2022 record: 4-8 (+0 wins from 2021)
Texas Power Poll ranking: 12 of 12
The only teams in Texas to field better scoring defenses than the Bobcats were Texas A&M, Texas, and UTSA. Texas State failed to reach a bowl game again, but it wasn’t due to a lack of effort or execution from the defensive side of the football. The Bobcats only allowed 26.3 points a game, which was only .3 points more than C-USA champion UTSA. Opponents only averaged 3.5 yards a carry and converted just 35.43 percent of their third down conversions.
Linebackers Sione Tupou and London Harris led the team with over 80 tackles each. Levi Bell was a first-team All-Texas selection by DCTF after posting five sacks and 13.5 tackles for loss. Jordan Revels was right behind him with 11 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks. Kordell Rogers recorded four interceptions. As a team, Texas State created 20 turnovers in 12 contests.
The high point of the season came on Oct. 8 when Texas State beat Appalachian State, a team that knocked off Texas A&M earlier in the season. That victory put the Bobcats at 3-3 on the year and on track for the program’s first bowl invite.
Jake Spavital was hired to provide Texas State with an explosive offensive attack. That never materialized, even with a new quarterback in 2022. Signal caller Layne Hatcher underwhelmed in his one season in San Marcos. The offense managed 21.08 points per game, which ranked 111th in the FBS. Hatcher passed for 221.08 yards per game, throwing just 19 touchdowns on 442 attempts.
The running game wasn’t much better. The Bobcats averaged 3.3 yards and attempt and 104.1 yards per game on the ground, scoring only nine touchdowns. Opponents doubled that output against a stingy Texas State defense. The lack of balance put too much pressure on Hatcher, who struggled to connect in the vertical game.
The Texas State offense totaled 30 touchdowns in 12 games. A few of those were defensive scores. The offense converted 36.76 percent of its third downs and 33.33 percent of fourth down attempts. The unit scored 20 touchdowns in 35 trips to the red zone.
Texas State wilted down the stretch after the 3-3 start. The Bobcats were riding high after the Oct. 8 win over App State. They didn’t win again until beating Arkansas State on Nov. 19 to stop a four-game losing streak.
That losing streak included a three-point loss to Troy when the defense caused three turnovers, a six-point loss to Southern Miss at homecoming, and a one-point loss to Louisiana Monroe that sealed Spavital’s fate. The 1-5 end to the 2022 year caused the administration to fire Spavital and eventually hire G.J. Kinne away from Incarnate Word.
Spavital was 13-35 in his four seasons in charge of the Bobcats. They won four games twice, but never sniffed bowl eligibility. Texas State was 9-23 in the Sun Belt during that span. The program hasn’t won more than four games since 2014 and they’ve only finished above .500 once since moving up to the FBS in 2012. The Bobcats are 23-73 since the start of the 2015 season.
Running back: D
Wide receiver/tight end: C-
Offensive line: C
Defensive line: B+
BIGGEST OFFSEASON QUESTION
Can Kinne turnaround the offense in one offseason?
Winning six games and becoming bowl eligible is the baseline expectation for the new coaching staff. The Sun Belt Conference has become one of the best in the G5 ranks and Texas State, the only Lone Star State school in the group, doesn’t want to be left out of the fun. That starts with an exciting offense, and that’s exactly why Kinne was hired.
He and offensive coordinator Mack Leftwich helped transfer quarterback Lindsey Scott win the Walter Payton Award, which is the Heisman Trophy for the FCS ranks. They’ve already landed Arkansas quarterback Malik Hornsby from the portal to lead the way.
WAY TOO EARLY 2023 OUTLOOK
Earning bowl eligibility in year one won’t be an easy task for Kinne & Co. due to a tough non-conference slate. The season begins with back-to-back road games against Baylor and UTSA. The most winnable game, at least on paper, is in Week 3 at home to Jackson State. The Bobcats close non-conference play with a home game against Nevada.
With the transfer portal and new recruiting rules, it is hard to get a grasp of what the Texas State roster looks like heading into 2023. The staff, most of whom followed Kinne over from UIW, has done a great job hitting the ground running in the portal and on the recruiting trail. Texas State wants to renew efforts recruiting the high school ranks, but Kinne must pillage the portal to win right away. It is a delicate balance that every first-year coach must maneuver.
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