Texas State Misses Opportunity For Win At Home

Make every game count. That’s Texas State’s mantra for 2015. After completely uneven matchups in the first two games of the season – the first against national power house Florida State and the second against FCS Prairie View A&M – tonight’s game against Southern Mississippi was the first real barometer contest of the Bobcat season. Unfortunately for Texas State, this game wound up counting as a loss as the Bobcats fell to the Golden Eagles 56-50.

Texas State vs. Southern Miss Game Recap

Texas State Misses Opportunity For Win At Home

Texas State just wasn’t able to string together drives on offense and couldn’t stop the Southern Miss offense on the other side of the ball. If Texas State wants to match 2014’s seven-game win total and become bowl eligible, they need to think about making every drive count. When they did have drives in the first quarter, they stalled in Southern Miss territory.

Texas State started both halves of the game slowly. The Bobcats managed only a field goal in both the first and third quarters while allowing Southern Miss 14 points and 21 points, respectively. The Bobcats just couldn’t find the rhythm that is so important for the fast-paced, spread offense of Coach Dennis Franchione. Texas State quarterback had three long runs during the game, including runs of 35, 66, and 54, and finished with 160 yards rushing. But that’s not how Texas State will win games this season.

Southern Miss, playing a very similar style offense, found that rhythm for their offense early and often throughout the game. Golden Eagle quarterback Nick Mullens was 9-11 with 161 yards in the first quarter alone. Mullens finished the night with an impressive 19-27 with 333 yards and 4 TDs with no interceptions.

While the Southern Miss play calling facilitated this offensive rhythm, poor tackling and confusion amongst the Bobcat defense helped contribute to the offensive explosion for Southern Mississippi. Missed tackles happen. That’s indicative of summer camp preparation. But confusion against a team that runs a similar offense as your own team – the team you practice against every day – leads to questions of game week preparation.

Texas State was able to find that rhythm at times. The Bobcats’ second quarter was probably their best of the season, considering the competition. They scored 22 points on three nice drives and a two-point conversion. The defense shut down the Golden Eagle attack after allowing a third touchdown on the second play of the second quarter.

And after recovering an on-side kick with just over eight minutes left in the game, quarterback Jones had his third long run of the night, and second touchdown, to pull the Bobcats within seven points at 49-42. But in a perfect example of the Bobcats’ inability to capitalize on their opportunities, the defense allowed a 64-yard touchdown run on the ensuing Southern Miss drive.

Texas State will have opportunities this season. If they want to build on the success of last season they will have to clean up the tackling, find a consistent rhythm on offense, and make each drive – each play even – count. Or else, each game will count; it’ll just count against them.


Main Photo by Mike Granse-USA TODAY Sports