Texas State will have to have a short memory after suffering its fifth straight loss on Saturday after a 45-27 loss to Louisiana-Monroe.
The other Louisiana school — Louisiana Lafayette (2-3, 1-1 Sun Belt) — hosts the Bobcats (1-5, 0-2) for a Thursday night showdown at Cajun Field. Kickoff is scheduled for 6:30 p..m. and the game will be televised on ESPNU.
While much has been made about the youth and inexperience of Texas State’s roster, head coach Everett Withers said at his weekly press conference on Monday that it’s the upper classmen that need to play better in order to snap the Bobcats’ recent skid.
“We did not play well enough on defense to win and a lot of that is missed assignments and technique and fundamental errors that were really uncharacteristic of some of our older guys,” Withers said. “That was kind of a theme throughout offense, defense and even special teams.
“I’m not sure why that happened but I hope it helps with a short week. We’ve got some older players that need to play better. I see growth from our young guys but some of our older guys they’ve got to play better or they are going to be over there with me and the young guys are going to play for them.”
True freshman Reece Jordan started at center for Texas State against Louisiana-Monroe, while Aaron Brewer moved over to guard in place of Jaquel Pierce, who was benched for poor play. Withers had high praise for Jordan after watching film of the game.
“Reece Jordan played really well,” he said. “He graded out better than any other offensive lineman … It’s going to be a challenge this week because he’s going to play some big guys up front, but he did really well in the ballgame.”
Jordan is one of two true freshmen starting on the offensive line that includes Nic Foster at left tackle.
Sophomore defensive end Kumonde Hines has been ruled out this week after dislocating his right shoulder against the Warhawks. With senior Jeff Banks also out this week — missing his second consecutive game with a concussion – and sophomore Ishmael Davis and freshman Nick Wilkins having season-ending injuries, the Bobcats will be shorthanded on the defensive line against Louisiana-Lafayette.
“We’re really down to like our third defensive end,” Withers said. “We’ll have to make some adjustments there on a short week.”
Sophomores Jordan Mittie and Dean Taylor are listed as the starters at defensive end and defensive tackle, respectively. While junior Grant Lanza is listed as the backup defensive tackle, Hines is the only other end listed with Mittie despite being ruled out by Withers.
This leaves the Bobcats with one backup end on roster eligible to play this Thursday – Emmanuel Galvin-Vazquez, a freshman walk-on from Hays high school.
Withers did mention that freshman Caeveon Patton will start at nose tackle after junior Sami Awad started the first four games there. Patton is also listed as a defensive tackle so he might play at multiple positions this Thursday.
Sophomore corner JaShon Waddy didn’t play last week with a shoulder injury after starting the first five games. Withers said he held out Waddy as a precaution and expects him to play sparingly this week.
Texas State at Louisiana-Lafayette, 6:30 p.m., ESPNU