Texas State experienced its first FBS win in school history over Houston Saturday 30-13, although the celebration did not last long as the team looks forward to an even bigger test against Texas Tech this weekend.
“I hope (the players started preparing) about 5:30 on Sunday when we got done with our team meeting,” Coach Dennis Franchione said. “We finished up our dialogue from the Houston game. Then we started our scouting report for the Texas Tech game.”
Momentum and excitement is bubbling from last week’s monumental win over the Cougars. The much talked-about Texas Tech game and the official unveiling of the expanded stadium end zone section have added intensity to the practice fields.
“We had a good Tuesday (practice),” Franchione said. “Sunday was ok — nothing wrong with Sunday. Today was the first day the game plan (went) in. There’s a lot of mental work aside from the physical. I thought they were pretty purposeful.”
Players and coaches agree last week’s game is in the rearview mirror and although they will use the slight momentum to their advantage, players like running back Marcus Curry do not want the Houston win to be their only positive for the year.
“Coach Fran definitely did not take it easy on us today,” Curry said. “We practiced a full 21 periods. We were out there going hard today. We got to build on it. We can’t settle. We don’t want (the Houston win) to be the highlight of our season.”
The Bobcat offense led by Curry and quarterback Shaun Rutherford used a balanced attack last week and in practice it looked no different. Not only were the play calls mixing up the run and the pass, but Rutherford and quarterback Tyler Arndt were completing short passes with consistency while using their running backs in a variety of ways.
Defensive back Craig Mager was another player to step up when Texas State needed it the most last week with a key interception as his defense backed up in the opponent’s red zone. Mager hopes to continue his own success in the secondary against a savvy and talented Texas Tech offense.
The defense has a little experience against an offense like the Red Raiders’. Mager admits it is very similar to that of Houston’s, even though there are some subtle differences. Preparations for the Texas Tech offense have been smooth stemming from last week.
“(Texas Tech) and Houston are pretty similar,” Mager said. “They run a lot of the same route combinations. We got a little bit of practice already because of last week. They have a lot of size though.”
The Bobcats have no major injuries for the second week in a row. Coming into the season Franchione and his coaching staff were emphasizing the importance of staying healthy during their first WAC season. So far the off-season workouts and conditioning have been helping.