Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles Vs. Texas State Bobcats Free Pick 8/31/13
Texas State Bobcats (0-0) at Southern Miss Golden Eagles (0-0)
College Football: Saturday, August 31, 2013 at 7:00 pm (MM Roberts Stadium)
The Line: Southern Miss Golden Eagles -8 --- Over/Under: 60 See the Latest Odds
TV: not listed
M. M. Roberts Stadium and the Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles host the Texas State Bobcats in the season opener.
With the WAC no more, Texas State begins life as a member of the Sun Belt which has been the starting point for many teams over the years. The Bobcats took their fair share of bumps and bruises in 2012 which was their first year in the FBS and it showed at times. The Bobcats liked to keep things simple offensively by running the ball which was a good stategy because they were pretty good at it and that helped to keep a suspect defense off the field as much as possible. That might be a good strategy once again with QB Shaun Rutherford taking over 2,100 passing yards with him and being replaced with the inexperienced Tyler Arndt. The receiving corps gets back their two top options in Andy Erickson and Isaiah Battle who combined for 900 yards on 65 receptions but the back field lost their top producers although transfer CJ Best could bolster a rushing attack that has talent. With eight players back the defense has to improve upon 484 yards and over 33 points or this will not be a good year.
Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports
Southern Mississippi had been cranking out winning teams for 18 straight years before falling off the map in 2012 with an 0-12 record with the roster almost completely depleted. So what does that say with four players back on an offense that averaged under 20 points? I honestly don't know until I see them but if new comer Allen Bridgford lives up to expectations with a few unknowns surprising, USM could be fine. Nobody among the receiving corps caught more than 20 balls so this could turn out to be a receiver by committee passing attack. Jalen Richard (87-426) and Kendrick Hardy (30-151) who was hurt could be productive on the ground with some room to run. The defensive side of the football is where the Golden Eagles have to make positive strides with nine players back from a unit that allowed 428 yards and 38 points with opponents averaging 208 yards on the ground.
Southern Mississippi is the better team but the concern should be their run D against the run first Bobcats. The concern for Texas State is who will run and throw so talk about unknowns on both sides of this. I'm inclined to take the points here but I'm not 100% convinced on either side right now...