Texas State football (1-9 overall, 1-5 Sun Belt) will host Arkansas State University (3-5 overall, 1-4 Sun Belt) in a Sun Belt Conference matchup Nov. 21 in Bobcat Stadium.
Both teams are looking to snap losing streaks. Texas State has lost seven in a row while Arkansas State has dropped three straight.
Texas State is going to have its hands full with Arkansas State’s offense, which is first in the Sun Belt in total offense (456.2 yards per game) and fifth in scoring (29.8 points per game). The Red Wolves rely heavily on their two proven quarterbacks, redshirt junior Logan Bonner and redshirt sophomore Layne Hatcher.
The quarterback duo is seventh and eighth in passing yards per game and combine for a total of 335 yards in the air.
Bonner and Hatcher have several reliable options to throw to. The Red Wolves have three players in the top ten in average receiving yards: Senior wide receiver Jonathan Adams Jr. leads the conference with 104, redshirt senior wide receiver Dahu Green is second with 90.3 and redshirt senior wide receiver Brandon Bowling is 10th with 49.1.
On the ground, Arkansas State's freshman running back Lincoln Pare is 10th in the Sun Belt with 54.5 rushing yards a game.
With only four defensive players returning from last year's team, Texas State’s young defense will have to play aggressively to keep the Bobcats in the game.
The teams are fairly even on defense with Texas State giving up an average of 36.4 points per game while Arkansas State gives up 38.6 points per game.
Averaging 30.5 receiving yards per game, Texas State's senior wide receiver Jeremiah Haydel says if the team sticks to the game plan, it can be successful.
“They’re very silent on defense, and they don’t try to give up the deep ball as much," Haydel said. "So we have to do a great job at just attacking and executing.”
The Bobcats have lacked consistent quarterback play in 2020. Junior quarterback Tyler Vitt and sophomore quarterback Brady McBride have shown flashes of solid play but neither has consistently produced results. With Vitt dislocating his wrist against Georgia Southern Nov. 14, Texas State's Head Coach Jake Spavital will look to McBride to run the offense.
McBride has struggled in the starting spot this season, and Spavital knows that McBride will have to improve for the Bobcats to win.
“It’s going to be a really, really tough challenge for Brady in terms of getting us in the right play and managing the game correctly," Spavital said.
The Memphis transfer is completing 57.3% of his passes, tied for the most interceptions in the Sun Belt at seven and has thrown 11 touchdowns.
After replacing Vitt against Georgia Southern, McBride threw 7-13 and two touchdowns.
Haydel says the coaching staff is challenging the team to play for each other.
"Coach talks about it all the time... playing complementary football," Haydel said. "Offense and defense, we've got to feed off each other and play off each other. If we do that, that's going to give us wins."
The Bobcats will look to snap a seven-game losing streak and finish the season on a high note.
“It’s going to be a good challenge for us; there’s going to be a lot of opportunities for us in this game,” Spavital said.
Kickoff is at 11 a.m. and will be broadcast on ESPNU.