Instead of a practice report, how about we break down Friday’s Play of the Day.
Near the end of Texas State’s first practice in full pads, the first-string offense (with redshirt freshman quarterback Jordan Moore under center) lined up against the first-string defense. That meant sophomore wide receiver Brandon Smith went head-to-head with junior cornerback Craig Mager.
Now understand Mager hadn’t allowed a receiver to make a catch through four practices. Just a few days ago Texas State cornerbacks coach Jason Washington told a fellow coach that they shouldn’t go through one-on-one passing drills, because it’s just exercise for Mager.
Well, the offense dialed up a play that left Smith on an island with the Bobcats’ best defensive back.
“Craig is a great cover corner,” Moore said. “I looked out there and said, ‘We have one of our best receivers lined up against him. Why not take a shot?’”
Moore dropped back and Smith sold the first part of a slant-and-go to perfection. While Mager didn’t completely bite, the move — and Moore’s pump fake — gave Smith just enough separation.
Less than a second later, Moore aired it out from 35 to 40 yards out.
Smith had a great read on the ball as it descended, but Mager stuck to him like a newly-dried sock. Both went up in the air and Smith hauled in the pass — that could only be thrown to one spot — with one hand.
“He made a heck of a catch,” Moore said.