2015-16 Football Previews – (Sun Belt) – Bobcats
The Texas State Bobcats went 7-5 last season, but did not make a bowl game. This team should be in contention for another seven-win season, and if it can do just that, a bowl game will certainly be on the radar.
NCAA Football Gambling Lines
Sun Belt Conference Odds
Head Coach: Dennis Franchione
2014 Record: 7-5
Texas State Odds to win 2015 Sun Belt Championship: +1200
Odds from Bovada to win BCS: Bet The Field
At this point in the process, Texas State stands at +1200 to win the Sun Belt championship. That puts the Bobcats in between the second- and third-tier teams in the conference.
Appalachian State currently stands in first at +120, followed by Georgia Southern, UL Lafayette and Arkansas State at +400, +400 and +550, respectively.
After Texas State is where we start to see a bigger drop off. UL Monroe represents the last of the current tier at +1600, with South Alabama representing the bigger drop off at +2500.
Over the previous four seasons, Texas State has gone .500 with Dennis Franchione leading the way. Last season’s 7-5 record was the best showing during that four-year stretch, but the university is still looking for its first bowl game.
With quarterback Tyler Jones back in action, the offense should be in good shape. The now-junior tossed 376 passess last season at a 65.4 percent clip. He averaged 7.1 yards per toss, and he threw for 22 touchdowns to just seven interceptions on the year.
Defensively, this team is going to need a solid showing from a number of players, but look for sophomore Jeff Banks and junior Roosevelt Pearson to step up as edge rushers, while senior Mershad Dillon handles the load as a run stopper up the middle.
Sticking with the defense, this crew could be in store for some growing pains after losing multiple pieces this summer. The team’s four best defenders are no longer with the program, which is why it’s so important that the aforementioned players above step up early in the year.
Offensively, this team needs to see a better showing from receivers Brandon Smith, Jafus Gaines and Demun Mercer.
On special teams, Texas State saw a strong year from kicker and punter Will Johnson, but with him no longer in the picture, the team has plenty of questions. Reports have James Sherman taking over as punter and Lumi Kaba as the placekicker, but we won’t know how effective they can each be until we see them in action.
2015-16 Texas State Bobcats Prediction: 7-5
The Bobcats may not take a drastic step forward in 2015, but we’re going to see them maintain the level of competitiveness they showed last season in their most impressive year to date under current leadership.
Although we can’t expect the team to open up the year with a win on the road against Florida State, it should be a good contest that allows this team to make some mistakes and take some hits in preparation of the year to come.
Winning the conference looks like a bit of a long shot at this point in the process, but a seven-win season and a push toward a bowl game are fully within this organization’s reach during the 2015 college football season.
2015 Bobcats Schedule (All times EST)
9/5/15 8:00 PM @ Florida State
9/12/15 7:00 PM vs. PV A&M
9/19/15 7:00 PM vs. Southern Miss
9/26/15 TBD @ Houston
10/10/15 TBD @ LA-Lafayette
10/29/15 7:30 PM @ Ga Southern
11/7/2015 TBD vs. New Mexico St
11/14/15 TBD vs. Georgia State
11/19/15 9:30 PM vs. UL Monroe
11/28/15 5:00 PM @ Idaho
12/5/15 3:00 PM @ Arkansas State
Check out our Updated College Football Odds.
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