SAN MARCOS-Regular season games for college football have come to an end, Texas State however has made program history this season and will be attending their first ever bowl game this year.
With a current record of 7-5 Texas State Football, they finished the Sun Belt Conference in second place. Texas State has been previously bowl eligible in 2013 and 2014 after they joined the Sun Belt Conference. Texas State brought in a new head coach G.J. Kinne a former coach from the University of the Incarnate Word and 17 transfer students. A Texas State senior Chandrell Powell is among the students and fans who were ready for a change to be made within the program.
” I am excited for what’s in store this year with the new coach and new players, Chandrell Powell said” I can’t wait to see how the season plays out.”
For the first time since 2014, the Bobcats secured a seven-win season. The Bobcats started the season away with a 42-31 win over Baylor, which was the Bobcats’ first win over a “Power 5″ conference team. At the beginning of the season Kinne coined the term ”Take Back Texas” which has been the theme throughout this season and can be seen and heard throughout the program.
Coach Kinne is currently one of 15 coaches in consideration for the 2023 Paul “Bear” Bryant Coach of the Year Award watch list member. The winner will be announced on Wednesday, January 10, 2024, during an awards ceremony presented by Marathon Oil.
The Bobcats season consisted of eight conference games and four non-conference games. In the first five games of the season, the Bobcats had a record of 4-1 with the loss coming from an away game against its rival school the University of San Antonio (20-13). Texas State struggled on the road going on a 2-game losing streak falling short against Coastal Caroline (31-23) and Arkansas State (77-31) this being the worst loss in program history. Texas State football player Demarrquese Hayes was a transfer from Kanas State University he has been with the team since the 2021 season and has had to adjust to the new coach as we as the newfound attention the school is getting.
” You can’t win them all, said Demarrquese Hayes a Texas State football player ”you win some and lose some we just have to give it 110% every time we step on the field.”
They were able to finish the last conference game of the season with a home win over South Alabama (52-44). Texas State finished the season 5-1 at Bobcat Stadium its best home record since 2005 the only loss at home coming from Sun Belt Conference leader Troy University (31-13).
Ismail Mahdi a sophomore became the first Texas State running back to have a 1,200-yard rushing season since 1997. He also became the only player in the nation with 2,000+ all-purpose yards. The Sun Belt Conference also named Kole Wilson Special Teams Player of the Week 13. Texas State also had its largest crowd of 27,537 for a Sun Belt Conference game on Oct. 14 ,2023. Texas State had two players make 1st team in the All-Sun Belt Conference kicker Mason Shipley and all-purpose Ismail Mahdi.
Hezekiah Costly a former Texas State student has been following the Bobcats since 2020. Him and many other fans are hopeful for what the future has in store for this football program with the new coach and new players.
”It has been a long time coming” said Hezekiah Costly ” We have had the talent for years this is just the first time it’s getting showcased, and we are actually getting a winning outcome.”
On Tuesday, December 26, the Bobcats will be facing off against Rice University in the SERVPRO First Responder Bowl at Gerald J. Ford Stadium in Dallas. The Bobcats and Owls will play one other for the first time since 1987, when Rice won 38-28.
Looking ahead for the future of this team coach G.J Kinne is currently signed to a five-year contract. Hoping to get a bowl game win for this team for the first time in program history. This something the Texas State fan base is looking forward to this season and seasons to come as well.