In a matchup between a couple of Sun Belt teams that don’t move the needle all that much, the New Mexico State Aggies (1-7, 1-3) will travel to face the Texas State Bobcats (2-5, 1-2) Saturday afternoon. Texas State has won the previous two matchups between the teams, including a 37-29 road win as a 7 point favorite on November 1, 2014 in the most recent meeting.
New Mexico State picked up their first win of the season as they defeated Idaho 55-48 in overtime at home last week. Texas State lost for the fourth time in five games as they were run over 37-13 by Georgia Southern last Thursday. The kickoff from Bobcat Stadium in San Marcos, Texas is scheduled for 4:00 pm ET; the game can be seen on ESPN3. Texas State is currently a 17.5 point favorite in this contest with the over/under set at 72 points.
New Mexico State trailed 23-7 at the half and 33-21 after three quarters but rallied for four fourth quarter touchdowns to force overtime before posting the lone score in the extra session to get their first win. The Aggies outgained the Vandals 641-569 to help them rally from what once was a 20-0 deficit. New Mexico State lost the time of possession battle 36:14 to 23:46 and gave up 30 first downs while picking up 24; both teams turned the ball over twice in the game. The Aggies had two touchdowns in the final 3:56 of regulation to force overtime.
The Aggies are 61st in the nation in passing offense (231.6 yards) and 43rd in rushing offense (186.4 yards) per game on the season. New Mexico State is scoring 26.5 points per contest, putting them tied for 86th in the nation in scoring offense while they are dreadful in the scoring defense department; they are 128th in the nation, which makes them the worst in the country, by allowing 48.9 points per game. Three quarterbacks have seen action for New Mexico State this season; they’ve combined to complete 52.6 percent of their throws for 1,853 yards with 14 touchdowns and nine picks. Larry Rose III leads the Aggies in the ground game with 140 carries for 1,083 yards and 10 scores; no one else has more than Xavier Hall’s 149 yards plus a score on the season. Teldrick Morgan is second on New Mexico State with 22 receptions for 305 yards and two touchdowns while Tyrain Taylor has 25 catches for a team leading 468 yards plus three scores; Rose III has contributed 22 receptions for 191 yards and a score out of the backfield. Parker Davidson has had problems splitting the uprights as he is 20 of 26 on extra points and six of 11 on field goals this season with a long of 44 yards.
Texas State was within 14-6 at the half but got no closer in the game as Georgia Southern ran the ball down the Bobcats’ throats. The Bobcats were outgained 534-213, gave up 22 first downs while picking up 13 and allowed Georgia Southern to hold the ball for 37:13 compared to Texas State’s 22:47 in the contest. Texas State forced three turnovers while committing only two but their inability to move the ball much in the contest ended up costing them as Georgia Southern ran all over the place as they finished with 503 yards on the ground.
The Bobcats bring a good offense to the table in this contest as they are 78th in the nation in passing offense (211.9 yards) and 28th in the nation when it comes to rushing offense with an average of 206.6 yards per game. Texas State is scoring an average of 31.3 points per game, which is tied for 59th in the country, but they are leaky defensively as they are 122nd in the FBS in scoring defense by allowing 43.1 points per contest. Tyler Jones has completed 124 of 210 passes for 1,346 yards with eight touchdowns and four interceptions while ranking second on the team with 445 yards and six scores on the ground. Connor White (18 of 32, 137 yards, TD, 38 rushing yards) is the backup should Jones get banged up. Robert Lowe is the top running back for the Bobcats with 108 carries for 629 yards plus six scores; Chris Nutall adds 35 carries for 176 yards and four touchdowns. C.J. Best is the team’s leading receiver with 28 catches for 254 yards; Jafus Gaines (24 grabs, team high 314 yards, 2 TD), Ryan Carden (18 grabs, 126 yards) and Demun Mercer (16 receptions, 212 yards, 2 TD) are other key targets for the Bobcats. Two kickers for Texas State have combined to hit 21 of 25 extra points and six of nine field goals this season with a long of 36 yards.
Texas State is 2-5 ATS in their last seven after allowing less than 170 yards in the air and 1-4 ATS in their last five overall.
New Mexico State showed some gumption as they rallied from big deficits against Idaho. Texas State was flattened by Georgia Southern and now has to deal with another run oriented offense that will wear a defense down. Neither team plays much in the way of defense but in a contest like this, it’s hard to give more than two touchdowns with a team that is in the bottom five defensively. Take New Mexico State and the points in this contest.