Texas State has been lacking in physicality, execution, Jake Spavital says

Keff Ciardello
American-Statesman Correspondent
Texas State coach Jake Spavital said his team is lacking in two key areas: physicality and execution. The Bobcats have lost two straight games, both against Sun Belt teams. "I feel like half the game we are doing the good stuff, but the other half we aren’t doing what we should be doing,” he said.

SAN MARCOS — Texas State head coach Jake Spavital, coming off a second straight Sun Belt loss, said Tuesday that he's pleased with his team's effort, but there are two specific areas where the Bobcats are lacking: physicality and execution.

Texas State (2-5, 1-2 Sun Belt) has lost its last two — 31-28 to Troy, 28-16 to Georgia State — and four of its last five.

“I thought (Georgia State) dominated the line of scrimmage and that’s why our yards per play weren’t very good (4.4 yards per play on 85 plays),” Spavital said. “We had 15 negative plays and they had one. That kind of shows you pretty much how the game was won and lost from a physical standpoint.

“Our room for error is so minimal at times on the execution side," he added. "People are making plays and everyone had their moments, but the consistency of it throughout the course of the game is not there right now. We had a lot of missed tackles, dropped balls. ... I feel like half the game we are doing the good stuff, but the other half we aren’t doing what we should be doing.”

The fault wasn't all on the players, Spavital said; there have been mistakes on the coaching side, too.

“There’s going to be some tough play calls at times. They aren’t always going to be the right play calls and we’ve got to do a better job getting them in the right position,” he said.

The offensive line is hurting. Starting center Charles Fletcher was lost for the season two weeks ago, and last Saturday two other starters (Liam Dobson and Alex Costilla) were injured. Both Dobson and Costilla are expected to play this week at Louisiana.

Spavital praised the performance of receiver Ashtyn Hawkins, who had career highs with six receptions and 108 yards. Hawkins, a sophomore transfer from Cisco College, had his first touchdown the week prior, a 2-yard catch in a 31-28 loss to Troy. He has 10 catches for 130 yards on the season.

“(Hawkins) was making plays and executing like we talked about,” Spavital said. “That’s the thing, they were dominating us so well, that when we tried to get out on the perimeter, he was the only one making plays. Actually getting the yards you should get on that.”

Receiver Donnovan Moorer suffered a season-ending injury in the loss to Georgia State. And defensive tackle Nico Ezidore and cornerback Michael LoVett III were limited and are still working back to full strength. Ezidore was a third-team All-Sun Belt selection last year but has been coming off the bench this season, registering 18 tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss. LoVett started the first four games.