By Reily Chestnut
Based off the title I suspect you’ll either be relieved or flabbergasted that it took the Bobcats this long to go on another streak. It doesn’t matter either way to me because I’m just a talking (and writing) head who’s happy to report that the Bobcats beat Georgia State 40-31 in Atlanta, Georgia on this cool Saturday afternoon.
Starting off, this win is as meaningful of a moment for Head Coach Everett Withers and his staff. In the midst of a season where Withers has made changes among his play calling while having to throw out two different quarterbacks during different weeks, it’s impressive that he’s adapting to better fit the offensive game plan he’s been trying to execute these last three years. Just two weeks ago, you had some fans on social media calling for his job. Taking that into account, I’ll give Withers credit for making changes that have so far paid dividends for the Bobcats. This matchup against the Panthers proved to be no different in how Texas State controlled the pacing of the game.
The offense came out blazing with two scoring drives to start the game. Quarterback Willie Jones III broke free for a 48-yard TD run in his second straight week back in the starting role. The Bobcats defense continued to do its job before the ‘Cats got down the field quickly to punch in a two yard touchdown run by running back Anthony D. Taylor that gave the team a 13-7 lead through the first quarter. Pushing onward it seemed that Texas State’s offense under play caller Brett Elliott has found a rhythm over their last two matchups that has helped the Bobcats prolong their chance to go “bowling.” Jones would end up with the most efficient game of his career by going 21-for-26 with two TDs in the air and the previously mentioned run play. Frankly, I’m happy to see that Jones is making the most of his second chance at the starting job after spending time sidelined with a shoulder injury earlier this season. It wasn’t a one man show and that’s the big reason the ‘Cats came up with their second straight win.
Sophomores Caleb Twyford led the team with 76 rushing yards and one of the ‘Cats season-high 4 touchdown runs. Wide receiver Jeremiah Haydel got the team turned up with 103 receiving yards, including catching a 93-yard touchdown pass from Jones. They were just a few of the big performances for the receiving unit. Defensively, the Bobcats saw linebacker Nik Daniels step up once again, sharing the team lead with Frankie Griffin of nine tackles while the ‘Cats forced two more fumbles. This now means the Bobcats have forced 17 turnovers through nine games this year.
Safe to say this win is a huge momentum builder for when the Bobcats host the reigning conference co-champion Appalachian State Mountaineers next week. For now, Texas State is 3-6 after collecting their first SBC win of the season. Finally, this win means the Bobcats will finish the year with more than 2 wins for the first time since Dennis Franchione’s swan song 2015 season.
Featured photo via TXST Athletics.