Paul Livengood

Matchups to watch: Texas State vs. Southern Mississippi

1. Rusmin Nikocevic vs. Ito Smith

Nikocevic, senior defensive lineman, burst onto the scene for the Bobcats last week with 2.5 tackles for loss. Nikocevic had the second-highest total tackles for the Bobcats with five last week.

Smith, sophomore running back, has recorded 204 yards in his first two games. In the game against Austin Peay, Smith ran for 135 yards on 10 carries and one touchdown. The key to this matchup is whether Nikocevic continues his dominance in the backfield or Smith breaks out into the second and third level of the defense.

2. Brandon McDowell vs. Southern Mississippi’s punt coverage

Game preview: Bobcats ready for the test against Southern Mississippi

In the first game of the season, the Texas State football team allowed 59 points and the offense scored 16. The opposite happened in the second game, with the offense scoring 63 and the defense allowing 24.

This Saturday against Southern Miss, Coach Dennis Franchione anticipates a mixture of the two games with both offenses putting points up on the board in a track meet type football game.

“I would think going into the game that there is going to be some points put up on the board by both of them,” Franchione said. “Both defenses are capable of getting them out of sync, but right now if you look at things, it’s a pretty good assessment to say.”

Bobcats pounce on Panthers for 63-24 win

Brandon McDowell, sophomore cornerback, stood on the 15-yard line waiting to field a punt at the end of the first quarter.

With defenders draped around him, McDowell found a way to field the punt. He wiggled his way out of traffic to the right side of the field and took the punt 95 yards for a touchdown as time expired in the first quarter.

“I thought about fair catching it at first, but we saw on film that there is holes in their punt team, so I just grabbed it, saw a lane to the right, hit it, just started cutting, and I had to cut because I was tired and didn’t think I could out run them,” McDowell said.

Analyzing the Bobcats' 63-24 victory against Prairie View A&M

What the win means: The win doesn’t mean much simply because the win was basically inevitable. Texas State was a 95 percent favorite according to the ESPN’s Football Power Index.The real barometer for this team will be the Southern Miss and Houston games.

Why the Bobcats won: It’s Prairie View A&M. Prairie View A&M is the equivalent of what Texas State was to Florida State in the season opener. Texas State is more established.

Prairie View is an FCS program as opposed to Texas State, a member of the FBS since 2012. Texas State just outplayed Prairie View in every facet of the game. Tyler Jones, junior quarterback, had more touchdowns (3) than incompletions (2), exhibiting the Bobcats’ talent advantage.

Matchups to watch: Texas State vs. Prarie View A&M

1. Trey Green and Johnta Hebert vs. Texas State’s linebackers

Green is the successor to Jerry Lovelocke, and will be the Panthers starting quarterback this season. Green is paired with Hebert, Panthers’ senior running back, to give the team a dynamic rushing duo in the backfield. Hebert rushed for 1,133 yards and 12 touchdowns last season, and the duo combined for 136 of the team’s 290 rushing yards in their first game against Texas Southern. The Bobcats counter with linebacker Trey McGowan, and running back Tim Gay, to whom Texas State will heap responsibility on the replacing of David Mayo.

2. Ryan Carden and Lawrence White vs. Damond Jackson

Game preview: Bobcats not underestimating Panthers in home opener

Prairie View A&M and the Texas State football teams’ first week of the season went in two different directions.

The Bobcats lost 59-16 to the 10th-ranked team in the nation and the Panthers defeated rival Texas Southern by 27 points last weekend.

Now the Bobcats and Panthers cross paths in the second week of the season.

Texas State won the last matchup against Prairie View A&M by 25 points in 2013 and own an 11-2 record in the all-time series. The Bobcats’ winning streak against the Panthers is 11 games.

Neither starting quarterback for either school played in the last matchup, but this doesn’t mean the teams aren’t familiar with each other.

Notebook: Florida State 59, Texas State 16

Notebook from the Texas State football team's 59-16 loss to Florida State at Doak Campbell Stadium. 

WHAT THE LOSS MEANS

Not much. Playing the 10th ranked team in the nation is quite a handful to deal with. So many things had to perfectly align for Texas State to pull off an upset, let alone compete. The biggest takeaway: Texas State isn’t quite ready to compete on a national stage. It will take some time for the Bobcats to climb the totem pole in college football. 

TURNING POINT

The opening kickoff. Texas State never stood a chance the entire game. Florida State was too big, too fast, and too strong. Goliath won this battle.

SPOTLIGHT PLAYER

Game preview: Bobcats open season against Florida State with chip on shoulders

The most anticipated game in Texas State football history is just two days away.

The Bobcats will face the 10th-ranked Florida State Seminoles, who were eliminated in the College Football Playoff by Oregon last year.

The spread of the game is no secret. Florida State is a 29-point favorite at home for the season opener.

“Well, it’s game week,” said Coach Dennis Franchione. “I feel like everybody is excited. We’re ready to go. I think we’re where we need to be to play a game, and we will at least find out where we are.”

Texas State was in a similar situation three years ago.

As a first-year Football Bowl Subdivision-school, Texas State entered its season opener with the Houston Cougars as a 30-point underdog. The Bobcats defeated the Cougars 30-13.

Football: Three Texas State players to watch

(Editor's note: In preparation for the season opener against Florida State, Paul Livengood is providing three players from the Texas State football team that could play a role in the game.)

Dallas McClarty, junior defensive end

The Florida State offensive line only returns one starter from last year. With many new, inexperienced faces in the middle of the line, McClarty could use his experience to his advantage. McClarty finished second on the team in sacks (3.0) last season. Coach Dennis Franchione said McClarty is playing the best football of his career, and his high-caliber performance couldn’t have come at a better time. We will see if he lives up to the hype.

David Mims II, senior cornerback

Press conference recap: Franchione discusses season opener against Florida State

With four days left until kickoff, Coach Dennis Franchione took the podium to talk Florida State.

Franchione covered the anxiety of playing in a big game like Florida State, the mindset of preparing for Florida State, preparing for Everett Golson and much more.

Opening statement: “Well, its game week. I feel like everybody where we are. First games are always a unique game as you learn about your team and guys who have never played in a college football game. It’s probably the biggest stare down in college football, is the pregame warm up in a first game because we’ve watched a lot of tape and we’ve watched tape of guys who are probably not going to play.”

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