Bobcats look to surprise in 2013

The Texas State bobcats are in their second season in the FBS, and they started off with a bang last year when they upset Houston at home. Unfortunately for them, that was probably the high point of their season. They finished 4-8 and completed their one and only season in the WAC. This year they will be in the Sun Belt conference and look to build on an opportunity to compete for a conference championship. With head coach Dennis Franchione at the helm for his second stint at Texas State, he will hope to build this program to a winning program at the FBS level like he did in his two seasons here as an FCS school.

The Bobcats are returning 7 starters from last year’s team on the offensive side of the ball. They will be lead by Senior Quarterback Tyler Arendt, who has been hampered by injury problems during his time at Texas State, but has seen some playing time over the last three years. I would expect to see Arendt work very hard leading up to the season to make sure he is prepared to have a strong season and stay healthy. He will be joined in the backfield by juco transfer CJ best and Jamel James. The running attack will be used to spare the passing game, with the addition of Best, this year could be the Bobcats best opportunity to get near the 1,000 yard rush mark.

Luckily for Arendt they return two seniors and a junior on the receiving corps, look for that experience to help the Bobcats offense hang with some of the more explosive teams in 2013. Isiah Battle and Andy Erickson were the leading receivers last season with 428 yards each, and I look for them to remain neck and neck with that leading receiver tag. I would expect to see them put up bigger numbers this year, but don’t forget about junior tight end Kris Peterson, he will want his piece of the pie also and will look to stay on the heels of Battle and Erickson. This is only expected since departed tight end chase Harper was the number three receiver for the Bobcats last year.

Another positive for the Bobcats is they return eight of their top ten linemen, so look for there t be some experience on the line that should help them “dig in” when the game is on the line and they need to get that last first down to ice the game. With all that said, this could be one of the more surprising offensive units in the Sun Belt. If teams aren’t prepared for the Bobcats, then they could really surprise some teams and spoil someone’s chance at a conference title.

The Defense will also look a little more seasoned this year since they are returning eight starters, which will help them be tougher when it comes down to the conference schedule. The defensive line is all seniors this year and they will want to make their final season special and go out as winners with a possible bowl game. The linebackers will look to be better than they were last year, headed by senior David Mayo, look for the linebackers to wreak havoc on Sun Belt offenses. The secondary is another unit on the defensive side full of senior leadership, after having games last season where they got burned, they will have the motivation to keep that from happening again. I wouldn’t call this a shut down unit, but look for them to keep teams from running free.

Texas State is one of the more interesting teams I have previewed, looking at their schedule; it is an easy three to four game swing on wins and losses. They could win double digit games, or they could end up losing double digit games. They have a favorable schedule with some of the tougher games being at home. They also get their one “money” game in with Texas Tech. I am going to step out and say this team can get to seven wins this year and be on the cusp of a bowl game. Franchione has the history of being able to turn schools into winners and in his 3rd year back in San Marcos, he will be on the right track with the Bobcats.

8/31- At S. Miss- L
9/7- Prairie View A&M- W
9/21- At Texas Tech- L
9/28- Wyoming- W
10/5- At Louisiana- L
10/12- LA. Monroe- L
10/19- Georgia St.- W
10/26- S. Alabama- W
11/2- At Idaho- W
11/16- At Arkansas St.- W
11/23- W. Kentucky-L
11/29- At Troy- W
2013 Record: 7-5


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