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Tuesday, May 30, 2023


Tale of the Tape: Houston versus Texas State


Wide receiver Demarcus Ayers completes a reception against Tennessee Tech University. | Justin Tijerina/The Cougar


Coming off a bye week and a big victory over the University of Louisville, the Cougars will look to move to 3-0 Saturday against the Texas State Bobcats. The Bobcats are sitting at 1-2 and are coming off a tough 56-50 loss against the University of Southern Mississippi.

Quarterback matchup: Greg Ward, Jr. vs. Tyler Jones

Greg Ward, Jr.

Ward, Jr. played with poise and showed he was ready to take Houston to the next level leading the Cougars on three straight scoring drives in Louisville, including picking up two key third down conversions on the nine play game-winning drive. A true dual-threat, Ward was 23-33 for 236 yards and three touchdowns passing while adding 98 yards on 21 carries.

Tyler Jones

Jones, the reigning Sun Belt offensive player of the week, showed he is just as capable as Ward, Jr. totaling 5 touchdowns and 470 total yards against Southern Miss. Jones still has yet to throw an interception this season after going 31-46 for 310 yards and 3 touchdowns in the air while adding 160 yards and 2 touchdowns on the ground.

Who wins: Ward Jr. will continue to prove just how versatile he is, and the Cougars offensive weapons will prove to be too much for the Bobcats defense.

Running back matchup: Kenneth Farrow vs. Robert Lowe

Kenneth Farrow

Despite not yet finding the end zone this season, Farrow was able to rack up a team-leading 109 yards on 27 carries and one catch for 10 yards against Louisville. The senior captain will look to exploit a Bobcats defense that gave up 280 yards and 4 touchdowns on the ground against Southern Miss.

Robert Lowe

Lowe rushed for 90 yards and a touchdown on just 12 carries and added 16 yards on 3 receptions against Southern Miss. He has totaled 207 yards and 3 touchdowns so far in his senior campaign, but is averaging 97 yards per game over the past 2 weeks.

Who wins: Farrow is poised to have a breakout game against a porous defense, while Lowe runs into a team giving up just 49.5 yards per game on the ground.

Wide receiver matchup: Demarcus Ayers vs. Jafus Gaines

Demarcus Ayers

Ayers had a team-leading 8 receptions for 53 yards and a touchdown against Louisville and the versatile senior is averaging 121 all-purpose yards per game. Although he was unable to return any punts against the Cardinals, look for him to play a big role in special teams against Texas State.

Jafus Gaines

Gaines has steadily improved each game this season picking up a season-high 8 receptions for 78 yards against Southern Miss. The senior currently ranks ninth in the Sun Belt Conference with 173 yards and is averaging 57.67 yards per game.

Who wins: While Gaines will look to exploit a Cougar defense that has been vulnerable to the pass this season, Ayers’ versatility in all aspects of the game will prove to be the difference maker in this very close matchup between two senior playmakers.

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