In week one, the Texas State Bobcats shocked the college football world as they marched up to Waco and beat the Baylor Bears, 42-31, in their house for the first win over an autonomy-five program in Texas State’s history.
There was no shortage of anticipation headed into week two as the Bobcats hit the road. This time, southbound on I-35 as they headed to the Alamodome to play in-state rival UTSA. In four meetings prior to the matchup on September 9, Texas State had yet to hand the Roadrunners a loss. The Bobcats, coming off the big win in Waco were looking to finally accomplish the feat, unfortunately couldn’t hold back the UTSA defense; only scoring a single touchdown in the second quarter of a 13-20 loss.
Minor Setback. Major Comeback.
At home for the first time in 2023, around 24,000 fans waltzed their way into Bobcat Stadium for the ninth-largest crowd in program history to witness probably the most explosive performance Bobcat fans have ever seen.
Headed into the matchup against the Jackson State Tigers, the Bobcats were the favorite by 17.5 points, and I wasn’t expecting to cover this line. Though I did expect a high-scoring affair, I didn’t expect the Bobcats to hit the over (61.5) on their own with a near-record-setting 77 points.
The Bobcats scored quickly and often, especially in the opening half, scoring 56 points before the Bobcat Marching Band and the Texas State Strutters took the field at halftime.
An Explosive Offensive Performance
The Bobcats compiled 684 yards of offense and scored 11 touchdowns in the game. Quarterback TJ Finley accounted for five of the Bobcat scores, three through the air and two on the ground, which is pretty good considering the sophomore transfer from Auburn didn’t see the field after the completion of the first half.
With a 56-20 lead over the Tigers of Jackson State entering the second half, the Bobcat faithful got an opportunity to see why there was a quarterback battle all spring between Finley and quarterback Malik Hornsby. Hornsby only threw four passes, but the dual threat ended up being the Bobcats’ leading rusher with 133 yards on ten carries (13.3 average) and boasted two touchdowns on the ground.
Through the air, nine Bobcats caught at least one pass as the receiving squad compiled 285 yards and three total touchdowns. Drew Donley led the way with 83 yards on three receptions and a touchdown. Kole Wilson also caught a touchdown pass along with Ashtyn Hawkins’ first in the young season.
The Bobcats nearly scored 84 points for a program record, but the late score was called back and were one point shy of tying the program record of 78 that was set back in 1920 against Meridian College.
Off to its best start since 2013, the Bobcats return home this weekend against Nevada at 6 p.m. on Saturday, September 23, at Bobcat Stadium in search of a 3-1 start to the 2023 season.