SAN MARCOS, Texas – Texas State head football coach Dennis Franchione is preparing his team for its first intra-squad scrimmage next Thursday as the Bobcats continue working ahead of schedule through  the first six practices this spring.

“All of the practices are intended to work towards next Thursday,” said Franchione. “We have almost all of our installation done on offense and defense. Now, it is a matter of them understanding what is going on around them. Hopefully, they will go into Thursday confident, and we treat that as game day in the spring.”

As the Bobcats finish their first week of spring practice, Franchione likes what his team is showing him on the practice field.

“I like our retention and carry over,” said Franchione. “I like our attitude and work habits a lot. We had some physical aspects today and the guys competed hard. That was good to see. There were a lot of good things. We are not game ready by any stretch of the imagination, but for being through five days, I would have to give them a pretty high grade for what we have been able to do and how we have been able to do it.”

Texas State spent the last half of practice with the offensive and defensive units scrimmaging against each other in first down situations on Friday and in the red zone on Saturday. Both units had their moments in which they shined. For example Brice Gunter made a spectacular catch on one offensive play and cornerback David Mims had some good plays on defense. Senior offensive lineman Zach Crawford also moved to center on Friday.

“We moved Zach in with the twos and that is the first time he has played there,” said Franchione. “He did some good things and needs to get his snap a little softer. Connor Whitedid some good things and Lawrence White did some good things. Frankie Griffin and Teron Fitzgerald are doing some good things. Chris French is coming along. There are a lot of guys that I can point out who did some good things”

In addition to the players making some big plays, the Bobcats worked on red zone situations and third down plays throughout the team segments of Saturday’s practice. Franchione also brought in real officials to help the Bobcats cut down on penalties.

“It is good for us to put the accent on not having too many penalties,” said Franchione. “It is good work for them and good for our players to have them here. Our coaches do a good job of calling penalties, but it is more meaningful and significant to have real officials here.”

Thursday’s scrimmage will be the first of three game-day workouts this spring. The Bobcats will also have a second scrimmage on March 28 after spring break before Texas State plays its Maroon-Gold Spring Game on April 4 at 1 p.m.

During the three scrimmages, Franchione is looking to identify some of the team’s new leaders for next season.

“We want to see how things go, how we compete, who our leaders are and who is going to step up on one side of the ball in a tough period of the scrimmage,” said Franchione. “Who is going to rally the troops? Are we going rely on the players to do it or are the coaches going to have to do it? Hopefully, we will find our leaders. I think we have some good candidates, but I don’t know if we have a true identification of who they are completely yet.”

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