TEXAS STATE FOOTBALL SEASON PREVIEW: Texas State Bobcats Team Facts:
The Texas State Bobcats program has grown by leaps and bounds over the past several years, and now has emerged from its FCS distinction to become a true Division I FBS squad. The Bobcats will join the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) in 2012 and begin a new era as a big time program – hoping to build on their recent success. The Bobcats posted a 6-6 record during 2011 with tough wins over Stephen F. Austin and McNeese State, but will face a much tougher level of competition during 2012. Bobcats' coach Dennis Franchione knows that his team will face an uphill battle, but may have the pieces in place to make some noise in the WAC this season.
The Bobcats' offense is experiencing a bit of a quarterback controversy, as senior Shaun Rutherford and junior Tyler Arndt are vying for the starting job. In the backfield, the Bobcats will benefit from the return of Terrence Franks and Marcus Curry, who accounted for more than 1,500 yards on the ground during 2011. Whoever is starting at quarterback will enjoy steady targets like Chase Harper at tight end, as well as Isaiah Battle and Andy Erickson at wide receiver. The Bobcats' offensive line will feature a few underclassmen this year, but there are a handful of veterans that should help the unit gel quickly in the beginning of the season.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Bobcats look tough on the defensive line, with starters
Thomas Evans and Jordan Norfleet expected to bring a strong pass rush on every down. Joplo Bartu could be the leader of the defense this year at the middle linebacker position, but the unit will see a new face with freshman linebacker Josh Robinson expected to start. The secondary will benefit from the return of safety Ryan Chase and cornerback Darryl Morris, but the defense as a whole will need to get their young guns up to speed to get through a brutal early schedule.
With their jump to the WAC, the Bobcats will have some major speedbumps in their early schedule during 2012. Showdowns against Houston, Texas Tech and Nevada look to be the biggest games on the team's schedule, and they will come during the first month of the season. It's a brand new era of Bobcats football, and there may be another team from Texas that's blazing up the national polls fairly soon.
Location: San Marcos, Texas See Also: Texas State Bobcats Basketball tickets