BI Weekly Mailbag

For the first time ever, our staff answers your questions surrounding Texas State. With kickoff to Florida State only days away, we give you the answers to your questions.

There's a lot of good questions, so let's get right to it BobcatNation.

Would like to hear your realistic expectations on the season based on fall camp? (TXSTBobcat10)

Record wise, no reason to think that the Texas State can't at least repeat 7-5 or even improve to an 8-4 mark. The offense will be there eventually, at least the run game, and losing the star power that they did on defense isn't exactly the end of the world. Even with all the talent the "D" still gave up 34 points a game and over 465 yards a contest.

The last best WRs we had were Luke then Griggs. We've been bringing in decent to good WR talent since the "move" but, somehow they don't seem to be being "coached up". I realize part of the lack of passing has been our recent QB issues but a lot has been, to me, due to the inconsistent and poor play at the position. What is going on there? What do you guys see as some of the issues there? Is it the players, the coach (Johnson)? The play calling? All of the above? Do we need a change at that coaching spot? Are the players not as good as thought when recruited? (CatMom07)

Coach Fran has always been a run first type  of coach. From his days at New Mexico to having Landanian Tomlisnon at TCU. He'll take an intermediate to short passing game over going vertical 9 times out of 10. Despite that, if you look at the play calling, TXST was very close to being 50/50 when it came to run vs pass last season. It's just not the sexy going deep, getting up the field type of yardage that most fans want to see.

Definitely agree that the talent being recruited at WR is above average (Gunter, Mercer, Hutchison, Bownes, Gamble, Anderson etc...), and that's because of Coach Johnson and the area recruiters. You have to give them a little more time to produce and help this talent transition to the D1 level. Tyler Jones hasn't necessarily had free reign to gun sling it all over the field either. As a staff, we think this season could be a step or two forward in developing the passing game and WR play all around.

With the two a days over, what WRs does Jones seem to have chemistry with right now? This question is about who he can go to and count on. I've read Gaines still has his drops and before Gunter's ACL tear that he was still struggling to get open so my question is after the camp... who should we expect to lead us?

Since I'm asking a question about the WRs, I've read multiple times the DBs (secondary) were doing a good job. Which DBs should we expect to lead us? And what I mean by that is be it a starter or a backup (nickel back or the 4th CB/DB) that may surprise. We know Mims will be our key guy but after him, who are you confident in whether on an island (CB) or tackling (DB/S), or pass coverage (DB/S).

How confident are you right now with our LB position? Everything I read is its McGowan and then everyone else be it due to consistency, tackling, physical play, or ability. We need this position to hold up as DL will still have wholes for LBs to shore up.

How confident are you going into the 1st game with either Cattaneo, Trevilion (less than 2 weeks at position), and Mizerack playing the center position AND in our fast paced style? Personally, I feel that if any of these 3 start there... I would hope we slow the tempo down even if that meant snapping instead of every 5 seconds to 7-8 seconds to make sure the OL makes the correct calls/reads. (Agzz34)

Rapid fire time Agzz. Best chemistry has been with Gaines and a tie between Mercer and Smith. Remeber towards the end of last season Jones, was really favoring Smith. Gaines is also the leading WR returning with 4 TD's. Look for either one to be Jones' #1 WR target.

On the DB's, yes Mims is the unquestionable leader, but Brandon McDowell and Javante O'Roy have had a heck of a battle during camp and having either one as a starter or "Nickel" back, will not be a drop off in our opinion. Yes, when you face the same QB's three weeks in row, you get to know their tendencies, but you still have make a play and McDowell and O'Roy have done both. Keep an eye out for Stephan Johnson. He showed a lot as a true freshman last season and is listed as Rosemond's backup at the FS spot. He just looks smooth out there and always seem to be in the right place.

We could arguably say that the linebackers could be the strongest part of the defense. Trey McGowan will be solid, but Teron Fitzgerald has really impressed as the "Stinger" (SLB) spot. His size, speed, and athleticsm have made him stand out. Also, after Tuesday's media luncheon, coach speak or not, Coach Fran feels that Tim Gay will have an impact at the SLB. Stephen Smith can play both spots and has shown if given the opportunity he is ready to step up for the challenge.

Well, Jackson Hoskins is ready to go for Florida State, but Cattaneo is all of one play away. He's struggled with low snaps into the gun, but did show signs of getting more comfortable as camp progressed. The quick pace is definitely something that doesn't help in either one (Cattaneo, Trevillion or Mizerak) getting acclimated. Slowing down the tempo could help, but we just don't see Fran changing the entire offensive philosophy, inexperienced center or not. If Cattaneo is thrown in because of injury or performance, he has the frame and plays with the streak to punish on the ground game, but the quickness of going no huddle and passing could be an issue. If Trevillion, Mizerak, or true freshman Willie Williams see the field, the O-line could be in for a very long day.

Assuming TxSt does not win, or make it a game through the fourth quarter, what would an unbiased analyst view as a successful performance for the Bobcats? (StMuBobcat)

Against the most athletic team they'll see all year, can the 'Cats truly be balanced, or even surprise the onlookers and open up the playbook down the field. Seeing an offense attack instead of retreating, and we mean, the veteran offensive line controling the line of scrimmage. If they can hold their own or even win the trenches, both the running and passing game should click. Tyler Jones showing trust and patience in his progessions before tucking and running. At the same time, if FSU is dropping 6 or more back, using his feet to make the Noles stay honest.

Defensively, someone to stand out on the defensive line and provide a rush. Expectations are set for McGowan and Mims, but who else will pick up the slack. Being able, as a unit, to get FSU off the field on 3rd down will also be a watermark for the maroon machine.

As a whole, putting up numbers offensively and defensively, while making sure that it turns into points on the scoreboard, and that's way more than the 'Cats can ask for in the end, whether they lead or trail on the board.

Bobcat Illustrated Top Stories