By Josh Orozco
Assistant Sports Director
While bright lights shined on the national stage, Texas State ultimately fell short to the SMU Mustangs 31-24 in San Marcos.
After a scoreless first quarter, it comes as no surprise that SMU and Texas State got the ball rolling with a combined 960 yards of total offense in the first game of the season.
The Mustang’s offensive rhythm rolled as SMU quarterback Shane Buechele proved why he is considered one of the bests at his position in the country. Momentum fell in favor of SMU after a 51-yard touchdown delivery from Buechele to Mustang wide receiver Reggie Roberson Jr. late in the third quarter.
The Bobcats remained hopeful after a competitive outing that disputes their initial 25-point underdog label prior to kickoff.
Texas State quarterback Brady McBride provides the Bobcats with ability to scramble outside of the pocket and deliver passes for big chunks of yards. The sophomore transfer found his comfort zone early in San Marcos and should be a reliable player for head coach Jake Spavital moving forward.
“I had a lot of stuff in the game plan because I was trying to figure Brady [McBride] out,” Spavital said. “I think I got a pretty good idea moving forward on what he’s comfortable of doing. You can tell that he did a lot of great things out there, but a lot of young things as well.”
Spavital is looking forward to continue working with the newest transfer and he believes McBride will be “a very good quarterback.”
McBride finished with 227 yards, two touchdowns and an interception in his Bobcat debut. Texas State’s new offensive leader built chemistry with his receiving core, in particular with senior Jeremiah Haydel, during this game. Haydel scored his first touchdown since Nov. 3, 2018 with a spectacular one-handed catch that ended up plastered all over SportsCenter and social media.
Spavital and SMU’s head coach Sonny Dykes are both known to enjoy the passing game but found most of their success on the ground.
Mustang redshirt freshman Ulysses Bentley IV proved to be a force in the red zone, accumulating 49 yards and two touchdowns.
Arizona State transfer RB Brock Sturges opened the game with a 35-yard rush on his first carry as a Bobcat. The combination of Sturges and Calvin Hill ran behind a well-played offensive line throughout the night.
The Bobcats ranked last in the Sun Belt conference just a season ago in rushing offense with only 920 yards. In the 2020 opener, the Bobcats ran for 189 yards, 20% of last season’s total on the ground.
No, the maroon and gold were not victorious on Saturday night. However, Spavital, his coaching staff and players showed hints of a potential winning formula, something Texas State hasn’t seen in quite some time.
“They’re starting to gain a lot confidence, that was something they didn’t have last year,” Spavital said. “We were unproven going into this game. Just to see it start to click with all the work they’ve put into it, it was very pleasing for me to see that happen.”
Texas State’s next matchup comes against I-35 rival UTSA roadrunners at Bobcat Stadium next Saturday, the final home game before the Bobcats’ five-game road stand. Every game this season can be found over the radio airwaves on KTSW FM-89.9.
Featured image by Texas State Athletics.