Opposition Danger Men: Texas State

Now that spring practice is in the rearview mirror, and that summer is quickly appearing on the horizon, it is time to turn our eyes to the fall.

We will eventually get around to full previews of all the Mids opponents In 2014, but before that we are going to take a closer look at a couple of difference makers who Navy will come up against each week when the season gets started. These are the guys that the coaches must game plan for id the 2014 Navy football season is going to be a success.

Texas State

Offense: RB – Robert Lowe & Chris Nutall

Las year was a learning experience for the Texas State Bobcats. In their first year in the Sun Belt Conference the Bobcats faded down the stretch and only won two of seven conference games. Part of the problem was a passing game which was less than consistent and truthfully there are few reasons to expect a massive turn around in production through the air this fall. As a result the key to the Bobcats chances of beating the Mids is their running game.

Lowe and Nutall combined to rush for almost 1,500 yards and 15 touchdowns in 2013 and that could be just the beginning for this pair. Coach Dennis Franchione will almost certainly go running game heavy this fall and with his two lead backs averaging over 5.5 yards per carry who can blame him. Both Lowe and Nutall have shown a combination of elusiveness and power, and while neither has ideal measurables for a running back they both play faster and stronger than you would expect. They also both have a nose for the end zone and the Mids defense will have to shut down the running game early or it will be a long day.

Defense: LB – Michael Orakpo

If the surname Orakpo sounds familiar it should. Michael Orakpo is the younger brother of former Texas Longhorn, and three time NFL Pro Bowler, Brian Orakpo. The younger Orakpo transferred to Texas State from Colorado State and immediately became the best player on a Bobcats defense which was devoid of playmakers.

In his first season in San Marcos the 6-1, 226 pound linebacker was named to the All-Sun Belt Second-Team. This was on the back of leading the Bobcats with 4.5 sacks, ten tackles for a loss, and three forced fumbles. All this while spending very little time in the system and still working through learning the scheme and assignments.

Orakpo has every chance to be better, much better, in 2014. If that is the case, and if he develops anything like his brother, then a double digit sack season could be well within his reach. Orakpo is the one play of the Texas State defense which the Mids have to account for on every play. Any mistake in blocking assignments, even downfield, could result in a big play for the defense as Orakpo has that knack for forcing fumbles which just cannot be taught.

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