Practice Report: August 13

It's been a hot August thus far, but Texas State players are starting to really feel the heat as practices get closer to the season and the August 31 opener against Southern Mississippi.

There wasn't anything fancy, there weren't any big plays, there wasn't a lot of outward excitement at Tuesday's evening practice, which made it easy to tell what time of the year it was. It's the middle of August and the pressure is starting to build at multiple positions that still need starters to be decided.

It was the second two-a-day on the fall schedule after the team got a sizable break over the two previous days. At times, the defense seemed to be lacking energy, at times the offense seemed to be lacking explosiveness but both sides had their moments.

"Practice went pretty good," said coach Dennis Franchione. "The last 15-20 (minutes) probably was a pretty good challenge for them but we knew it would be in a two-a-day. All-in-all, some good work and good things that got done today. I think each group had their turn today."

In one of the more interesting drills to spectate, the wide receivers had a big edge on corners Tuesday in 1-on-1 fades to the corner. Some fantastic catches by Andy Erickson and Isaiah Battle were made and it looks clear like they will be the 1 and 2 starters for the 'Cats come week one. Ben Ijah and freshman Brice Gunter had their moments.

While the Bobcats didn't go as long as usual, they went longer than expected at practice, looking to get that extra energy drive and motivation that the coaches are looking for. Who will rise and who will fall in the next week of practice now becomes the ultimate question.

"About next Wednesday, we will start to turn our attention to the first game a little bit more," Franchione said. "By then, I'd like to think we're getting close to being settled at some positions but we've got over a week to go before we get there. Right now, we just want to let the competition play out - see who rises, see who doesn't. This week will be a test on them. I think the best thing we can do is to keep evaluating personnel, keep talking about our best 11, our best 22 - try to find out who and where those are."

The Bobcats had one practice Wednesday morning before returning to the two-a-day schedule on Thursday. Bobcat Illustrated will be out at Thursday's practice to see if any questions have been answered early.

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