Frustration, anger, and disgust. This is how Coach Franchione described the mood of the team currently. When it comes to just finding a way to win, one of the team mantra’s from last season, just isn’t happening this year. Franchione explained that several unique things have happened to effect this, including injuries and inadvertent whistles but he knows that it is his job as the head coach to do things to put the players in the right position to do those things better.
When asked about tempering the team’s emotions he responded by saying, “It’s a fine line. Staying focused on what you need to do…stay focused on your assignment, alignment, and execution…emotions can hurt you in a game and sometimes it seems like no matter what we’ve done it’s turned against us…[we just need] to stay in the moment.” Texas State has a leadership council, and coach explained that a lot of responsibility falls on these guys. He explained that this group is a quiet bunch of leaders, but they might have to step out of their comfort zone.
In terms of injuries, Franchione said that Jackson Hoskins is out for the season with a torn ACL and will have surgery soon. Will Trevillion has a condition at this time which they believe is tracheotomy, and at points his air passageway has been about halfway closed. He doesn’t want to blame the team struggles on injuries because everyone has injuries, but does acknowledge that the Bobcats have had a significant amount of season ending ones; nine ACL’s, one PCL, a broken leg, and tracheotomy.
After looking at the film from the New Mexico State game, Franchione felt that the offense should have had 35 points. There were two opportunities inside of the 10 where they came out with nothing as a result of a turnover and missed field goal. The biggest issue with the defense was way too many conversions on third down, specifically of the long variety. I asked what he attributed this too and what they have done to fix it. He stated that the coaches have done a lot of evaluating on their play-calls and execution; explained that there was an instance where there was a breakdown on a blitz where the player was supposed to peel off and cover the running back (assuming this was the big catch and run by Rose, but can’t remember the player) but Fran said that the player had only been in that position for a week.
Georgia State hosts the most improved rushing defense from last year in FBS. Along with an improved rush defense, Franchione feels that quarterback Nick Arbuckle has greatly improved, saying that he seemed to force things last year but has gotten much more comfortable and accurate. So far, the Panthers haven’t been very effective running the ball but might get two of their tailbacks back this week.
We had the opportunity to have three players speak to the media today, including Jerrid Jeter-Gilmon, Demun Mercer, and Lumi Kaba. All three players expressed frustration but said that the team is working hard within the process to get back on track. When asked about the coaching change on defense, Jeter-Gilmon said that they just got back to the basics; tackling, technique, and trying to improve all of the little nuances on that side of the football. Mercer expressed that the team is striving to execute better, and specifically on the offensive side of the ball mentioned that communication from the sideline could improve and receivers route running. Kaba has been very pleased with his performance, specifically at pinning teams back inside their 10 yard line consistently because this helps out the defense and puts more pressure on the opposing offense.