Football

Bobcats looking to ‘leave no doubt’ in 2015 season

Jafus Gaines, senior wide receiver, showed up nearly three hours early to prepare for an intrasquad scrimmage.

Gaines took a shower and stretched to get his mind ready. The annual Maroon and Gold game had no implications on his standings, but Gaines wanted to wipe away the memories from last season. That meant putting in extra work in the offseason.

The Texas State football team did not make a bowl game despite winning seven of 12 matchups last year. The Bobcats had the most wins of any Division I team that missed a bowl game.

A new year presents another opportunity. For now, the end of the 2014 season rests on the minds of the Bobcats.  

Maroon team “Gaines” the victory

The Maroon team dialed up a Hail Mary play with fewer than 10 seconds remaining.

Connor White, sophomore quarterback for the Maroon team, had three options on the play—Jafus Gaines (senior wide receiver), Lawrence White (senior tight end) and Ryan Garrey (senior wide receiver).  

Gaines told Garrey to get in front of the defense so he could sneak behind it in case the ball was tipped.

White rolled to his left as the defense collapsed, throwing the ball toward Gaines. The Gold team deflected the ball into Gaines’ hands for the game-winning touchdown. The Maroon team left Bobcat Stadium with a 23-21 victory.

“Those plays don’t happen every often,” White said. “It was a lot of fun. I don’t know if you can end it any funner than that.”

Notebook: Maroon 23, Gold 21

WHAT THE GAME MEANS

The game does not mean anything from a fan perspective, but Coach Dennis Franchione was able to measure the talent of his team in a low-stakes intrasquad setting. Franchione said the matchup was the most physical spring game in which he has participated.  

Now the team can ease up a bit before increasing its intensity in the summer and fall. The real tests remain months away.

 

TURNING POINT

The last play of the game, which made the top 10 for ESPN’s Saturday SportsCenter show.

Maroon and Gold game to conclude spring practice

The Texas State football team’s foundation is molded in spring, five months before the Bobcats’ season opener against Florida State.

The culmination of spring practice is Texas State’s annual Maroon-Gold game, pitting the Bobcats against themselves in an intrasquad matchup.

The game is a chance for younger players to make a statement. For older players, the game is an opportunity to shake off the rust in preparation for the 2015 season.

For Coach Dennis Franchione, the game is a glimpse of what to expect from his team.

Welcome to the Mager zone: Alum looking to find NFL niche

Craig Mager joined the Texas State football program in 2010. Those were different times.

Texas State was not a FBS team at the time. The Bobcats had not been bowl eligible and had not appeared on national television.

Texas State was the new kid on the block, attempting to make a mark in college football. 

Five years later, Mager and the football program are drawing interest from the National Football League.

Twenty-four NFL scouts representing 23 teams visited Texas State’s 2015 pro day, up from one in 2011.

“I’ve seen this university grow to what it is right now,” Mager said. “I’ve had some opportunity to help that growth. It’s just amazing to see what a little bit of a culture change and a new coach can do to a university.”

Craig Mager invited to 2015 NFL Combine

Craig Mager, senior cornerback, received an invite to the 2015 NFL Combine in Indianapolis, Indiana, where he will be pitted against other defensive backs in the hope of, eventually, securing a position in the NFL.

The NFL combine, spanning six days in length, consists of measurements, exams, interviews, meetings, psychological testing, bench press, 10, 20 and 40-yard interval runs, along with stations and skill drills. Chicago will host the 2015 NFL Draft, which begins April 30 and concludes May 2 with the sixth and seventh rounds.

Texas State announces 2016 non-conference schedule

The Texas State football team announced its 2016 non-conference schedule, with matchups scheduled against Arkansas, Houston, Ohio and Incarnate Word.

Texas State begins the 2015 season with a road game against Florida State, who were defeated 59-20 by No. 2 ranked Oregon in the semifinals of the College Football Playoff. Houston, Southern Mississippi and Prairie View A&M round out the rest of the 2015 non-conference schedule.

In two seasons, Texas State will compete against members of the American Conference, Mid-American Conference, Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) and the Southeastern Conference (SEC), the latter two comprising the "power five" conferences. 

Jason Washington to join Houston coaching staff

Texas State secondary coach Jason Washington is expected to join the Houston coaching staff according to Sports Illustrated. Washington will join a staff headed by Tom Herman.

Washington, a former defensive back for Texas State, spent seven years with the Bobcats coaching staff in two different stints. 

Under Washington, the Bobcats finished with 13 interceptions last year, the 34th-highest mark in Division I and the second-highest in the Sun Belt conference. 

Texas State is slated to play Houston Sept. 26 in its fourth game of the 2015 season.

Follow Quixem Ramirez on Twitter @quixem.

Orakpo declares for 2015 NFL Draft

After being unable to secure a medical redshirt from the NCAA for his sixth year of eligibility, Mike Orakpo, senior linebacker, declared for the 2015 NFL Draft according to Joe Vozelli of the San Marcos Daily Record. 

Orakpo, named to the Sun Belt Conference first team defensive team in the preseason, missed 10 games this year, after tearing his ACL and MCL in the second quarter in Texas State's 35-21 loss to the Navy Midshipmen.

Orakpo tallied 76 tackles and 5.5 sacks in 14 career games for the Bobcats. 

Follow Quixem Ramirez on Twitter @quixem.

Mayo earns Sun Belt Conference Defensive Player of the Year

David Mayo, senior linebacker, was named the Sun Belt Conference Defensive Player of the Year award, becoming the first Texas State football player to earn a Sun Belt Conference individual award.

Mayo tied the conference record with 154 tackles this season, exceeding the 20 tackle threshold twice this season. Mayo's 22 tackles in the 22-18 win over Louisiana-Monroe were the third most in an individual game in conference history.

Bradley Miller, senior tight end, Michael Odiari, senior defensive end, and Craig Mims, junior cornerback, were named to the first-team offensive and defensive teams, respectively. 

Follow Quixem Ramirez on Twitter @quixem.

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