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Countdown to Kickoff 2011

Written by Bill Culhane on 9:35 PM

Countdown to Kickoff 2011

Along with the extensive coverage by the Sports Information and Marketing departments, Brant Freeman and I will be stopping by here, from time to time, to give our observations from Fall Camp 2011...Bobcat style.

A little over one week of Fall practice is in the books as the Bobcats continue to work out in the drought and record-breaking heat. As expected, there has been no drought in terms of competition for positions as the Bobcats prepare for the 2011 season opener at Texas Tech on Saturday, September 3rd. The rising tide lifts all ships and competition during practice elevates the play of everyone. At this point, the depth charts are in pencil so we will hold off on that topic for now.

Very early observations: We talked about it throughout Spring practice. Under Bobcat Head Coach Dennis Franchione and his staff, the practices are uber-organized and repetitions are precious and maximized. Every drill, station, period is “on the hop”. Having gone through Spring Camp, and now that the newcomers have a week under their belts, it is apparent that everyone knows the when, where, and why. Observing practice, I can’t help but think that this approach will help to slow down the game when the Bobcats lace ‘em up in real game situations.

In his big picture review of camp to this point, a focused and energetic Coach Fran said, “The guys who went through Spring practice had good retention and carry over which helps the newcomers learn...” “…the guys are in shape…which means we get more done in practice.”

In talking about the work done during the 8th practice of camp (Friday afternoon), Coach Fran noted, “We are fairly along in situations, today we worked on our 2-minute offense and defense. Most of our installation is in.”

Game program, get your game program! Coach Fran pointed out that there are some new names in the mix for valuable playing time. Specifically regarding the transfers, “I think there is a good number of the new group who will help us this year.” As far as the incoming freshmen, “I think it’s a little early to qualify any freshman on how big of an impact they will make yet…with the freshmen it‘s to survive the test of time, see the reps, and see how they handle things until the first game.”

Bobcat fans know that the Bobcats are returning to the 4-2-5 defense which yielded a lot of success for the Bobcats in years past. Defensive Coordinator Craig Naivar, who was the DC here from ‘04-‘06, returns to Texas State to orchestrate the deceptive, aggressive, attacking flavor of defense.

Senior linebacker Brian Iwuji recently pointed out that, regardless of the defensive formation, the basics for the linebackers remain the same, “It doesn’t really matter to us (linebackers) what style of defense we run, we are excited to do our jobs, be aggressive, and make plays.”

Offensively, like teams across the nation, the Bobcats have arrived at camp with questions to be answered. Two of the concerns centered around the health of sophomore quarterback Tyler Arndt, who reports, “I am at 100% percent”, and who will take over for record setting wide receiver Da’Marcus Griggs. The Bobcat signal-caller said, “It’s hard to replace a guy like Da’Marcus, but we feel like we have a bunch of guys who are working hard and can get the job done.” Both items are great news for ‘Cat fans who like to see pigskins fill the air at Bobcat Stadium.

I spoke with Chris Park, Assistant Athletics Director - Development, and he confirmed that all of the luxury suites will be occupied for 2011 and there are fewer than 75 club-level seats available! As Bobcat fans know by now, the Bobcat Club membership numbers continue to climb to new record setting levels on a daily basis. Join today and become a part of the invaluable team of Bobcat supporters.

Be a part of history. Do you have your 2011 season tickets yet?

If you have any comments or questions, let me know at lightthestar@gmail.com

Eat 'Em Up!

Bill

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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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