AUSTIN (KXAN) — Texas State made its appearance at Sun Belt Conference Media Days touting optimism, as they seek to improve on last year’s 4-8 record.

Head Coach Jake Spavital is entering his fourth season leading the program, and the project has proven to be difficult on many levels.

Spavital has gone 9-27 in three seasons at the helm, but this season, he believes things will be different.

“You know I was looking through our numbers and we have 80 guys that have played college football games,” Spavital said. “We have a very experienced team right now and there’s a lot of excitement around our program.”

There were signs of solid improvement in the Bobcats program last year.

Despite going just 4-8, it was actually the best record Texas State had to end a season since 2014.

The Bobcats played eight games that were decided by eight points or less, so the Bobcats were competitive most of the time they took the field, and a goal of a winning record is at the forefront.

“We’re in a decent spot as a football program, but we know we’re not playing to the standards and expectations that we’ve set as a program,” Spavital continued. “But these guys are working tirelessly and effortlessly to put a product out there that people are going to be proud of and our expectation is to go to a bowl game for the first time in school history.”

Texas State is picked to finish fourth in the Sun Belt Conference’s West division.

Sophomore offensive lineman Dalton Cooper and junior kicker Seth Keller were named preseason all-conference.

Texas State will begin the regular season September 3 against Nevada.

Kickoff is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. at McKay Stadium in Reno.