Monthly Archives: October 2009

Bobcats lose Karrington Bush for the rest of the season

Texas State received some bad news Tuesday afternoon.

The Bobcats learned they’ll be without running back Karrington Bush for the rest of the season. Bush tore his ACL, LCL and MCL during Saturday’s game against Nicholls State.

“It’s a shame,” Texas State head coach Brad Wright said. “We didn’t know what to expect, but the way it happened, it didn’t look good.”

Bush had a huge game vs. the Colonels before his injury, rushing for 163 yards on 20 carries. It was his 13th career 100-yard rushing game.

The Bobcats are now left with Alvin Canady and Frank Reddic to carry the load at running back. Canady and Reddic were each serviceable while Bush was out earlier this season for two games due to an MCL strain.

Texas State travels to Northwestern State this Saturday. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.

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Garelick working through growing pains

Justin Garelick lined up with Texas State down 51-50 in overtime against Southeastern Louisiana.

The Bobcat freshman kicker needed to split the uprights to send the game into a second overtime. He took his steps and took a few deep breaths.

Snap. Hold. Kick.

Clang.

Garelick’s attempt bounced off the left upright and Texas State lost to the Lions for the first time in 13 games. He collapsed to the ground, hands on top of his head and waited.

The freshman kicker didn’t know how his teammates would respond. Moreover, Garelick had no idea how his coaches, specifically Brad Wright would handle his fourth missed extra-point attempt this season.

“I expected the worst, just because I’ve never been through a situation like this,” Garelick said. “But it felt a lot better after the game knowing the coaches still supported me and every single player came up to talk to me.”

Garelick replayed the kick in his mind Saturday night and then all day Sunday. By the time he got to Monday’s film study, it began to leave his memory and after a few kicks Tuesday, it was gone.

Kickers are supposed to have short memories. They get so many chances in a season to showcase their talents, but when something goes horribly wrong it gets magnified.

“I always try to forget the past and focus on the future,” Garelick said. “If you have a bad streak, you forget about it and move on to the next one. You just try and focus each time when you need to get ready for a game.”

Garelick’s been the starting kicker ever since Ryan Batchelor strained his hip flexor in fall camp. Wright tabbed Garelick as former Texas State kicker Andrew Ireland’s heir apparent once he recruited him out of Pflugerville High.

Garelick still has a lot to learn as a collegiate kicker.

He can’t use a tee on field goals or extra-point attempts, which forces him to try to get more power behind his steps. Garelick has buried a 44-yard field goal this season, yet has missed four extra points.

“I need to make sure I hit the ball pure every time,” Garelick said. “Sometimes I don’t, but I’m working on getting more consistent.”

While kicking in larger stadiums might be unnerving for the freshman kicker, Garelick feels at ease when he’s on the field. It doesn’t matter if he’s lined up for a 44-yard field goal or a game-tying extra point.

“I definitely feel like I’m handling the pressure better than I thought I would,” Garelick said. “Once I get the feel down and settle in a bit, I should be fine.”

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Who truly deserves the blame for the Southeastern Louisiana loss?

Everything went right for Texas State through 51 minutes of last Saturday’s game against Southeastern Louisiana.

Then, in the blink of an eye and nine minutes of stone-cold silence, the Bobcats collapsed.

Texas State relinquished a 24-point lead in the fourth quarter and eventually lost in overtime to the Lions. The Bobcats’ offense, which had been moving the ball efficiently, stalled and their defense struggled to stop the simplest plays.

“It’s like everything that could have gone wrong – did go wrong,” Texas State senior offensive lineman Alex Luna said. “We went from being comfortably in the lead to barely holding on. It snowballed on us.”

Why couldn’t SLU’s onslaught be stopped?

It wasn’t like the Lions were doing anything special against the Bobcats. SLU just kept with its game plan of running the ball between the tackles and wearing down the Texas State defense.

Once the Bobcats grew tired, Lion quarterback Brian Babin (who had all day in the pocket) picked apart the secondary. SLU’s wide receivers made some great catches, but a bigger and more-experienced defensive backfield could defend those receivers better.

“You keep on believing that your team is going to make a play,” Texas State defensive coordinator Fred Bleil said. “We were 0-for-8 or 0-for-9 on critical plays that they made. That’s a big credit to Southeastern Louisiana, but a discredit to us.”

So where does the blame ultimately fall for the loss?

It was in a lack of leadership on the field by the Bobcats’ captains and senior class.

Texas State has four captains (Bradley George, Alex Luna, Marcus Clark and Travis Houston) and out of those, only one (Clark) made a vocal plea to the team to stop the madness. Clark got into his teammates’ faces on the Lions’ last two drives, urging them to make a play.

George, on the other hand, sulked on the sideline between offensive series. Luna didn’t command respect on the offensive line and Houston sat on his hands.

“You can try and try to get everybody going,” Houston said, “but when the world seems like it’s falling apart around you, it’s hard to keep a smile up and stay motivated.”

