Here are four takeaways from the Texas State football teams’ first half against Louisiana-Lafayette. The game is tied at 14.
In the last two meetings, Louisiana-Lafayette never trailed. After forcing a stop on 4th-and-1 in their own end of the field, Texas State drove 68 yards on seven plays to score its first touchdown.
Tyler Jones, junior quarterback, capped the drive with a jump pass that resulted in a 37-yard reception touchdown for Rob Lowe, senior running back. The drive lasted 142 seconds.
For Texas State, it was a much-needed jolt of confidence against Louisiana-Lafayette which won the last two contests by 48 points.
TWO BACK SET
Coach Dennis Franchione closed practice to the public for the last two weeks and we might have seen why.
Franchione has already utilized a new offensive wrinkle in the first half.
On the first drive, Texas State incorporated a two running back set – with Lowe and Chris Nutall, senior running back, on the field at the same time – and found some success.
Jones had several options on each play and Louisiana-Lafayette didn’t have much answers.
THIS IS THE TYLER JONES YOU’RE LOOKING FOR
For a few moments, he was the best player on the field for the first half.
Jones, making his third career start against Louisiana-Lafayette, was ready for the challenge this time around.
As a freshman, Jones completed 10 of 15 passes for 66 yards and one interception. As a junior, Jones finished with 118 total yards, two total touchdowns and zero interceptions in the first half.
Jones found a sliver of space in between the tackles and followed his blockers en-route to a 31-yard rushing touchdown.
DEFENSE MAKING STRIDES
Through one half, the Texas State defense looks dramatically better and more aggressive under interim defensive coordinator Brad Franchione.
The unit hasn’t been perfect, but two stops on fourth down helped cut short two Louisiana-Lafayette drives that might’ve resulted in points. In all, the Ragin’ Cajuns were 2 of 9 on third and fourth down.
Those plays simply didn’t happen two weeks ago with John Thompson. That’s an important start.
Louisiana-Lafayette totaled 259 yards in the first half and 14 points – both marks placing below the team’s regular season averages.