Football

Practice report: Football amping up intensity

The intensity is already there for the Texas State football team.

The season opener against 10th-ranked Florida State is fast approaching and the Bobcats are more prepared to take on the biggest challenge in program history.

There was limited contact in Friday’s practice. The players have been practicing all week long, so Coach Dennis Franchione decided to give them a reward by giving them a light practice so the players’ bodies can heal up.

“We had three good days with shoulder pads,” Franchione said. “I was pleased with the work Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. They worked hard Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. So because of that we decided to wear shorts and helmets today.”

Bowens keeping level head as season approaches

Kwamane Bowens, sophomore wide receiver, doesn’t care what you think.

Bowens doesn’t just ignore the praise, he doesn’t even hear it.

In the current college landscape, Bowens is a rarity.

None of the distractions, praise or exterior elements that influence collegiate athletes factor into Bowens’ equation.

Not even after Coach Dennis Franchione called Bowens, a junior college transfer who played one year at Hawaii, one of the rising stars of fall practice.

“I don’t hear any of it,” Bowens said. "It’s a blessing to hear but even though he’s saying it, I still have to ignore it because I’m not really worried about what the head coach says right now. I’m worried about how I can keep grinding and keep grinding for the receiving core and the team.”

First-ever deaf section headed to Bobcat Stadium this fall

The Texas State football team will have a new group of fans this fall.

For the first time in university history, there will be a deaf section for fans at Bobcat Stadium..

The section, which seats up to 1,000 people, will be near the 35-yard line. Ticket prices will be reduced from the usual $25 to $10.

Deaf people and those fluent in American Sign Language will be eligible for the reduced ticket prices at the lower level.

To purchase tickets in the section, fans should contact Brian Guendling, communication studies junior, through his social media platforms. Guendling plans on providing a tent for deaf people who wish to participate in tailgate festivities.

'Cool Hand Luke' comfortable leading team into battle

It took two plays for Coach Dennis Franchione to realize what he had in Tyler Jones, junior quarterback.

Jones was a freshman then, making his first collegiate start against Wyoming. On his second play, Jones rushed around the left tackle for a 38-yard gain.

That’s when everything started to click.

Jones finished with 196 yards and one touchdown in the Bobcats’ 42-21 win against Wyoming.

Name the statistical category and Jones likely improved from his freshman year, when he earned the starting quarterback job midway through the season. His passing yards, completion percentage, rushing yards and rushing touchdowns elevated in his second season.

Practice report: Bobcats preparing for Florida State's crowd noise

The Texas State football team is another day closer to opening the season against Florida State and the anticipation is evident in the team’s practice.

Tuesday marked the first practice since classes began and the Bobcats came out in pads and helmets.

“The team practiced well today and we got some good work in,” said Coach Dennis Franchione. “We hadn’t practiced in about 48 hours and I could tell the team had more spring in their step.”

There was a new element to Tuesday’s practice.

The coaching staff decided to play Florida State’s fight song and chants on repeat throughout practice. Franchione said the team will continue practicing with the filtered crowd noise until game day.

McDowell working to prove himself in the secondary

Odds are, you’ll find Brandon McDowell, sophomore cornerback, on an island this season—metaphorically.

On the opposite end of the field will be David Mims II, senior cornerback, who was named the Preseason Sun Belt Conference Defensive Player of the Year.

Mims has a proven track record. As a junior, Mims led the team with five interceptions and finished sixth in total tackles (48).

McDowell is unheralded. He appeared in 10 games last season, recording five tackles while participating with the special teams unit.

The opportunity wasn’t there with Mims and Craig Mager, selected in the third round of this year’s NFL Draft by the San Diego Chargers, slotted ahead of McDowell on the depth chart.

Quick Five: Previewing the new season

Quick Five is a University Star segment in which Sports Editor Quixem Ramirez and Paul Livengood tackle five quick-hitting questions regarding the Texas State football team.

1. Who is the X-factor for the offense this season?

Quixem Ramirez: Lawrence White, senior tight end. Texas State utilizes the tight end often—nearly a third of completions were to tight ends last season—and White’s 6-foot-7 frame provides Tyler Jones, junior quarterback, with an easy target. He’s ready to fill in for Bradley Miller after trimming his weight to 240 pounds for this season.

Adapt or die: White emerging as top receiving threat in senior season

The wake-up call for Lawrence White, senior tight end, came when he was asked to switch to offensive line.

White was sitting around 280 pounds at the time. He was not quick enough to carve out a meaningful role as a tight end. The Texas State coaching staff felt White made more sense as an offensive lineman because he could leverage his 6-foot-7-inch frame against defenders.

It was a case of adapt or die for White. Instead of changing positions, White set out to adapt his body.

The next day, after facing a possible position shift, White began a no-sodium diet centered on proteins. Grilled chicken and peanuts were staples of his diet.

Lunch with Coach Fran: Texas State moving closer to next level

As the adage goes, the third time is the charm.

Right?

Coach Dennis Franchione hopes so. The Texas State football team begins their third season of bowl eligibility at an important crossroads.

The Bobcats are no longer the “new kids on the block,” as Franchione puts it. Teams know what to expect from Texas State.

It’s up to the team to shed the tag and establish itself as a conference contender no longer content to knock on the door.

It took several years, but Franchione created a football program capable of reaching the next level. His handiwork is apparent. Nineteen players have already committed verbally, which is a non-binding agreement, to the program prior to National Signing Day.

Press conference recap: Franchione discusses season opener, Tyler Jones, bowl game snub

The media was all ears Sunday afternoon as Coach Dennis Franchione approached the podium for Texas State football’s 2015 media day.

Franchione covered the season opener against Florida State, Tyler Jones, bowl contention and the belief that Franchione has in his team.

Opening statement: “Thanks for being here everybody, on a Sunday afternoon. First thing I wanna say is that I really like my team. I like my guys. I hope they win some games.”

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