If the Bobcats ever start to fall apart again, Houston said the captains and team learned from last Saturday’s collapse.

“It’s all on us as the captains,” Houston said. “People look toward us to lead the team and we didn’t. It won’t happen again.”

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Notes from yesterday’s media luncheon with Brad Wright

• A few people have asked me why Texas State runs the punt formation it does. I asked Wright yesterday and he said it’s the best way for the Bobcats to get to ball off in under 1.2 seconds. Wright also said it’s easier to run the three or four fakes the team does out of this formation.

• When asked about Justin Garelick’s job as kicker, he said “No one’s job is safe.” Expect there to be some movement soon, either with the aforementioned walk-on kicker from the Rio Grande Valley or Ryan Batchelor. Garelick has missed four extra-point attempts this season.

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What they were saying at practice (10/8)

Texas State defensive coordinator Fred Bleil


On the Bobcats’ third down defense: “This season, if you look at where we’ve been successful and the ups-and-downs of the defense, we have not been successful on the third-down pass defense. One, it’s been a few mistakes and two, we need to be more physical.”

On why SUU had so much success on third down: “They just out-executed us. I had a few bad calls that I’d like to have back where we should have been in man coverage rather than zone.”

On SLU QB Brian Babin: “He only threw seven interceptions last year. He takes good care of the football. At 6-foot-5, he has good vision and he’s a heck of a quarterback.”

Texas State defensive end Ron Jackson

On the defensive line’s struggles this season: “We need to get to the QB faster. If we make them make bad decisions, it makes the job of the DBs and linebackers a lot easier.”

On how to improve the D-line’s play: “We need to pressure but also make sure we hold our gaps on the run. We need to hold the blockers up front so the linebackers can make plays.”

Texas State linebacker Bryan Iwuji

On the team’s struggles on third down: “When you get a team in position to get the defense off the field, you need to take advantage of that. It comes a lot during the game and when it does, you need to capitalize.”

On disrupting SLU QB Brian Babin: “We need to get pressure on him. The D-line needs to get up field and around those blocks and get to the QB. The DBs and linebackers need to get back to the drops to make sure they can’t go underneath.”

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Bobcat Football Live Chat (transcript)

Bobcat Live Football Chat (10/7/2009)

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Excerpt from tomorrow’s feature on Frank Reddic

Frank Reddic is tough.


Reddic, a freshman running back at Texas State, once rushed 53 times for 347 yards during a playoff game as a senior at Kilgore High. He raised horses as an adolescent, helped build houses from scratch and moved slabs of sheet rock. Reddic also tried bull riding, but gave it up once he thought better of it.

After one visit to his home in Kilgore, Bobcat running backs coach Charlie Reeve knew he had to recruit Reddic to play for Texas State.

“I knew there was something special about him,” Reeve said. “I made visits to his home in Kilgore and talking with him and learned so much about him. Number one, we knew what type of person we were getting. He’s a great character kid. He’s mentally and physically tough and we knew we’d get a durable back.”

To read the rest, check out Wednesday’s edition of the Daily Record. And don’t forget the live chat tomorrow night at 7 p.m.

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Notes from the SLC conference call…

McNeese State head coach Matt Viator

• On SFA — “They are playing really well on defense. They have most of those kids back. They are playing extremely sound and overall, I think they are a more physical football team.”

Nicholls State head coach Jay Thomas

• On Sam Houston State — “They are very productive on offense. You can see their QB growing each and every week. Defensively, you can see their defense starting to grow. It’s going to be a challenge for us and it’s always a difficult place for us going to play.”

• On his QBs — “They’ve been sporadic. You see some bright spots but it’s up and down. They’re coming along with the process, but with young guys it takes time. We just have to continue to grow them a little bit.”

SFA head coach J.C. Harper

• On McNeese State — “It’s going to be a huge challenge for us. I can’t say enough about McNeese State, not only lately, but in the last few years. They’re a team that knows how to win. This will be the MOST PHYSICAL challenge we will have this season.”

• Random quote — “I don’t think McNeese is worried about us, but we’re worried about them. You don’t need to worry about other teams when you win 12 conference championships.”

SHSU head coach Todd Whitten

• On Nicholls State — “They present some obvious problems. There’s not enough to think you can get good at stopping the option. They are also always tough on defense and they’re very balanced at what they do.”

SE Louisiana head coach Mike Lucas

• On the school’s winless record vs. Texas State — “They were kind enough to play us from the beginning. There were some times that we’ve had to go there in back-to-back years. We’ve only won two road games in conference since 2005.”

• On Texas State — “They have so many weapons on offense. With Karrington Bush out, it’s helped their running backs mature and they’ve had a lot of production from many different guys. I’ve been impressed with the amount of guys they’ve been running in and out on defense. No. 52 (Marcus Clark) is a playmaker.”

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