Photo by Gerald Castillo
Bobcats come away satisfied with 36-20 win over Texas Southern
Texas State’s 36-20 win over Texas Southern was far from perfect.
But head coach Everett Withers is always satisfied with winning.
“It’s good to get a victory at home,” Withers said. “You know, anytime you play at home, your objective is to win your home games. You get six of them guaranteed to you. If you play really well during the season, you might get a seventh during a conference championship. So, when you get six, boy, you need try to win them all. We check that goal off our list of goals — winning the home opener.”
Winning is difficult at the collegiate level, Withers said laughingly following Saturday’s win. Texas State (1-1) entered its game against FCS opponent Texas Southern (1-1) Inside Bobcat Stadium as 33-point favorites, aaccording to oodshark.com.
The Bobcats held a 26-0 lead midway through the third quarter and looked poised to comfortably arrive at that expected winning margin. But the second half saw Texas Southern make things uncomfortable by getting within 12 points and 13 points. The Tigers had opportunities to get closer but the Bobcats did enough to secure the victory.
That satisfying feeling didn’t translate to redshirt junior linebacker Bryan London.
“It always feels good to win, but we all know we didn’t do it in the fashion, we didn’t execute as good as we wanted to,” said London, who recorded a team-high nine tackles, and two forced fumbles. “So, you appreciate wins, but now you got to go back to work.”
Texas State took advantage of a school-record tying performance from senior kicker James Sherman, who converted five field goals against Texas Southern.
Sophomore quarterback Willie Jones III threw his first career touchdown pass in the form of a 46-yard strike to fifth-year senior Keenen Brown in the second quarter. The graduate transfer from Oklahoma State hauled in seven reception for 108 yards, and his touchdown grab was his first of his collegiate career.
Texas State senior safety AJ Krawczyk pushed the Bobcat lead out to 26-0 in the third quarter when London forced a fumble and he picked it up for an 82-yard scoop and score touchdown. The 82-yard fumble return marks the longest in school history.
But Texas Southern redshirt sophomore wide receiver Tren’Davian Dickson found the endzone twice after Krawczyk’s touchdown. Dickson torched the Bobcats for a 75-yard touchdown and an 11-yard score. Dickson finished the night with seven receptions for 159 yards and his two scoring grabs.
The Bobcats rushing offense helped them pull away. Jones ran for 107 yards, sophomore running back Robert Brown ran for 85 yards. Junior running back Anthony D. Taylor scored Texas State’s final touchdown of the game on a 1-yard run. Taylor ended the night with 64 yards, but had one fumble.
“Well, I think we emphasized running the ball in the second half,” Withers said. “We weren’t in the first half. We trying to do, I think, too much offensively in the first half instead of just running the ball and I thought we had an emphasis on that in the second half and we showed up and ran the ball better.”
Texas Southern scored one more touchdown on an 16-yard touchdown pass from graduate senior quarterback Jay Christophe to junior tight end Chris Long to bring the Tigers to within 33-20.
Sherman’s final field goal extended Texas State lead to 36-20.
“It feels amazing,” junior lineman Aaron Brewer said. “It always feels amazing when you win.”
With a win on hand, Texas State looks ahead to its Sun Belt opener against South Alabama on Saturday, Sept. 15 looking to improve off a game it's satsified to win.
“I think we got better from week one even though I think there are some things that we backed up on a little bit,” Withers said. “But I thought we got better as a football team. We didn’t play in well in the second half in spurts on defense .. I thought we ran the ball effectively at times, but we hurt ourselves with penalties. Same things, big explosive plays hurt us. We had penalties late in the down.
"We got to, again, when you win, you have an opportunity to go back and work that’s always a good thing when you can win and have issues that you can go fix and go coach on your next practice day. That’s a good thing.”