Wolf Pack big underdog at Texas State

Texas State football players enter Bobcat Stadium in San Marcos, Texas on Sept. 16 for a game against Jackson State. Texas State won, 77-34.

Texas State football players enter Bobcat Stadium in San Marcos, Texas on Sept. 16 for a game against Jackson State. Texas State won, 77-34.
CJ Halloran/Texas State Athletics

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A look ahead to Saturday’s (4 p.m.) non-conference football game between the Nevada Wolf Pack (0-3) and Texas State Bobcats (2-1) at Bobcat Stadium in San Marcos, Texas.


THE POINT SPREAD: Texas State is favored by 17.

AT STAKE FOR NEVADA: The Wolf Pack has lost a school-record 13 straight games. Its last victory was over Texas State in Reno, 38-14, on Sept. 3, 2022.

AT STAKE FOR TEXAS STATE: Texas State is hoping to start a season at 3-1 for the first time since 2013, its first season in the Sun Belt Conference. The Bobcats beat a Mountain West team (Wyoming, 42-21) for their third victory in 2013.

LOSING STREAK FACTS: The Wolf Pack is 0-7 at home and 0-6 on the road during its 13-game losing streak. The streak started with a 55-41 loss to Incarnate Word, a FCS team, on Sept 10, 2022 at home. Incarnate Word’s coach was current Texas State coach G.J. Kinne. The Pack has been outscored 475-209 during the streak, an average of 36.5-16.1. At kickoff on Saturday, it will be 385 days since the Pack last won a game (Sept. 3, 2022 against Texas State).

TEXAS STATE LAST WEEK: The Bobcats beat Jackson State, 77-34, piling up 684 yards on offense. Texas State’s school record for points in a game is 78 against Meridian College in 1920. The Bobcats rushed for 399 yards against Jackson State and threw just four passes in the second half.

NEVADA LAST WEEK: The Wolf Pack lost to Kansas, 31-24, at Mackay Stadium. Quarterback Brendon Lewis was 15-of-22 for 113 yards through the air and rushed for 58 yards and two touchdowns on 11 carries. The Wolf Pack fumbled five times but did not lose any of them.

THE SERIES: The Wolf Pack is 2-0 against Texas State, winning 34-21 in San Marcos, Texas in 2012 and 38-14 last year in Reno. The Wolf Pack scored 24 points in the third quarter to break open last year’s game. Nevada’s Bentlee Sanders intercepted two passes, returning one 34 yards for a touchdown last year against the Bobcats. Texas State, though, had more first downs (15-13) and total yards (294-274) than the Pack. Texas State’s head coach last year (Jake Spavital) is now the offensive coordinator at the University of California. He went 13-35 in four years as Texas State head coach.

PACK VS. SUN BELT: The Wolf Pack is just 2-0 against teams that were in the Sun Belt at the time they played Nevada. The Pack beat Texas State last year and Arkansas State in the 2018 Arizona Bowl, 16-13 in overtime. The Pack, though, is 8-7 against teams currently in the Sun Belt (0-2 against Georgia Southern, 0-3 against Southern Miss, 2-0 against Texas State, 3-0 against Louisiana-Monroe and 3-2 against Arkansas State). The Pack currently has three future games scheduled against the Sun Belt. Nevada will host Georgia Southern in 2024 and will play Troy twice, 2024 at home and 2031 on the road.

TEXAS STATE VS. MOUNTAIN WEST: The Bobcats are 1-7 against the Mountain West, going 1-3 against Wyoming, 0-2 against Nevada, 0-1 against New Mexico and 0-1 against Utah State.

THE HEAD COACHES: Nevada’s Ken Wilson is 2-13, in his second year as head coach. Wilson is 2-0 against Texas State, beating the Bobcats in 2012 as a Nevada assistant (34-21) and last year as Nevada’s head coach (38-14). Texas State’s G.J. Kinne is 14-3 as a head coach, 12-2 at Incarnate Word last year and 2-1 this year at Texas State. Kinne has been an assistant at SMU (2017), Arkansas (2018), the Philadelphia Eagles (2019), Hawaii (2020) and Central Florida (2021). Kinne is 2-0 against Nevada, beating the Wolf Pack in 2020 as Hawaii’s offensive coordinator and last year as Incarnate Word’s head coach, 55-41.

BOBCATS AMONG NATION’S BEST: Texas State leads the nation in tackles for a loss at 11.3 a game (34 for 158 yards in losses). The Bobcats are also No. 12 in the country at 44 points a game and No. 37 in total offense at 455.7 a game.

INCARNATE WORD TO TEXAS STATE: Kinne brought 10 of his former Incarnate Word players with him to Texas State after last season. Eight of those players played for Incarnate Word against Nevada last season. Five of the players are offensive linemen (Dorion Strawn, Emeka Obigbo, Jemeto Obigbo, Caleb Johnson and Nash Jones) that all played in Incarnate World’s 55-41 win at Mackay Stadium last season. Safeties Shawn Holton (four tackles against Nevada) and Kaleb Culp (12 tackles, one forced fumble) also played against the Pack. Texas State offensive coordinator Mack Leftwich was also Incarnate Word’s OC last year.

BOISE STATE TO TEXAS STATE: The Wolf Pack will see another familiar face in San Marcos, Texas on Saturday. Former Boise State defensive end Deven Wright is now a member of the Bobcats. Wright had a sack in Boise State’s 41-3 win at Mackay Stadium last year, dropping Pack quarterback Shane Illingworth in the first quarter. Wright has played in two games this season for Texas State. He had three tackles and two sacks against Jackson State last week.

BOBCATS STUN BAYLOR: Kinne began his career at Texas State with a 42-31 win over Baylor on Sept. 2 in Waco, Texas. It is the first victory over a Power Five school in Texas State’s history. Texas State quarterback T.J. Finley was 22-of-30 for 298 yards and three touchdowns against Baylor.

FINLEY’S LONG JOURNEY: T.J. Finley is in his first year as Texas State’s quarterback. The 6-foot-7, 255-pound Finley has completed 55-of-81 passes for 760 yards, six touchdowns and no interceptions this year. Finley comes to Texas State after one season at LSU (2020) and two years (2021-22) at Auburn. He was 80-of-140 for 941 yards and five touchdowns for LSU in 2020 in five games. The last two years at Auburn he was 103-of-181 for 1,258 yards and seven touchdowns over 13 games. Finley has played twice against Alabama, completing 14-of-28 for 144 yards and a touchdown in 2020 and 17-of-26 for 137 yards and two touchdowns in 2021.


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