College Football Odds & Pick for Texas State vs. FIU: Tight Contest Expected in South Florida (Sept. 11)
Mark Brown/Getty Images. Pictured: Butch Davis
- Florida International hosts Texas State in a Week 2, evening college football matchup.
- The Panthers are coming off a 48-10 thrashing of LIU, while the Bobcats lost to Baylor by nine in their opener.
- Shawn Burns breaks down the battle, and completes his pick for what's expected to be a close game.
Texas State vs. FIU Odds
|Texas State Odds|
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
Texas State travels to Miami to face Florida International in the first ever matchup between the two programs. Texas State lost to Baylor last week in a competitive game, and FIU smashed Long Island, 48-10.
The Panthers, who went 0-5 in 2020, snapped a seven-game losing streak with their win, while Texas State hung with a Power 5 program, so both teams should head into this showdown thinking they can come away with a valuable non-conference victory.
Jake Spavital’s 5-20 record with Texas State may not look impressive, but it’s clear he has the program moving in the right direction.
Last season, the Bobcats finished with a 2-10 record, but had close losses to SMU, UTSA, Boston College, Louisiana and Georgia Southern and they hung tough against Baylor for four quarters last week. Texas State is no longer a pushover in the Sun Belt, and if things break their way, they have the talent to contend for a bowl berth.
The Bobcats are led by Brady McBride, a dual-threat quarterback who started his career at Memphis. Last season, he threw for 17 touchdowns with only seven interceptions in nine games. McBride didn’t come out of the gates hot in 2021, totaling just 156 yards and throwing three interceptions against Baylor.
Texas State also struggled to get anything going on the ground as its running backs combined for just 79 yards. Baylor’s Dave Aranda is one of the top defensive coaches in the country, so Saturday’s contest in Miami should be a much better measuring stick for the Texas State offense.
While the offense sputtered, the TSU defense held up well against Baylor. The Bobcats kept the Bears under 400 yards of total offense, which was a marked improvement from last season when they allowed almost 500 yards per game and over 240 yards on the ground.
Baylor did have some success on the ground, putting up 245 yards and averaging 5.4 yards per carry. That, in turn, allowed the Bears to control the time of possession. FIU running back D’Vonte Price has NFL potential, so it will be imperative for the Bobcats to stop him and the FIU rushing attack Saturday night.
Heading into the 2020 season, the Panthers played in three consecutive bowl games and expectations were high. Unfortunately, the season was a disaster. They didn’t win a game and ended up only playing five games due to Covid-related cancelations.
The offensive line struggled to protect the quarterback and the passing game was non-existent. Butch Davis is a winning college head coach, and with 18 starters returning, FIU has a great opportunity to bounce back.
Former Maryland quarterback Max Bortenschlager impressed in FIU’s opener, throwing for 266 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Bortenschlager worked particularly well with Bryce Singleton as the two combined for six receptions for 149 yards.
The passing game will need to be effective, but the FIU rushing offense led by D’Vonte Price is the key to Davis’ game plan. Price put up 165 yards on just five carries and scored three touchdowns against an overmatched Long Island squad. It’s pretty clear that FIU will need to establish the run against a questionable TSU ground defense.
The Florida International defense returns nine starters — including all four in the secondary — from 2020. The front seven should also take a step forward with multiple players gaining valuable experience last season. FIU has a new defensive coordinator Everett Withers, who has head coaching experience at James Madison and Texas State.
The Panthers cruised to an easy win against Long Island and they dominated from the get go so their true opener will be against Texas State.
Texas State vs. FIU Betting Pick
As the odds show, this should be a very competitive game with legitimate arguments to be made for both sides. FIU remains a slight favorite and, to this point, this line has moved very slightly. The Panthers are at home, but their home-field advantage is not massive.
Texas State’s explosive offense can cause problems in both phases of the game and Brady McBride is an elusive QB who does a good job keeping plays alive with his feet. However, this FIU secondary is experiences and that should be pivotal in helping keep McBride in check.
To me, the biggest advantage on paper in this one is the FIU rushing attack against the TSU defense. Price has the power and speed to cause problems and be a difference-maker. This won’t be a big play for me, but I’m taking FIU to win a close game.