Texas State set to kickoff first game of 2020 season

Wide+receiver+Javen+Banks+high+fives+coaches+and+fans+on+the+sidelines+after+scoring+a+touchdown.

Katelyn Lester

Wide receiver Javen Banks high fives coaches and fans on the sidelines after scoring a touchdown, Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019, during Texas State's homecoming football game vs. South Alabama at Bobcat Stadium.

Ernesto Diaz, Sports Contributor

Texas State is hoping to make a statement during its first game of the season, as it faces off against the Southern Methodist University Mustangs Sept. 4 at Bobcat Stadium.

The Bobcats have only faced the Mustangs two times before the Sept. 4 game, with the Mustangs winning both times. In the 2019 season matchup at Gerald J. Ford Stadium in Dallas, where the Bobcats received a pre-game locker room visit from former U.S. President George W. Bush, the Mustangs won 47-17.

The Bobcats finished last season with a 3-9 overall record and a 2-6 record in conference play. This season, the team expects to make major improvements in Head Coach Jake Spavital’s second go-around coaching the Bobcats.

The Mustangs finished the 2019 season with a 10-3 record and have been a prominent contender in the American Athletic Conference for years. SMU had an explosive offense last season, averaging 41.8 points per game.

Spavital is itching to get back to game action. For him and the team, not only has the season finally arrived, but the game will be nationally-televised at 3:30 p.m. on ESPN—a first for Texas State.

“The opportunity is tremendous; I told the guys a long time ago we would get a nationally-televised game if we did the right things,” Spavital said.

Sophomore quarterback Brady McBride, who was named starting quarterback earlier this week, is preparing to take a step in the right direction this season. Spavital says he has full confidence in his quarterback.

“Brady has had an exceptional fall camp. He has a unique skillset in terms of extending plays, so it will be an exciting brand of ball with him,” Spavital said.

In addition to helping McBride’s mobility, Spavital and coaches have made an effort to ensure McBride is more comfortable in the pocket.

“Because he’s naturally going to make plays with his feet, I have to try to contain him a bit and get him some efficient plays,” Spavital said.

The Bobcats’ road to the season opener was not easy. Coaches, players and fans were skeptical about football returning this fall. However, with several new protocols in place, the team was able to make the Sept. 4 game a reality.

“There’s a lot of things you’ll disagree with, but it’s the necessary protocols and guidelines in order for us to prevent the spread of the virus,” Spavital said. “It’s presented us with an opportunity to run around on national television when we’re pretty much a new team.”

The stadium is limited to 25% fan capacity. No tailgates will take place throughout the season.

For more information about Bobcat football, visit their athletics page.


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