Texas State enters final game of 2017 campaign

Photo by Gerald Castillo

Texas State Football

Texas State knows its season ends after Friday’s game against Troy, so the Bobcats understand the importance of evaluating the team heading into the offseason. 

Head coach Everett Withers said Texas State (2-9, 1-6 Sun Belt) will have to play multiple players who haven’t played a lot of snaps this season because of the team’s mounting injuries, but the Bobcats will also use that time to evaluate them as the 2017 season concludes.  

“I’m going to look at some guys (during Monday’s practice) that are going to take some snaps at practice that have been down on scout team - They’re going to play on Friday,” Withers said at his weekly Monday press conference. “You get to evaluate them and what that does is it kind of also tells you where you need to go as far as recruiting. Do you need to go take another defensive lineman? Do you need to go take another tight end? Do you need to go take another spot and move a position or move a number from here to here? All of those things matter. This last game gives you another evaluation on your football team.”

Added co-offensive coordinator Zak Kuhr: “Honestly, this is your last chance to see a bunch of guys do a bunch of different things. Yeah, every week we treat that as we’re evaluating but definitely you’ve got a limited amount of time this week, and after this it’s school, school, school until workouts start again.”

Texas State will have to evaluate its players this week against one of the Sun Belt’s best teams. Troy (8-2, 5-1) enters Friday’s game at 2 p.m. inside Veterans Memorial Stadium in Troy, Alabama, in a four-way, first-place Sun Belt tie. 

The Trojan defense leads the way in the conference as it’s ranked No. 1 in the Sun Belt in total defense, pass defense, rush defense and scoring defense. 

“They’re really talented,” co-offensive coordinator Parker Fleming said. “They do a lot of stuff on defense that’s the thing. They play hard. They play fast. But they’ve got a good scheme too. They do a lot of different little tweaks in their scheme that give you trouble as an offense that you really got to make sure you’re on the same page with a lot of things or else you have one or two guys on different pages and then problems happen on offense.”

Texas State defensive coordinator Randall McCray says this is the seventh experienced quarterback the Bobcats will face this season. Troy senior quarterback Brandon Silvers has thrown for 2,359 yards, seven touchdowns and has completed 62.8 percent of his passes this season. Add an experienced and talented offensive line and that could be trouble for a Texas State defense ravaged with injuries. 

“We’re just going to try and hunker in and have enough movement where they can’t see us,” McCray said. “We’ve had to change that a little bit. We’re going to move the front a little bit more and hopefully they won’t gash us on it and we’ll catch them on a couple big hits because of it. They’re just a well-rounded football team. They’re coached really well. They just do the little things right like a championship football team does. They’re doing the things we’re striving for right now.”

As Texas State uses Friday to evaluate its future, it’ll be the last time the nine seniors wear the maroon and gold, and McCray knows they’ll remember this game.

“They’ll remember this week for the rest of their lives, even if they forget some of the other stuff,” McCray said. “We’re just trying to get the motivated and sound enough to try and get them in some third downs and stop them a little bit.” 

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