Texas State head coach Everett Withers sees a lot of his own program in the Bobcats’ next opponent.
Two teams winless in conference play meet up when the Bobcats head east to face off with Coastal Carolina, which is playing its first full season in FBS, Saturday at 5 p.m.
“You kind of see a young team trying to find its way,” Withers said. “This one looks a lot like us trying to get better.”
The Chanticleers are in their first season in the FBS. Offensive coordinator, who ran the triple option for three years he was in charge at Charleston Southern, was named interim head coach after full-time head coach Joe Moglia went on medical leave in late July.
Coastal Carolina has shown very different ways to move the ball through the first seven games. It ran for more than 200 yards in the first two games of the season but has since thrown for at least 230 yards in the last four games, and eclipsed the 300-yard milestone twice
In their most recent game against Appalachian State, the Chanticleers allowed 20 unanswered points to lose their sixth straight game. Quarterback Tyler Keane finished with 332 passing yards and two touchdowns, while receiver with Ky'Jon Tyler posted a career-high 141 yards with one touchdown.
“They made some big plays in the passing game, which is kind of unusual for a triple option team,” Withers said. “Appalachian State made some mistakes and missed a few tackles. They have one of the most unique offenses in our league.”
In Texas State’s last game, a 24-7 loss on the road against Louisiana, Anthony D. Taylor scored the only touchdown of the game in the third quarter. The Bobcats threw for 219 yards, the second-highest mark of the season.
Withers said he hopes to have a few players back from injury following the bye week. Wide receiver Erik Luna and linebacker Kumonde Hines are on track to be ready to go for the road game.
Freshman quarterback Willie Jones III has been splitting time with senior Damian Williams int event games. He practiced on Monday at less than 100 percent and is progressing as the coaches hoped on the field throughout his first season.
“Willie is getting better,” Withers said. “I won’t say he’s a ready-made product to get out there and play, but he’s getting better. He’s starting to have a little more understanding as far as what needs to get done.”
Following their trip to Carolina, the Bobcats return to San Marcos for the final two home games of the season. They host New Mexico State on Nov. 4 at 2 p.m. and Georgia State on No. 11.
“We’ve got a great group of young kids and kids that aren’t quite so young,” Withers said. “We’re really supportive of each other no matter who’s out there playing. That’s key. That’s what you want from your team.”