A Record Breaking Bowl Season
Next month begins a record breaking bowl season. In a span of 15 days starting on December 21, 35 bowl games will played. It is estimated that almost 80 teams will be eligible for bowl play. Quick math shows that almost 10 teams will be watching and not playing in a bowl game this season. Two teams that are eager to play a 13th game this season are the Texas State Bobcats and the Hilltoppers of Western Kentucky.
A Must Win Game for Both Teams
Western Kentucky’s win over Army almost two weeks ago moved them to 6-4. They are decidedly out of the race for Sun Belt Conference Champ with their three conference losses. WKU needs to win out the season starting with Texas State this week and Arkansas State in the final week of regular season play. Arkansas State currently holds the number 2 spot in the Sun Belt. The Sun Belt may have 5 bowl eligible teams with only two bowl game tie ins. The R+L Bowl gets the first pick and the Go Daddy Bowl gets the second pick.
Texas State is in the exact same position. Identical 6-4 record, identical conference record 2-3, and the same desire to play a bowl game. Texas State head coach Dennis Franchione placed 12/21/13 on the teams calendar during summer practice. His goal was to play in New Orleans on the 21st of December in the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl. For him and his Bobcats, the dream is still alive. Like Western Kentucky, they need to win out the season and that includes Troy University in the final week. They need some help with a Louisiana loss or two as well.
Both teams need big wins this week and the next to stand out in the already crowded “At Large Bowl Eligible” crowd. Here is who to watch.
Western Kentucky’s Brandon Doughty has thrown for over 2,400 yards this season. With 11 touchdowns. he is connected 66% of the time. While his yardage is to be noted, he also has been sacked 17 times and intercepted 14 times. He will need protection in the backfield and to be surefooted when throwing against Texas State’s defense. Running Back Antonio Andrews has had an impressive year as well. Running for over 1,400 yards and receiving for almost 400 more, this young man has racked up 12 touchdowns for the Hilltoppers.
The second highest scored player for the Texas State Bobcats is Kicker Jason Dann. Dann is a solid kicker, has hit 16 of 17 PATs, and has a perfect score when kicking field goals. Texas State’s defense has grown this season and is capable of making big plays that will turn the score to their favor. Texas State has outscored their opponents on average by less than 1 point per game. Linebacker and Safety, David Mayo and Justin Iwuji ,have 7 interceptions between them with over 115 yards gained including a touchdown. This duo can have a big impact against Western Kentucky on Saturday.
Game time is 7:00 ET at Bobcat Stadium in San Marcos, Texas.
Be sure to take time and vote for your favorite team to win this game. Follow the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl hashtag for the latest news, events, and contests at #RLBowl.