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Lunch with Coach Fran

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It isn’t over until the fat lady sings.

And while the fat lady is still miles away, she may have to book an early trip to San Marcos if the Texas State football team continues to lose games.

A 1-4 start to the season isn’t necessarily a death knell, especially with the Bobcats’ schedule featuring weaker competition down the stretch.

Let’s start with South Alabama, which has split the last two meetings against Texas State. Both meetings were decided by fewer than five points.

“South Alabama has been a tough game both years I’ve been here,” said Coach Dennis Franchione. “It’s never as exciting when you lose as when you win, but it came down to the last play. They’ve always got a good team, it seems like.”

Last year’s meeting ended with the Bobcats driving in Jaguars territory as the clock expired.

Texas State faced a 1st-and-goal at South Alabama’s four-yard line. Tyler Jones, junior quarterback, threw two consecutive incompletions, denying the Bobcats a pivotal victory.

The what-if game is largely fruitless in sports, but Texas State would have played in its first bowl game in program history with a win over South Alabama, without a doubt.

In 2013, South Alabama nearly spoiled Texas State’s homecoming with a go-ahead touchdown.

This time around, the Bobcats drove 56 yards to set up Jason Dann’s game-winning field goal.

The point is that there isn’t a big difference between South Alabama and Texas State, which makes this Saturday’s matchup an important swing game.

Win, and the pressure dies down a little. Lose, and questions bubble to the surface before a non-conference game with Georgia Southern.

“I know all of you would like to find a way to get me to punctuate that for you,” Franchione said. “I’m not quite in that. They’re all pivotal and certainly we want to get turned around and go in a better direction.”

Each home matchup takes precedent, with eight games remaining. Four of the next five games are at Bobcat Stadium, completing a quirky schedule featuring three road games and two bye weeks before the third week of October.

“We would like to take care of home field here,” Franchione said. “I think it’s pivotal from that standpoint to try and get our momentum reversed. We play better at home, it seems like. It’s unusual, but it seems like it’s the start of a new season for us.”

Injuries have plagued the team—with eight ACL injuries in total—and the schedule was top-heavy with Florida State, Houston, Louisiana-Lafayette and Southern Mississippi. An unlucky break against the Golden Eagles robbed the Bobcats of their second victory.

There are legitimate reasons for the slow start, but something has to give eventually.

Legendary coach Bill Parcells once said, “You are what your record says you are.”

If Texas State falls to 1-5—and possibly 1-6 after facing Georgia Southern—there will be no more hiding from the truth.