SAN MARCOS, Texas (KXAN) — While major conferences in college football are still off for at least another week, Texas State has a chance to take center stage when it hosts SMU Saturday afternoon.
Texas State’s season opener with the Mustangs will be nationally televised for a 3:30 p.m. kickoff at Bobcat Stadium.
According to head coach Jake Spavital, Texas State’s opportunity to play is in large part due to his team’s responsibility when it comes to following COVID-19 mitigation efforts while the rest of the country is either sitting out this season or still waiting to get started.
Like all of training camp, this game week has felt different than any other Spavital has experienced.
As Spavital heads into his second year with the Bobcats, he’ll kick off 2020 against some familiar faces.
He was a former assistant under SMU head coach Sonny Dykes, and he’s coached against SMU quarterback Shane Buechele twice — once when he was on Dykes’ staff at California and Buechele was the Texas quarterback and last year, when Texas State lost to SMU in Dallas.
Buechele will be back in Central Texas playing football as SMU’s starting quarterback on Saturday. The former Longhorns QB is on every single preseason awards watch list going into his senior college season with the Mustangs.
Buechele has flourished in Dykes’ offense, throwing for 3,900 yards and 34 touchdowns during a 10-win season in 2019. Spavital’s Bobcats are still in rebuilding mode, finishing the 2019 season at 3-9 with two Sun Belt Conference wins.
Texas State announced capacity will be limited to 25% for Saturday’s season opener. Bobcat Stadium can hold 30,000 fans, according to Texas State’s website, which means only 7,500 fans will be allowed to attend.
Additionally, Texas State will not allow organized tailgates before the game, and there won’t be any general admission. All seating options will be assigned to help with social distancing measures.
Also, all fans will be required to wear a face mask when entering, leaving or walking around the stadium. While they can take their masks off once in their assigned seats, they are still encouraged to keep wearing them.