the latest

« Sports

Texas State to San Jose State: You’re Fired

Opposing coaches dust off résumés
Joe O'Connell, 5:52pm, Fri. Oct. 26, 2012
Want to get fired as a football coach? Play Texas State.

It worked for the University of Houston’s offensive coordinator who was gone two days after the Bobcats exposed the Cougars as a fraud in a 30-13 season-opening win.

In their last game before a bye week, the Bobcats trounced Idaho 38-7 to claim a very first WAC win. A week later Coach Robb Akey was feeling the pain of his own firing. OK, in the interim the Vandals were bitch-slapped 70-28 by Louisiana Tech, but we’ll take it anyway.

Unfortunately few opposing coaches are likely to be fired as Texas State enters a treacherous stretch this week with back-to-back road contests against San Jose State followed by an underrated Utah State that features a punishing defense. Then real giant-killer Louisiana Tech comes to town. For the moment, the 3-3 Bobcats sit precariously tied for the WAC lead at 1-0.

UTSA, with its from-the-ground-up football program is the litmus test for the Bobcats. Last week the Roadrunners were pummeled by San Jose State 52-24. This week Utah State comes to San Antonio. The Bobcats are much better than UTSA, but then again they’ve been playing football for a whole lot longer.

What should Texas State learn from their neighbors to the south about 5-2 San Jose State? One, the Spartans have their best record since 2006. Two, they’ve got a fiery pass-oriented offense that’s averaging 33 points a game. Three, they’ve got a special-teams unit that scores points and returns kickoffs well.

The good news? The Spartans fumbled three times against UTSA. They’re also the worst of the three next Bobcat opponents. If Texas State can come up with enough defense to hold San Jose State QB David Fales and his red-hot receiver Noel Grigsby in check, they’ve got a chance.

And the Bobcats have enough offensive firepower of their own to compete against a Spartan defense that had two sacks of the UTSA QB, but isn’t a world-beater. Texas State quarterback Shaun Rutherford continues to get better. He’s got good feet and he’s got a great target in Andy Erickson, who has made fans forget all about injured receiver Isaiah Battle. Chase Harper continues to impress at tight end, and Marcus Curry is healthy and leading a pack of strong runners with Terrence Franks and Tim Gay on deck.

If the Bobcats are to win one game out of their next three, this is probably their best shot. Utah State crushed San Jose State 49-27 a couple of weeks ago and sacked Fales 13 times. The Spartans were competitive in the first half, holding it to 28-20, but fell apart in the second half and could only manage a shocking four rushing yards in the game.

The Bobcats need to find their defense to win, but don’t count them out. If they pull it off, someone in San Jose will be checking the Craigslist job boards next week.

Next in Sports: 'The NFL Beat': Week 8 »