- Associated Press - Friday, September 12, 2014

SAN MARCOS, Texas (AP) - Dennis Franchione has a bone to pick with the feds.

It’s not foreign policy or taxes that are troubling Franchione. No, the Texas State coach has a more pressing problem as his Bobcats prepare to host Navy on Saturday night.

“I’ve got a big complaint with our government,” Franchione said, a sly smile emerging. “We’re letting big guys in the academies now. I thought they were supposed to be little guys. They’ve got a 300-pound nose guard (Bernard Sarra). What’s he do? They’re recruiting good-sized guys and they’ve got good speed.”

That size has helped the Midshipmen (1-1) get off to a strong start, which includes leading the nation in team rushing offense.

Navy is coming off a 31-24 victory over Temple on Sept. 6 and was impressive in a season-opening loss to Ohio State. The Midshipmen used their triple option to lead the Buckeyes late in the third quarter before falling 34-17 on Aug. 30.

Junior quarterback Keenan Reynolds had 211 total yards against Temple, rushing for 181 yards and two touchdowns before leaving in the fourth quarter after taking a helmet to the knee. Reynolds was cleared to play, however, after an MRI revealed no structural damage.

“Everything is fine, so we’re happy about that,” Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo said.

Reynolds had 94 total yards in leading Navy to a 21-10 victory over Texas State in 2012.

Reynolds has greatly improved since starting that game as a freshman for the Midshipmen, but the Bobcats have grown as well.

Texas State, which had a bye last week, had a school-record 697 yards in a 65-0 victory over Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Aug. 30.

“Big-time impressed,” Midshipmen defensive coordinator Buddy Green said. “They can run it, they give you a lot of looks, inside zone, split zone, option game, they run power game inside, but at the same time they’ve got a real good quarterback that can throw it. I like their wide receivers. They can run, they’ve got good team speed.”

Bobcats quarterback Tyler Jones completed 21 of 25 passes for 278 yards and four touchdowns in Texas State’s season opener. Junior wide receiver Jafus Gaines had four receptions for 119 yards and two touchdowns in his first career start.

“Obviously we liked week one, but we understand what that was,” Franchione said of the FCS school. “But this will be a big test for us as far as execution, blocking, tackling, getting off blocks, discipline. More discipline is going to be required of us defensively than in almost any game.”

Here are a few things to know about the Baylor-Northwestern State game:

NO, THANKS: Having a bye after the season’s first game is unusual, but Franchione said the time off was planned given this week’s opponent. “I know there were a number of times (Bobcats associate athletics director) Don Coryell, who helps with football scheduling, came over and said, ‘Coach, do you want to play this week?’ I said, ‘Nope.’ ‘Nope.’ ‘Nope.’ We kept this week open purposely and I think it’s helped us out a great deal, hopefully it will look like it on Saturday night.”

50 SENSE: Niumatalolo became the fastest to reach 50 career victories at Navy when the Midshipmen beat Temple last week. In his seventh season, Niumatalolo needs six more victories to surpass George Welsh as the winningest coach in the program’s history.

WELCOME HOME: Navy fullback Noah Copeland and cornerback Quincy Adams will get an opportunity to play before friends and family while playing in San Marcos, which is less than an hour’s drive from their hometown of San Antonio. Adams was named the Eastern Conference Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Week after finishing with a career-high nine tackles and forcing a fumble on Temple’s final play at Navy’s nine-yard line in the Midshipmen’s victory.

BIG GAME: Texas State is expecting a capacity crowd with Navy’s arrival and so many active and retired military veterans in the area, particularly in San Antonio.

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