By Brenden Snow
Assistant Sports Director
For the third time this season, the Texas State Bobcats football team has lost by less than a touchdown when they came up short on Saturday in Monroe, Louisiana, 20-14. With this loss, the Bobcats drop to 1-6 (0-4) on their 2018 campaign, and the ULM Warhawks advance to 4-4 (2-2) which puts them first in the Sun Belt West division.
Freshman quarterback, Tyler Vitt, started his third straight game Saturday, but this was his first career start on the road, and it showed. The offense gained just a total of 242 yards, Vitt was sacked three times while only throwing for 115 yards. While it appeared the Bobcats had a better game plan to get their running backs involved, the trio of Anthony D. Taylor, Robert Brown Jr. and Caleb Twyford combined for 97 yards on 24 carries and one score.
When the offense struggled, the defense picked it up. For the second straight week, Defensive Coordinator Chris Woods’ defense was stellar. The team held their opponent to under 20 points for the third time this season and limited one of the conferences best offenses to 353 yards. On top of that the defense continued to force turnovers. Dislodging three balls for fumbles, and recovering two of them and ultimately both led to the Bobcats two touchdowns.
After exchanging opening drive punts, Monroe was faced with a third and 10 at their own 20. Junior quarterback, Caleb Evans, dumped it off to senior wide receiver, Markis McCray, when Bobcat junior defensive lineman, Ishmael Davis, forced and recovered a fumble. The Maroon and Gold would then be set up nicely, taking over at the Warhawks’ 21. Three plays later, Vitt would punch it in himself from seven yards out and give Texas State their first lead since the fourth quarter of the South Alabama game back on Sept. 15.
The lead wouldn’t last very long for the Cats’ as ULM responded with a touchdown of their own the very next drive and would continue to put it on scoring 20 unanswered. The Bobcat offense wasn’t able to get anything going until the defense forced another turnover.
Early in the fourth quarter, trailing 20-7 the Bobcats’ defense would get their second takeaway of the game thanks to junior linebacker Clifton Lewis Jr. The turnover once again, set Texas State up nicely taking over at the Warhawks’ 46 and jump started the offense. The Bobcats used eight plays and reached the end zone using the legs of Robert Brown Jr. who scampered in from four yards out for his first career touchdown.
Texas State would get one more possession but penalties and sacks forced a three-and-out and the Bobcats would never see the ball again after the punt.
Next week, the team will return home to face New Mexico State for homecoming. Texas State will be sporting Southwest Texas State throwback jerseys for the first time since the university’s name change back in 2003. Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. you can catch the call of the game on KTSW 89.9-FM or stream it here.
Featured photo by Justin Manor.