50° San Marcos
The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star




The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

Bobcat football aims to secure first bowl game in program history this season

Texas+State+head+coach+Jake+Spavital+talks+with+the+team+after+a+morning+practice+run+during+fall+camp%2C+Tuesday%2C+August+16%2C+2022%2C+at+Bobcat+Stadium.%26%23160%3B

Texas State head coach Jake Spavital talks with the team after a morning practice run during fall camp, Tuesday, August 16, 2022, at Bobcat Stadium. 

The excitement surrounding Texas State football is beginning to grow as fall practices began last week. Despite past seasons’ disappointment with the team’s performance, the goal of reaching the first bowl game in program history does not seem out of reach for the 2022 squad.
The Bobcats had a 4-8 overall record in the 2021 season. If they had won their one-score losses against the University of the Incarnate Word, Troy and Georgia Southern, they might have achieved their goal of reaching that bowl game last year.
“These guys know what the expectations are and the standard,” head coach Jake Spavital said. “We have not been playing up to standards and expectations that we have.”
With a new “every-detail-matters” approach and a roster loaded with depth and experience, it is not the hope, but the expectation that Texas State football’s on-field product will be better than before. 
Already off to a hot start, the team had two players named to the preseason All-Sun Belt First Team: sophomore offensive lineman Dalton Cooper and junior kicker Seth Keller. Additionally, junior offensive lineman Kyle Hergel was named to the preseason All-Sun Belt Second Team.
The three Bobcats selected for the all-conference teams, which are voted on by coaches and media ahead of the 2022 season, are the most preseason All-Sun Belt honors for Texas State football since 2019.
Hergel is part of what is expected to be a top-tier offensive line for the Bobcats. Although each individual on the offensive line may have their own accolades to their name, Hergel said that the more reps they take as a unit, the better the line will be. 
“All offseason, we put our nose down to the grindstone and we just worked,” Hergel said. “It really paid dividends today [at fall practice] and it’s going to continue to pay dividends.”
Behind the offensive line in the backfield, the Bobcats will have returning running backs Calvin Hill and Jahmyl Jeter. 
Hill, who started all 12 games in 2021, led the team last year in rushing yards with 714 yards per carry with 5.6 and finished tenth in the Sun Belt in rushing, the highest finish by a Bobcat since 2013. 
Jeter, who also played in all 12 games in 2021, finished second on the team in rushing yards with 384 and led the team in rushing touchdowns with eight. 
The duo combined to rush for over 1,000 yards last season and will be joined by newcomer transfer athletes Damarius Good from the University of Central Florida and Lincoln Pare from Oklahoma State, to form an experienced positional group.
For a wide receiver group that features twelve returners, senior wide receivers Javen Banks and Marcell Barbee highlight the group as two of the best receivers in program history. 
Banks, entering his fifth season as a Bobcat, is ninth in program history in career receiving yards with 1,380 to go along with 16 career receiving touchdowns.
Barbee is one receiving touchdown behind Banks with 15 in his career and started all twelve games for the Bobcats in 2021. 
Throughout fall practices thus far, the depth and experience of the players have led to more competition and battles for starting spots. One of these battles, and perhaps the most intriguing for the fans to speculate, is the battle for the starting quarterback position. 
With Tyler Vitt and Brady McBride, last year’s main contributors at quarterback, no longer on the roster, Bobcat fans are sure to see new faces taking snaps on the field.
Spavital said he wasn’t comfortable in the offseason only having two candidates for the starting spot in sophomore Ty Evans and junior Layne Hatcher, which led to the program bringing in another quarterback, CJ Rogers, who was a redshirt freshman in 2021 for Baylor, to increase the competition for the role. 
“It’s gonna be fun with those three,” Spavital said. “They all bring something different… I think that QB competition is going to increase.”
While the coaching staff hasn’t landed on a definite starter for the position, Spavital said an announcement for starting quarterback role will be made in the coming weeks. 
On the defensive side of the ball, senior linebacker Sione Tipou has been making the most of his opportunities throughout fall practice. Seen as a leader in the locker room and a playmaker on defense, the former Sun Belt defensive player of the week expressed the same high praise as Spavital on the depth of the Bobcats on defense.
“With that depth, I’m expecting a lot of rotation and physicality from a smart group,” Tipou said. “We have a lot of smart guys in the room.”
Texas State football will begin its season on the road against Nevada at 4:30 p.m. on Sep. 3. at Mackay Stadium. The Bobcats’ home opener will be the following week against FIU at 6 p.m. on Sep. 10 at Bobcat Stadium. This game will air on ESPN+.

Donate to The University Star

Your donation will support the student journalists of Texas State University. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The University Star