The weekday Sun Belt action continues Thursday night, as the Texas State Bobcats and UL Lafayette Ragin Cajuns meet. I apologize we don’t have a more exciting matchup to talk about tonight, but for the 20 Texas State and UL Lafayette fans out there, this one is for you. As long as money is won, I don’t care who is playing, though. Texas State head in with a record of 1-5, while UL Lafayette are at 2-3.
The Bobcats are a recent FCS to FBS convert, getting the privilege of playing in bowl games starting in 2013. They finished 6-6 and weren’t invited to play in a bowl game. The following year they went 7-5, which should have been an auto-bid, were rejected again, the only 7-win team not to get an invite for a bowl.
The last two years college football have been inviting 5-win teams to play in bowls, so Texas State got the short end of the stick there. They are not going to be playing in a bowl game this season either, but it’s not because the NCAA is out to shaft them. Rather, a 1-5 start may have already sealed their fate. And unless they spring a 14-point underdog win tonight against the Ragin Cajun, they are going to be 1-6 by the end of Thursday.
Texas State’s win came against none other than Houston Baptist in what was supposed to be a tune-up in Week 1. The Bobcats ultimately struggled with Houston Baptist and came close to suffering a big upset. In fact, it was a 10-9 ball game at halftime. From there, Texas State has had difficulties every week of their schedule. They came close against Appalachian State, a 20-13 loss, but other than that it’s been sad football for them. Let’s get straight to the pick below.
Texas State Bobcats vs. UL Lafayette Ragin Cajuns Betting Odds:
Texas State +14(-110)
vs. UL Lafayette -14(-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Texas State vs. UL Lafayette Pick:
It seems like Texas State entered FBS competition with some talent, and then they slid back considerably. At the moment, they look like they should be playing in the FCS. Texas is an incredibly competitive recruiting market, and recruits aren’t going to have Texas State high on their list. Perhaps if they can’t land school A, B, C, or D they give Texas State a look. Even some of the smaller schools, like UTSA and North Texas are ahead of Texas State in the pecking order. Starter Damian Williams is a Mississippi State transfer that has the ability to run as well as throw. Well, he tries to pass anyway, and it doesn’t go so well.
Damian has thrown 4 touchdowns and 4 interceptions with a 54.1 completion percentage. He’s also rushed for 4 touchdowns. Their offense is centered around the fifth-year senior. The Bobcats went into the season with what was supposed to be talent in the receiving core, but nothing has translated. They also just lost a speedy receiver, Mason Hays, to injury.
Texas State 124th in the country with 301 yards per game. You can look at their offensive line to find most of their issues. Heading into the season they looked like a unit that needed some work, and seven weeks in not much has changed. The defense was supposed to be their anchor, but they’ve allowed more than 40 points three weeks straight.
The Cajuns are averaging over 200 yards per game on the ground; they love to pound the rock. Their running game should propel them to a victory in Week 7 on Thursday night. The Cajuns’ defense has not been sharp, but I see this game as a confidence builder. Texas State have been putrid on both sides of the ball. Expect a blowout win for UL Lafayette over a team who would have trouble competing in the FCS.
PICK: UL LAFAYETTE -14 (-110)