BI Goes 1 on 1 With Coach Fran

Our BI staff recently caught up with Head Coach Dennis Franchione for a 1 on 1.

The seemingly forward looking Bobcats season came to an official end a few weekends back. This left Texas State without a bowl bid, but not a failure by any means either. Their final record was 6-6. The offensive backfield will be back with more experience. Coach Franchione spoke on getting over the final outcome of the season over looking forward to the next.

"Well that's probably the one of the things about what we do. I always say the next game's 7 days, 7 weeks, 7 months away, so you're always looking ahead. You look back and evaluate. Our graduate assistants are looking back and doing quality control breakdowns now. Those will be done soon, so probably around the Christmas break you kind of put the last season completely away except how you evaluate it."

Texas State isn't taking days off by any means of course. It's time for the graduate assistants to put the analysis together to better prepare a team for the next season; they must seem lucky enough to even remain in the same conference two years in a row. The young time spent in the Sun Belt and the young offense will get to grow together in the off season for the first time in 4 years. Coach Fran went into detail on where they begin to get better for next season.

"We evaluate every offensive, defensive, and special teams snap. My breakdown has an analysis over the last 15 years, so we go back and compare. It's an up and down cycle always. I wish it was always up, but thats what it is. I think the biggest thing you learn from the analysis is what makes you successful or not."

Coach then explained how they tend to focus on more on things like the turnover ration and less on penalties. This was interesting, as many people think penalties are a large determinant of the outcome of the game. These things also come with learning curves as the refs from every league call penalties differently, seemingly less patient than others. Coach Franchione explained his theory.

"There are exceptions. One thing that is an unusual analysis, down through the years some harp on penalties. They say 'Coach you're kinda high on penalties'. Some of my best teams have been high in penalties, but they were aggressive. They made mistakes going 100 miles an hour and making overzealous plays. So penalties are not always a good indicator of things, at least in what I've broken down over the years. Turnover margin is by far the most important."

He also explained how they will get to compare inside vs. outside zone play, something that will be valuable to teaching the 3 new starters in the secondary. They'll have plenty on their plate but plenty of time. Texas State gets to "prepare to prepare" for the upcoming season earlier than 75 other teams if that's a perk of missing out on bowl, if any consolation. Fran spoke on the turning of personnel as well.

"Not to discredit anybody but we won't lose a lot on offense."

He then explained that their senior receivers and punt returner will be missed but also how excited he was to see the new red shirts get their time this upcoming season.

"Guys like Trey Garrett and Demetrius Woodard need to step up now...We have more questionmarks defensively right now. We lose D.J. Yendrey and Blake McCollogh but we have Hood coming back from the torn pectoral muscle, Justin Booth, and Rusmin Nikocevic. So we've got new faces and new roles to step in to."

As far as what there is to be excited about, Fran commented.

"I'm excited that we have experience on our offense now. Tyler's got some games under his belt. The offensive line did get better as the year went on. They've got a year under their belt with the spring practice and everything. I'd like to hope were going to make improvements offensively and we need to."

Texas State has plenty to improve on, but can only be optimistic about their upcoming season. The returning players will be much better along with maybe the best recruiting class Texas State has had.

Talk about our interview and TX State's upcoming season here in our 'Cats Den Insider Forum!

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