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Battle-Tested Bobcats Ready for Cardinals

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By Joe Garcia

With the non-conference gauntlet of games in its rearview, Texas State (1-2) is focusing on one more, which will be a welcomed sight at Bobcat Stadium: the 1-3 Incarnate Word Cardinals.

The Southland Conference visitors from just down I-35 is the last non-Sun Belt foe the Bobcats will face in the regular season and a far cry from the highly-ranked opponents head coach Everett Withers and his team squared off with the past two weeks in now-No. 20 Arkansas and No. 6 Houston.


Losing by a combined two-week Delta of 100 (106-6), Withers was realistic about the arduous assignments his team faced, especially in last Saturday’s 64-3 result against the Cougars. There were some takeaways, however.

“Obviously, the game itself was not a positive game, but it was one that hopefully our kids can learn from, and I think they have,” Withers said. “I thought we improved as far as assignment football on our offensive line. We got on the right guys. We were able to identify and block the right guys. The difference between identifying and actually getting them blocked and moving them is different. We weren’t able to move them because they are very talented up front. But we did get on the right guys where as against Arkansas we didn’t. So that was a positive.

Click for full size.
Click for full size.

Now the Bobcats turn their attention to Incarnate Word, a program they will play for the first time. This marks the third team in four games (Ohio, Arkansas, UIW) with which Texas State will have had an inaugural meeting. It’s also the first time since 2012 the Bobcats will play a football game against a team from San Antonio.

In reality, with the daunting first quarter of the schedule behind it, if Texas State can be 2-2 come Sunday morning it’s a major step in the right direction for the program.

“This is right where we wanted to be if we come out this Saturday and perform like we can,” said senior left tackle Ryan Melton. “Going into conference (play) at 2-2 is what we could have hoped for.”

Senior defensive back Javante O’Roy shared similar sentiments.

“It wasn’t disheartening,” he said about the back-to-back losses to ranked opponents. “We had a lot of good and bad things to learn from. We just have to change the bad and keep rolling with the things that went good.”

In order to reach the .500 mark, however, the Bobcats are not taking Incarnate Word lightly. They learned to compete against top-notch competition and that’s how they are practicing for the Cardinals.

Expect a lot of good from Texas State Saturday night.

“We’ll definitely have to be on top of our game and make sure we have no missed assignments and things of that nature,” O’Roy said. “We’re focusing on what we do. We’re going to prepare for them the same way we prepared for Arkansas, Houston and Ohio. Regardless of who we’re playing we just want to focus and be the best that were able to be.”

Kickoff is set for 6:39 p.m. at Bobcat Stadium in San Marcos. It will be televised on CBS Austin, CW 35 in San Antonio and can be viewed on ESPN3 and the ESPN application.

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Stephen Michael 26, is a journalist, social media coordinator, host, and entertainment reporter. Michael graduated in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in Communication Arts and earned a Master's Degree in Digital Media in 2020 from the University of the Incarnate Word. He has worked covering the San Antonio Rampage, Stars, and San Antonio Futbol Club. He was the host of the Project Spurs Roundtable on NBC affiliate News 4 San Antonio from 2015-17.

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