By Reily Chestnut
Before you read this headline and think to yourself that Texas State football still sucks let me throw them a bone here. Yes, they did lose 25-21 in the Alamodome to UTSA. Yes, the team looked far more competitive compared to last year’s embarrassing 30 point loss in Bobcat Stadium. And of course, the ‘Cats had to try and win after losing their starting quarterback Willie Jones III to the arm sling after he hurt his left shoulder in the first quarter. All that could help me feel better about a four point loss to a rival… but it won’t.
For the second straight week, the Bobcats had a chance to win the game if they could just produce on their final drive. All the chips were lining up for one hell of a headline:
“FORMER MACARTHUR BRAHMA LEADS BOBCATS TO VICTORY IN THE ALAMODOME”
It would have been glorious to see true freshman Tyler Vitt lead the team to victory after his star HS career at San Antonio’s MacArthur High School. However, as he stood in the backfield of his own end zone with the team needing to march up the field to set up a possible game winning field goal by freshman Clayton Stewart… the ‘Cats decide to run a QB draw.
You know what happens next? The Roadrunners break the offensive line’s hold and catch Vitt before he can get the ball over the goal line. Safety for UTSA and another heartbreaking loss for the Bobcats, but let me be the first to tell you I thought if the ‘Cats could at least be competitive in this game I would’ve been happy. Yet once the game was over, I still couldn’t feel any better about the Bobcats and officials screwing the pooch once again in key moments.
First off, the officials screwed the pooch. They decided that the Roadrunners could get another chance at fourth down in the second half. As a result, the ‘Runners scored a field goal spread the gap in the fourth quarter. Good job guys. The last two weeks have seen the Bobcats deal with spotty officiating. However, the only team to blame at the end of the day is Texas State. I can’t wait to read all the twitter rants with the hashtag #FireTeis (on board) or #FireWithers (not so much).
For starters, the running backs were once again taken out of the gameplan for a large chunk of the game. The box score showed just how “dynamic” the game plan was. Our tailbacks, Robert Brown Jr. and Anthony D. Taylor, combined got just eight carries while Vitt as a bench call carried it 12 times. Call me old fashioned, but they are called “running” backs for a reason. Then there is the continuous use of the QB draw. Once you go to your quarterback enough over the course of a game then the only thing it draws is attention. I don’t mean to be critical, but what else do I have if not my opinion on what I see. That doesn’t mean I can’t say nice things.
In other news, Graduate transfer Keenen Brown had himself a game!! The tight end that spent time at Oklahoma State finished with a game-high 124 receiving yards off nine catches and a touchdown. Vitt finished 15-for-22 with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Not bad for a true freshman playing in one of the largest football stadiums against our mosted hated non-conference rival. You get three out five stars kid. The defense gets high ratings for forcing another turnover in the fourth quarter off another blocked punt by safety A.J. Krawczyk to set up a touchdown pass from Vitt to WR Hutch White. The defense is hitting its stride as the season progresses.
The loss drops the Bobcats to 1-3 and keeps them winless against the Roadrunners. Maybe when the teams meet again in 2020 at Bobcat Stadium we’ll finally turn the tide on UTSA. Until then, stay scrappy Bobcats!
Featured image by Tino Manor.