The Texas State Football team begins its second consecutive season in the Sun Belt Conference this Saturday, August 30 against Arkansas-Pine Bluff at Bobcat Stadium in San Marcos. The Bobcats, led by veteran head coach Dennis Franchione, have a record of 29-29 at Texas State (203-121-2 Overall), are looking to improve on last season’s 6-6 mark (2-4 in conference). Sophomore quarterback Tyler Jones is the only person in this position to have been named the starter before preseason practices begin. Jones continues to impress coach Franchione, who was quoted early in the summer saying the 6’ 2” Stephenville native just has “It,” referring to the quality of play that Jones brings to the game. Robert Lowe, Mike Orakpo, David Mayo, and Craig Mager, among others, joined Jones, a preseason All-Sun Belt second team player, on the preseason conference list.
Looking at Texas State’s opponent, the Arkansas-Pine Bluff Golden Lions finished last season with a 2-9 record in the Southwestern Athletic Conference. Starting quarterback Benjamin Anderson was picked as the Preseason Southwestern Athletic Conference Offensive Player of The Year and will go up against a Texas State defense that is headlined by Mike Orakpo, David Mayo and Craig Mager. Newly acquired defensive coordinator John Thompson has brought with him a new mentality and coaching style to the Bobcat defense that has provided excitement to San Marcos with a star-studded lineup.
The Bobcats have only started a season once in August since 2011 and is 1-0. Texas State has won 18 of the last 19 home openers, including last year’s defeat of Prairie View A&M.
Monte Coleman, the head coach of the Golden Lions, enters the game 1-5 in season openers throughout six seasons at Arkansas-Pine Bluff. APBU will move on after the season opener to face Concordia College, while the Bobcats wait to face Navy September 13 at Bobcat Stadium.
Students from the fastest growing city in the nation can be seen on ESPN3 at 6:00 p.m. or on KTSW 89.9 and KTSW.net