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FIRST LOOK: Texas State Bobcats

The Baylor Bears look to rebound against Texas State at home on Saturday morning.

MATCHUP: #17 Baylor Bears (1-1, 0-0) vs. Texas State Bobcats (1-1, N/A)
LOCATION: Waco, Texas
ODB GAME HUB: Baylor Bears vs. Texas State Bobcats 2022
OPPONENT’S SB NATION BLOG: Underdog Dynasty (not specifically for them, but still).
ODB QUICK HITTER: Here.
ODB DEPTH CHART POST: Here.
COLLEGEFOOTBALLDATA.COM TEAM PAGES: Baylor | Texas State
WEEKLY PRESS CONFERENCE: Here.
GAME NOTES (INCLUDING DEPTH CHART): Here.
BAYLORBEARS.COM PREVIEW: Here.
SPREAD: Baylor -30.5 (opened at -33.5), O/U 52.5
TV COVERAGE: FS1, 11:00 AM CT
UNIFORM: DON’T KNOW YET, CHECK BACK.

WEATHER (IN WACO):

Woof. It’s going to be hot. Wunderground.com predicts a game-time temperature of 83 degrees (feels like 89) rising to 92 (feeling like 99) by the end of the game. Start hydrating now.

HOW DID WE GET HERE?

Both teams are 1-1 on the season having played two games. Baylor, obviously, beat Albany 69-10 at home in its first game before dropping a ranked matchup against BYU in Provo. Texas State lost 38-14 on the road against Nevada in week one and then bounced back against Florida International 41-12 at home. The Bobcats threw and ran for 226 yards (totaling 452) against FIU. They are coached by Jake Spavital, who is in his third full season as head coach there.

WHAT HAPPENED LAST YEAR?

Baylor went on the road to Texas State last season to start a 2021 campaign that finished a lot better than it looked like it might start, according to most. This game is best remembered for the absolutely awful production values and a lot of concern about Baylor’s offense in a 29-20 win. Most of that concern turned out to be unfounded, which is perhaps a lesson for where we are today after the BYU game. Trestan Ebner and Abram Smith combined to rush for 238 yards on the Bobcat defense.

ADVANCED STATS OVERVIEW:

We’re starting to get more data available to us with two games having been played by virtually everyone in the country, and we finally have FootballOutsiders.com’s F+ combined (FEI and SP+) rankings. Here’s where Baylor and Texas State shake out:

Baylor vs. Texas State 2022

Rk Team F+ OF+ Rk DF+ Rk FEI Rk SP+ Rk
Rk Team F+ OF+ Rk DF+ Rk FEI Rk SP+ Rk
25 Baylor 0.98 0.47 47 1.31 11 0.43 25 15.9 22
120 Texas State -1.39 -1.43 121 -1 110 -0.7 118 -18.7 123

Throw the values aside for a minute since they don’t really mean anything and focus on the ranks. Also, here’s a primer from FootballOutsiders that I won’t reproduce every week but will since this is the first time this season we are using these stats:

F+ Ratings combine Brian Fremeau’s FEI ratings with Bill Connelly’s SP+ ratings in equal parts. Overall team ratings (F+), offense ratings (OF+), and defense ratings (DF+) represent each team and unit’s standard deviation above or below average. FEI ratings (FEI) represent the per-possession scoring advantage a team would be expected to have on a neutral field against an average opponent, based on opponent-adjusted possession efficiency data. SP+ ratings (SP+) are tempo- and opponent-adjusted measures of college football efficiency based on play-by-play and drive data designed to be predictive and forward-facing. Team records (Rec) represent results against FBS opponents only.

To break this down further, FEI is more drive-based, while SP+ is play-based. Each gives a slightly different view of the same outcomes in trying to figure out how you got there.

Baylor vs. Texas State (FEI)

Rk Team FEI OFEI Rk DFEI Rk NDE Rk ELS Rk GLS Rk ALS Rk
Rk Team FEI OFEI Rk DFEI Rk NDE Rk ELS Rk GLS Rk ALS Rk
25 Baylor 0.43 0.31 45 0.61 17 -0.46 77 0.07 44 0.36 46 0.78 64
118 Texas State -0.7 -1.01 124 -0.39 98 0.02 60 0.02 82 0.12 92 0.46 96

This is the FEI-specific data on each team, but I wouldn’t spend too much time trying to discern much from it since we only have 2 weeks’ worth of games in this season, and FEI only includes FBS vs. FBS info, so Baylor has just one. Still, suffice to say that FEI does not like Texas State’s offense at all, but our defense gets relatively high marks. One other thing that may placate some is that FEI loves BYU’s offense (#6 overall), which feeds back into our high defensive ratings since we played pretty well against them.

Cody Orr will have more in this arena later this week.

INJURY NEWS:

We talked about this a little yesterday, but the latest information says that Baylor has three players that are listed as “questionable” for Saturday’s game: WR Jordan Nabors, WR Monaray Baldwin, and RB Taye McWilliams. That’s all we know of for now. I couldn’t find anything about Texas State.

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING:

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Daily Bears Reports

DBR: Friday, September 30th, 2022