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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

Three things to look for in Texas State’s maroon and gold game

Mandalyn Lewallen
The Texas State football team celebrates a touchdown against South Alabama, Saturday, Nov. 25, 2023, at Bobcat Stadium.

Texas State football is set to host its annual maroon and gold game at 11 a.m. on Saturday, April 13, at Bobcat Stadium. This will mark the end of spring training which consisted of 15 practices. Here are three things to look for this weekend.


All eyes will be on Jordan McCloud

This is a no-brainer, as every Texas State fan is eager to see McCloud in maroon and gold for the first time. After receiving All-Sun Belt Player of the Year honors, McCloud transferred from James Madison University this offseason. He threw for 3,657 yards and 43 total touchdowns in the 2023 season.

McCloud will have some big shoes to fill, literally and figuratively. His 6-foot, 7-inch, 255-pound predecessor, T.J. Finley, left the Bobcats this offseason, transferring to Western Kentucky University. Finley helped lead Texas State to the number-one offense in the Sun Belt Conference last season, throwing for 3,439 yards and 24 touchdowns.

All eyes will be on McCloud this weekend to see if he can bring the same production he had with the Dukes to San Marcos.


First look at a depth-filled running back room

While all eyes will be on the passing game this weekend, another focus should be on the ground game. The Bobcats added three transfers in the portal this offseason: Deion Hawkins and Torrence Burgess Jr. from the University of Texas at El Paso and Washington State transfer Jaylen Jenkins.

In the 2023 season, Hawkins rushed for 812 yards and five touchdowns, and his teammate Burgess had over 1,000 all-purpose yards. Jenkins only played in six games last season but had a productive freshman year with 396 yards and three touchdowns.

The Bobcats also have returning talent like junior running backs Ismail Mahdi and Lincoln Pare. In 2023, Mahdi led Texas State in rushing with 1,331 yards and 12 total touchdowns. Pare, who led the Bobcats in rushing in 2022, returns after missing the 2023 season with a lower-body injury. It will be interesting to see how these running backs split reps this Saturday.


What will the new-look linebacker room look like?

Texas State lost both starting linebackers this offseason, with Brian Holloway running out of eligibility and Dan Foster Jr. announcing his intentions to enter the transfer portal last month. Losing two defensive anchors, the Bobcats will have to figure out how to fill the crater-sized hole in its linebacker room.

There are some potential candidates to look for this weekend. Junior Max Harris, the University of Louisiana Monroe transfer, is one of them. Harris accounted for 79 tackles, one forced fumble, and one interception in 12 games last season for the Warhawks.

Redshirt senior James Neal could also fill a role. Neal transferred from UTEP this offseason after playing in 28 games over three seasons with the Miners, accounting for 97 career tackles and 2.5 tackles for loss.

While it is likely this question won’t be answered this weekend, it will give fans a better understanding of who is in position to step up at the linebacker position going into fall camp.

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