by Kiersten Ehr
Houston— The Texas State football team faced the University of Houston Saturday night in the 1-year old $120 million TDECU Stadium overlooking the Houston skyline for a non-conference match-up. The Bobcats were trampled 59-14 by the Cougars in front of a home crowd of 35,257.
There were plenty of Texas State fans that drove up from San Marcos to watch this epic match-up in Houston, as these two teams haven’t played since 2012, with Texas State winning 30-13. As I was walking around the tailgates, the Bobcat alumni tent was jam-packed with eager fans. Despite the crushing loss, this game was a great opportunity for all Texas State fans around the state to get together as one to cheer on their Bobcats.
The Gist of The Game
The Cougars started the game 7-0 on the opening drive for their first possession. The Bobcats had their first turnover on their first possession as Tight End Lawrence White fumbled the ball at Houston’s 15-yard line. Texas State only scored 7 points in the first half, when Tyler Jones had a four-yard touchdown run to cap a 57-yard drive.
Houston had possession and took control of the first half, making history of their own over Texas State, scoring 4 touchdowns on four consecutive drives. The Cougars led 42-7 at halftime, leaving Bobcat fans shaking their heads in disappointment of the team’s performance. Texas State ended up scoring late in the second half when Chris Nutall finished a 75-yard drive with a one-yard touchdown run. Unfortunately, the score came with the game already decided in Houston’s favor. The game would end in a blowout fashion, with a 59-14 win for the Cougars.
Cougars had 689 yards of total offense. Junior quarterback Greg Ward threw for 274 yards with a career-high four touchdowns on 17-of-21 passing and added a game-high 91 rushing yards on only 10 carries with a pair of touchdowns (best collegiate career game).
With the win, Houston improved to 3-0 for the first time since 2013.
Texas State Bobcats
Junior quarterback Tyler Jones completed 29 of his 44 passes for 288 yards, and rushed for 35 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries. Running back Robert Lowe helped the Bobcats with 36 yards rushing. Demun Mercer led Texas State with six receptions for 71 yards and Jafus Gaines made six catches for 60 yards.
After the disheartening loss, coach Franchione reminded his team that the Bobcats did not give up without a fight.
“I told them that they kept fighting in the end,” said Franchione. “I was proud of them. Nobody gave up. It was a hard night. Things didn’t go our way. We need to get this thing going around again in the right direction and it starts with me. I need to accept responsibility. We need to be there emotionally, physically. We need to game plan.”
The Bobcat defense has given up over 100 points combined over the last 2 games, both being losses. Coach Franchione also believes the team has “plenty to fix” in all areas.
“We’ve done it four times in a row now, said Franchione. At a point you are what you are and we need to try to fix that and work on it in an open week. We got plenty of things to work on.”
What’s Next for Texas State?
The Bobcats will regroup and try to figure out how to save their young season during this week’s bye week. The Bobcats have returned home, but are now staring at a 1-3 record on the season, which could seriously damage their hopes of securing a bowl bid for the first time in program history. Texas State will face their next opponent in conference rival UL Lafayette on the road on Oct. 10. You can listen to all Texas State football games on KTSW 89.9.