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Blogging Maroon & Gold (May 6th, 2011)

Written by Brant Freeman on 6:07 PM

Bobcat fans and followers,

It’s good to be blogging again, a lot has happened since my last entry roughly about a month ago. The Maroon/Gold Spring Football Game came and went, Texas State hired its new Women’s Basketball Head Coach, the men’s and women’s golf seasons came to a close as did the Texas State tennis season. I also became a first time father to Zoey Lorraine Freeman on April 28th! My daughter is a beautiful blessing who’s also very…loud (no, that’s not Zoey). A week into parenting and now I know what everyone was talking about when it came to losing sleep. But I feel rested and energized enough to share some thoughts about all things Texas State, so let’s get to blogging…

I’ll start with the Spring Football game, won by the Gold Team 16-9 over Maroon. What a neat experience it was to broadcast the game with Head Coach Dennis Franchione. Bill Culhane and I couldn’t thank him enough for making himself available for the broadcast, although I don’t think we’ll be getting to do that again in the 2011 season. I guess we’ll just have to wait until next spring. As for the game itself, the defense stole the show for both teams. LB Joplo Bartu (7 tackles, 3 TFL and a sack) and CB Darryl Morris were particularly impressive, as was Jason MacLean, who played solid at safety. Remember, Texas State is replacing two starters at safety from this past season (TP Miller, Kenneth Hampton), so it’s good to see someone stepping in early to fill the void at that position. The pressure up front and the blitzing was extremely effective for both teams, so hopefully this is sign of things to come once September rolls around.

That’s the glass half full look at the game.

The offense on the other hand…let’s just say struggled in the Spring Game. The case can be made that the defense had a lot to do with that, and there’s certainly some truth to that. Coaches will also tell you that the defense always comes along faster than the offense, especially when it comes to adjusting to a new scheme. That being said, 14-of-38 passing just won’t cut it, and neither will 6-of-22 on third downs. There were overthrown/underthrown passes, dropped passes, breakdowns in protection, you name it. The running game had a tough time as well, as the two teams ran the ball 57 times for 170 yards (24 of those yards coming on the fake punt by Tight End David Lewis). But keep in mind, WR Darius Bolden didn’t play in the game due to a broken foot, OL Jason Hannan missed the game with a concussion and QB Tyler Ardnt (0-3 passing) played sparingly as he’s coming back from the ACL injury he suffered in October of this past season. One also couldn’t help but be impressed by some of the plays made outside of the pocket by transfer QB Shaun Rutherford (9-yard TD run on a 4th and goal play) and the playmaking ability of QB Tim Hawkins who rushed for a game high 65 yards and made a good throw to an open Cedric Alexander late in the 1st half for 59 yards setting up a field goal. Other offensive superlatives included a 7-catch, 56-yard day for WR Ed Amerson and RB Marcus Curry who ran for 26 yards and a score.

All-in-all, there was some good and bad from the game, which is to be expected in the spring. Just has me, and I’m sure most of you, all that more excited about the upcoming season!

By the way, Coach Franchione is no longer the newest coach on campus. Enter Zenerae Antoine as the new head coach of the Women’s Basketball program at Texas State. Great hire by the athletic department. While this is Coach Antoine’s first go-around as a head coach, she has an impressive background and is genuinely excited to be a Bobcat. She’s also a former D-I player, which can make it easier to relate to the players. Bill and I actually had the chance to visit with Coach Antoine in our latest podcast.

I’ll wrap things up by reminding you the chapter of the 2010-2011 athletic season isn’t quite over yet at Texas State. The Bobcat Track & Field team is headed to the SLC Championships, and as of this writing the Texas State softball team still has a shot at its 4th consecutive Southland Regular Season title and is headed to the SLC tournament…again (13 straight years). Bobcat Baseball, looking for a third straight SLC regular season title of its own, is tied with SFA for 1st in the Southland with just nine conference games left to go. How do a few more titles and NCAA appearances sound before say goodbye to this season?

For me, as good as sleep…

Eat ‘Em Up!

- Brant (reach me at: txstradio@gmail.com)

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The Drive is more than new buildings and championships. It's an increased sense of pride. The essence of Texas State makes this school one of the best universities in the country. Get Loud, Be Proud! It's A Great Day to be a Bobcat!

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