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The Texas State defense celebrates one of their defensive stops during the Maroon & Gold Spring Game. It was an incredible atmosphere at Bobcat Stadium with everyone excited to kick off the new era under Head Coach G.J. Kinne.
Daily Record photo by Gerald Castillo

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Donerio Davenport takes the hand-off during the Maroon & Gold Spring Game. With many of the players having transferred to San Marcos, this was a first showcase for the fans to see.
Daily Record photo by Gerald Castillo

Maroon & Gold Game showcases new talent

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Texas State concluded their spring practice ending with the annual Maroon & Gold Spring Game as Bobcat fans got their first look at the team.

It was a good outing for Head Coach G.J. Kinne who was appreciative of the support.

“I thought we did some really good things on both sides of the ball,” Kinne said. “The atmosphere was electric and the fan support was great. I appreciate everyone coming out.”

The Spring Game was a traditional offense versus defense-type showcase where both 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th teams squads battled it out with each other over the course of 14 possessions taking place on different spots on the field.

Though the team opted not to keep score, Kinne said he was happy with the performances on both sides of the ball.

“It was pretty good,” Kinne said. “We did some good things and there were obviously some things that showed up during spring that we needed to clean up. Our defense presents some major issues for people and there is a reason they led the country in TFL last year. That’s what they do. We have to continue to eliminate the negative plays on offense but I thought we were able to do that and we stayed on track.”

Though both the offense and defense had their positives, Kinne is quick to note that the Bobcats still have some fine-tuning to do.

“I think it’s just everybody that you want to fix up a little bit,” Kinne said. “On defense, you can have a busted play or two and nobody knows where as on offense one player messes up and it’s a TFL, sack, interception, etc. I thought the quarterbacks did a really good job of taking care of the ball today. Just everyone getting on the same page. That is why you do spring practice right now because it is going to be great at the moment.”

One of the major topics of discussion has been the starting quarterback position and the battle between Arkansas transfer Malik Hornsby and Baylor transfer C.J. Rodgers.

Both quarterbacks were able to show their talents with Hornsby delivering a couple of deep throws over 15 yards while also breaking off a couple of big runs.

Rodgers completed a couple of deep passes while also escaping the pocket to avoid the defenders.

“I thought those two did a really good job all spring,” Kinne said. “They got to showcase that a little bit today. They took care of the ball and went to the right spot which is what you want to see. Obviously, we were not live so there were some plays where it was debatable whether or not it was a sack or not. When you go live that’s ideally what you do but it’s not worth it in the spring.”

One of the standouts during the spring game was outside linebacker Ben Bell who recorded four sacks in the game.

Along with Bell, the defensive backs and the linebacker Brian Holloway were just a couple of items that Kinne said he saw right with the defense.

“Ben Bell has had a great spring,” Kinne said. “He causes a lot of issues for the offense. It goes back to the defensive backs who had a really good spring. Brian Holloway is another guy who had a solid spring.”

With the offensive line taking in a few licks, Kinne knows there will be some work to do.

“It was a little back and forth,” Kinne said. “I thought we ran the ball really well today. On top of that, we didn’t run gap schemes or zones. It was straight up, four down, no pressure and limited certain pressures we could do.

It was a good product but it was very vanilla based. The tempo was pretty good today but overall we got what we wanted from it today and stayed healthy.”

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