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Countdown to Kickoff starts with Texas State as the Bobcats go on the road in the season opener against the Baylor Bears. Texas State is looking for their first victory over the Bears in program history, under new head coach G.J. Kinne.
Daily Record photo by Gerald Castillo.


Texas State starts off the Kinne era on the road against Baylor
Wednesday, June 14, 2023

The Countdown to Kickoff series is back in full swing as the sports world enters the dog days of the summer calendar, to look at the upcoming football schedules for both the San Marcos Rattlers and the Texas State Bobcats.

Up first is the season opener for the Bobcats, as Texas State makes the I-35 trip up to Waco to square off with the Baylor Bears.

This will be the 10th overall meeting between the Bears and the Bobcats, with Baylor leading the series at 9-0.

In last year’s meeting, Baylor rolled through Texas State with 292 yards rushing, on their way to a 42-7 win.

The Bears are coming off of a 6-7 season, having dropped their last four games.

It is expected to be a bounce back year for Baylor, a team that is returning several key players, including quarterback Blake Shapen, who threw for 2,790 yards along with 18 touchdown passes, as well as running back Richard Reese, who led the Bears in rushing with 972 yards on 198 carries while scoring 14 touchdowns.

On defense, the Bears return linebacker Matt Jones, who was third in overall tackles for Baylor, with 64 total tackles along with 43 solo tackles.

According to Bill Connnellys SP+ Ratings System, Baylor is currently rated at 11.9 overall, with an offensive rating of 35.5 and a defense rating of 23.6.

As for Texas State, this will be the official christening of the G.J. Kinne era as he takes over for former head coach Jake Spavital who went 13-35 over the last four years.

This will also be a new look team for the Bobcats, with over 50 new players joining Texas State following an aggressive recruitment strategy by Kinne and his staff, with 14 players signing their National Letters of Intent while 37 players come over from the transfer portal.

One of the early keys to watch in the game will be the battle for the starting quarterback position.

The position will be heated between Arkansas transfer Malik Hornsby and Auburn transfer T.J. Finley.

Though Hornsby has the leg up in the battle, having been with the Bobcats during spring practice, expect Finley to make a strong case during Fall camp.

Another early key will be the Bobcats new offensive look, this year against a different opponent.

While Texas State fans got a glimpse of what the offense will look like during spring practice, going against not only a different colored jersey but a Power Five defense as well will be an excellent test for the Bobcats. Twitter: @ColtonBMc

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