 323 total yards per game, which is 119th in the country. That includes 242 yards per game in the air, which ranks 70th in the country, and 80 ypg on the ground, which is 128th. Their defense allows 29 points per game, which ranks 89th in the country. They give up 410 yards per game, which ranks 82tnd. They give up 189 ypg in the air, which ranks 27th, and a whopping 221 ypg on the ground, which is 121st in the nation.
- Bobcats are 3-7-1 ATS in their last 11 games following a straight up win.
- Bobcats are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games after allowing less than 20 points in their previous game.
- Bobcats are 5-13 ATS in their last 18 games following an ATS win.
- Bobcats are 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 home games.
- Bobcats are 2-6-1 ATS in their last 9 games after allowing less than 100 yards rushing in their previous game.
- Bobcats are 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games after allowing less than 170 yards passing in their previous game.
- Bobcats are 1-4-1 ATS in their last 6 games overall.
- Bobcats are 1-4-1 ATS in their last 6 games on fieldturf.
- Bobcats are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up win of more than 20 points.
- Warhawks are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games after accumulating more than 200 yards rushing in their previous game.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Take the Warhawks giving up the points. I love Monroe here. I think they roll and win this easily. Monroe has a ridiculous offense and their running game is top-notch - one of the best, statistically, in the country. Texas State, on the other hand, is not good against the run, ranking near the bottom of the country. Now, the Warhawks defense is terrible, but they won't be exposed by Texas State, which doesn't boast much offensive firepower. The road team is 5-1 against the spread in their last 6 meetings between these two, so go with the Warhawks.
Prediction: Louisiana Monroe -3
Full-Game Total Pick
Take the over. The over-under is set pretty high here, but for good reason. There won't be a lot of defense played in this one. Look for Monroe to gash the Bobcats for more than 200 yards rushing. Monroe can't stop anyone either, so Texas State will put up some points, certainly beyond the 20 they average per game. The over is 7-3 in the Warhawks last 10 games on fieldturf. Also, the over is 5-2 in the Bobcats last 7 games after allowing less than 100 yards rushing in their previous game. They held down a weak Nicholls State running game, but they won't hold down Monroe.