Opponent: Texas State
Kickoff: Saturday, September 2nd 6:00 PM CT
Location: McLane Stadium (Waco, TX)
Conference: Sun Belt
Head Coach: G.J. Kinne (first year)
Last Year’s Record: 4-8
Notable Outcomes: Lost to Baylor, 42-7; Lost to Nevada, 38-14; Beat Appalachian State, 36-24
Key Losses: Dalton Cooper, OT; Sione Tupou, LB; London Harris, LB
Key Returners: Tory Spears, S; Lincoln Pare, RB; Jordan Revels, DE/LB
Strength: Quarterbacks. Texas State has a spoil of riches in the QB room for a school at its level. In May, they acquired former Auburn and LSU quarterback TJ Finley through the transfer portal. That’s on top of Malik Hornsby, a transfer out of Arkansas, and CJ Rogers, a transfer from Baylor. There’s a lot of quarterbacks who have varying levels of experience at bigger programs that couldn’t get things to work out there. Will one of them get things to work out at Texas State?
Weakness: Linebackers. Texas State lost its top two tacklers in Sione Tupou and London Harris. Their top returning tackler, Jordan Revels, is listed as a defensive end but can play like a bit of a hybrid linebacker at that spot. Nevertheless, there are significant holes to fill in the linebacking corps and defense in general. First year coach G.J. Kinne was known for his offensive prowess at the FCS level. Defense, a bit less so.
Way Too Early Prediction: Texas State has some weapons at a number of positions, especially on offense. That might make this game a bit of a first quarter shootout. However, once both teams settle in, Baylor has the talent and depth to outmatch the Bobcats across the board. Especially with this game being at home, I expect Baylor to pull away in the second quarter, or, at the latest, the second half.