Players, coach ‘glad’ for early open week

By: 

Assistant Sports Editor

The Texas State football team is on bye this week, but practice continues with the same intensity as during a game week.

The Bobcats’ next opponent, Navy, is eighth in the nation in total rushing yards this year. Navy defeated Texas State 21-10 in their previous matchup in 2012.

“Nothing changes on bye weeks,” said Jafus Gaines, junior wide receiver. “We are going to need every day for Navy. I played against them two years ago, so I know how aggressive they can be.”

The Bobcats defeated Arkansas-Pine Bluff by 65 points, the school’s largest margin of victory since 2005. Coach Dennis Franchione said the team is addressing the miscues that happened in the second half.

“We screwed up on a few possessions,” Franchione said. “We will address the fumble in this week’s practice along with the kneel-down. If not for those possessions, we would have scored every time.” 

The team has an opportunity with a bye week to focus on next week’s opponent and themselves.

“Its all about us this week,” Gaines said. “We are trying to limit the mistakes we made last week and work on them in practice this week. Focusing on our discipline this week is key. We know how disciplined these teams on our schedule can be.”

The 1-11 gap on defense and offense is something the team is focusing on in this week’s practice, along with continuing to progress on the defensive line.

“We played 70 guys last in last week’s game,” Franchione said. “It’s good to get those players in a game who have not ever played in a Division I game and get them off the practice field and on the field for valuable playing time.”

Tyler Jones, sophomore quarterback, was consistent in this week’s practice. Jones is working on his quick slants and screen passes out of the backfield.

“We all want to play well and help T-Jones,” Gaines said. “As receivers we all want to be on the same page as our quarterback in practice and especially in games.”

Jones was named the Sun Belt Conference Offensive Player of the Week. Jones set career-highs in passing yards and total touchdowns. His adjusted total quarterback rating was second in Division I. 

“If we continue to come out and practice like we did Saturday, it’s going to be hard to complain about anything in practice going forward,” Franchione said.

This is the Bobcats’ earliest bye week since 2009. 

“I think having an early bye week should really help us,” Gaines said. “It gives more time to practice and watch film and limit our mistakes in practice so we can be fully prepared coming off a bye.”

The focus in practice is Navy’s aggression and maintaining defensive discipline.

“I’m actually glad we have this early bye week,” Gaines said. “We need to practice what their techniques are and the little things that hurt them and practice on using them to our advantage. “

Coming off the bye, Texas State will have ample time to prepare for a running game that ran for 375 yards against the Ohio State Buckeyes.

“I like this week off,” Franchione said. “We have played one game, and anytime you play Navy you are going to need extra time to prepare and practice. We have spent a lot of time in August and camp preparing for this matchup.”

The Navy Midshipmen run the triple-option offense and will head into this week playing Temple after losing to the eighth-ranked Ohio State 34-17.