Can you believe the season opener is just 10 days away (or fewer, depending when you’re reading this)?
On Aug. 31, Texas State opens the 2013 campaign on the road at Southern Mississippi. Just recently, the City of Hattiesburg declared the last day of August, “Beat Texas State Day.”
Preparations to make sure the Golden Eagles don’t beat the Bobcats began in earnest Wednesday night, as Dennis Franchione and his coaching staff began to implement the game plan. More and more of each practice will focus on what the coaches feel would be needed for Texas State to win its second consecutive season opener.
What else happened at practice? Who worked with the scout teams? Read on.
- Unless catastrophe strikes, true freshman quarterback Tyler Jones won’t see playing time in 2013. Jones — and Fred Nixon, for that matter — worked with the scout team and split reps showing the defense what to expect from Southern Miss. It’s safe to assume Jones (as well as true freshman running back Jamel James) will redshirt, which is probably for the better.
- Jones’ best friend and roommate, Brice Gunter, should see plenty of action this season. Gunter worked with the second-string offense Tuesday night and caught a few passes during 11-on-11 drills.
- Redshirt freshman quarterback Jordan Moore went through more of those ‘peaks and valleys‘ as co-offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Mike Schultz told me a few days ago. Moore looked in control during 11-on-11 drills, but once the offense started working against the scout team, he struggled. All but one of his first six passes hit the ground and another pass ended up in the hands of sophomore linebacker Ryder Burke. Even though Moore would be credited with the interception, it would be easy to pin it on junior tight end Lawrence White as the pass went through his hands and bounced off his helmet. Moore settled down eventually.
- Based purely on first-team reps, expect the line of Adrian Bellard, Felix Romero, Charlie Will Tuttle, Ryan Melton and Devin Baker to stick together. Franchione said the group is still working out a few kinks, but it shouldn’t be long before they gel and start ‘moving some furniture,’ as they like to call it.
- Want a name to look out for at defensive end? Kris Petersen. Just like Chase Harper did last year, Petersen went through a few drills with defensive line coaches Mike Hudson and Kyle Tatum at the end of practice. Petersen is built like an ox at 6-foot-4 and 235 pounds.
Texas State head coach Dennis Franchione on how they developed a game plan for a team like Southern Miss that has a new coaching staff: “It’s problematic. One of the reasons you see more upsets in the first games is because you go in with less knowledge of things than any game of the year. You don’t have good tape to watch. You don’t know their personnel. You spend a long time working on a broad scheme of things, because you don’t know what you don’t know. You do your research as best you can, but you always go into the game a little blind.”
Texas State senior safety Justin Iwuji on this upcoming season: “We know our motto is “All in,” so we’re just going to take it one game at a time. Every game is a winnable game and that’s how we approach it.”
Texas State sophomore running back Tim Gay on if he’d walk to Hattiesburg to clear his mind before the season opener: “I’m not Forrest Gump.”