Scrimmage #1

Texas State held it's first scrimmage of the spring, 11 days into workouts. BobcatIllustrated was on hand to see the action and speak with Coach Fran afterwards.

Referee's called the scrimmage and spot situations were used to conduct the Bobcats first offensive/defensive scrimmage. If the offense would score or the defense held, Head Coach Dennis Franchione would dictate where the ball would go and where the next series would set up. Texas State worked on kickoffs, kickoff returns, punting, and punt returns before the scrimmage so that part was held out.

For those used to seeing a Texas State offense and then comparing it to Saturdays pace, your eyes are still popping out of their head at how quick and different the offense looks with this new rapid fire offensive system.

"We were snapping it between 18 and 22 seconds. I certainly don't feel bad about that at this piont and time. I don't want to sacrifice execution to go faster. As we get more confident and further along, our tempo will take care of itself," said Head Coach Dennis Franchione.

Here are some quick hits on plays or positions that stood out on Saturday:

--Reserve wide-out Terrell Smith made a nice catch over the middle with his back turned to the defender while falling backwards. He would take a solid hit to the back, but held on for a nice 15 yard gain.

--All four QB's got solid time to leave their mark. Tyler Jones is the entrenched starter, with Randy Price, Connor White and Fred Nixon mixing in reps with the back-ups during the duration of the scrimmage.

--Slot wide receiver C.J. Best is being targeted and used all over the field. He had 3 hand-offs on jet sweeps and then 2 catches in the flats on his routes. He only needs a small seam to turn it up field and with his speed it's obvious the coaching staff is trying to get him the ball.

--More on the receivers, not only Best, but Demun Mercer had his number called for a couple of sweeps, Brandon Smith had some catches for first down gains and although he wasn't able to haul them in, Bryce Gunter had 2 to 3 fades called for him. Coach Fran spoke on whether it was by design or just worked out that some wide-outs are getting their names called frequently.

"CJ has his role and where he's at in this offense. Demun and Bryce we need to test as much as we can and get them ready for the season. It wasn't necessarily that anybody was targeted today. I think we just targeted basically moving the football today and seeing what people can do," said Coach Franchione.

On the defensive side of things, the back 7/8 look to be more clear as the front four compete to establish themselves. Here's a couple of notes on the Bobcat defense:

--At one point or another with the starting d-line, there were up to six players taking reps with the 1st team: Stephen Smith, when he wasn't at LB, Jeff Banks, Darius Hood Dallas McClarty, Marcus Dallas Jr, and Kris Peterson.

--Karee' Berry and Thomas Evans combine for a sack of Tyler Jones during one of the possessions. The defender wasn't allowed to drag him down, but the refs blew the play dead.

--The first team defensive backs were consistently a 6 man team of Craig Mager and David Mims II at corner. While Germod Williams, Damani Alexcee, Demetrius Woodard and Brandon Jones maned the safety spots.

--Not much of surprise at linebacker that David Mayo, Jerrid Jeter-Gilmon, Stephen Smith and when healthy, Mike Orakpo are the leaders of this group.

Talk about this TXST's 1st spring scrimmage in our 'Cats Den Insider Forum.


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