San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

September 19th, 2009
Bobcats face tough test at TCU

STAFF REPORT

After Jim Wacker won his second straight NCAA Division II football championship at Texas State in 1982, Texas Christian University lured Wacker from San Marcos to Fort Worth. Wacker stayed for a while, finally leaving for Minnesota in 1992.

In 1998, TCU needed a coach again, so the university turned to former Texas State head coach Dennis Franchione, who inherited running back LaDainian Tomlinson and claimed the school’s first bowl win since 1939.

And that’s about it for the shared history of Texas State and TCU football.

The two schools will meet for the first time on a football field Saturday night (6 p.m.) when they tee up at Amon Carter Stadium in Fort Worth.

Texas State and TCU enter the game with roughly the same esteem relative to their different levels of college football. The Bobcats are ranked 18th in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) coaches poll and 19th in The Sports Network rankings of FCS teams. TCU is 15th in the Associated Press and USA Today rankings of Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) teams.

The Bobcats, 1-0, opened their season with a 48-28 win against Angelo State at Bobcat Stadium two weeks ago. The Horned Frogs started their season last Saturday with a 30-14 win at Virginia.

The game shapes up as the toughest test all year for the Texas State offense, one of the most productive in the FCS for 2008. The Bobcats totaled 463 yards against Angelo State. But the Bobcats will miss running back Karrington Bush, who injured a knee against Angelo State and is expected to miss at least the next two weeks.

So, the Bobcats are going without their top rusher as they face the Horned Frogs, who have led the nation in total defense three times in the last nine years under head coach Gary Patterson. And the Frogs are especially tough at home, where they have allowed only 48.4 rushing yards per game and 1.8 yards per carry in their last eight home games.

If the Bobcats are forced to pass, quarterback Bradley George will be exposed to a pass rush that finished second in the nation last season with 43 sacks.

Playing its home opener, TCU has handled that game pretty well, winning seven straight. Last time TCU lost a home opener was 2001, when Northwestern State won a 27-24 overtime game.

In the last ten years, TCU is 50-6 at home. In the last six years, TCU is 31-4 at home, the sixth best home record in the nation. TCU has allowed seven points or fewer in 12 of its last 20 home games, while putting up three shutouts in its last 14 home games.

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