By Russell Ramsey
Texas State defeated Ohio University 54-56 in triple overtime in Athens to open the season and Coach Withers’ career at Texas State. Coming into the game as over 20-point underdogs, the Texas State Bobcats fought until the end of one of the most exciting week one games this year.
The game started off slowly offensively for both teams as Texas State was able to jump out to a 14-6 halftime lead before the fireworks really began flying. Both teams made adjustments at halftime. Ohio was without their leading rusher from last season, A.J. Ouellette, and Texas State battled back after two Tyler Jones interceptions and multiple sacks but both teams came out full speed in the second half.
The offenses combined for 90-second half points in what would be a thriller until the very end. Despite the offensive trouble Texas State faced in the first half, Jones bounced back with four passing touchdowns in the second half. Ohio quarterback Greg Windham followed suit, throwing four touchdowns in the second half as well.
The game came down to the wire, as Texas State took a four-point lead with 50 seconds left in the game. Ohio completed a 75 yard touchdown pass to Papi White to take the lead. Jones and the offense answered the call and tied the game up with a field goal on the following drive.
The first overtime period, both teams converted field goals. The second overtime, both teams threw an under five yards touchdown pass. The final overtime, Texas State brought out a trick play you shouldn’t be surprised to see on ESPN sometime soon. Jones threw a pass to L.G. Williams behind the line of scrimmage, who then threw a forward pass to a wide open Jones for a 22-yard touchdown pass. The following play, Texas State was forced to go for a two-point conversion due to the NCAA overtime rules after two overtimes and converted. Ohio managed to score a touchdown but could not convert the two-point conversion, giving Texas State its first win of the season.
In a game where Texas State was a double digit underdog playing in an away stadium, the Bobcats played a fantastic game. They really showed their ability to play a game to the final whistle. The offense was expected to carry the load for this team, it was hard to predict the 58-point outing shown today. The team came out in the second half with their adjustments and fought their way to a satisfying overtime victory. Coach Withers could not have asked for a better start to his career at Texas State.
CBS Sports Network (@CBSSportsNet) September 04, 2016