By Jordan Young
The Texas State Football program has been sputtering since its strong start against Baylor. Lack of consistent offensive play, the inability to make late-game drives, and the defense having difficulty making late-game stops. Those issues and more have contributed to the less-than-ideal on-field performance for the Bobcats this fall.
However, the team’s most significant challenge does not stem from on-field play. The coronavirus has been a formidable opponent for the Bobcats; Texas State has had a combined 44 players in the last two games out due to the virus. In their last game against Eastern Michigan, 19 players missed due to COVID protocols.
Head coach Jake Spavital pointed to the absence of players as having contributed to his team’s losses in the last two games. Spavital specifically pointed to the lack of depth as the main issue in his post-game press conference following the loss to Eastern Michigan.
“[It was] an interesting week dealing with the logistics of all the COVID issues last week, our offense was struggling with depth up front,” said Spavital. “We were moving guys around.”
The number of players absent due to COVID calls into question the protocols in place for the football program. Especially since Texas State managed to play a full schedule last season.
There are many ways to prevent the spread of covid-19, such as wearing a mask, getting vaccinated, and implementing stricter Covid protocols. Though Texas State has struggled with Covid-19, other programs however, like the Oklahoma Sooners have seen the impact of Covid fall.
“We’ve still dealt with it some,” said the head football coach of the Oklahoma Sooners Lincoln Riley. “Not yet, obviously, to the scale that we did last year.”
Riley estimated last month that 95% of the team had been vaccinated, but the team has continued to adhere to certain virus protocols.
If Texas State hopes to turn their season around before conference play, football leadership will have to enact a plan to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 so that the team and fans get the season they deserve.
Featured Image by Jordan Young
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