Photo courtesy of TXST Athletics
Bobcats looking to eliminate ‘catastrophic' plays
Texas State knows it can’t keep repeating the same mistakes.
The Bobcats had chances in their 40-13 loss to James Madison on Oct. 1 to keep themselves in the game. Graduate linebacker Sione Tupou recovered a fumble at the 2:44 mark in the second quarter when the maroon and gold were trailing only 12-0 — but redshirt junior quarterback Layne Hatcher had a pass tipped, intercepted and then returned for a touchdown on the next play to give JMU all the momentum heading into halftime.
“Like I’ve said before, you look at about three to five plays that truly dictated the outcome of the game — and if you look at the five plays that we had with the four turnovers and a snap over our punters’ head — that’s a 26-point swing almost,” head coach Jake Spavital said. “And there’s one (play that affected) the field position on one of the turnovers that ended up being a field goal off of that. But, it’s a 26-point swing. A lot of that occurred in the fourth quarter, and that was something that was very difficult for us because our mistakes right now are magnified at a catastrophic level. You know, and that’s where we’ve got to turn to and focus in on just trying to minimize the damage when these things occur.”
Texas State (2-3) has seen things play out this way in all of their losses throughout the 2022 season. Whether it was two missed fourth down conversions on fourth and short in the first half and a fumble to open up the second half against Baylor, or throwing two interceptions and fumbling against Nevada, the Bobcats are continuously shooting themselves in the foot. The mishaps are making the maroon and gold feel like the same movie playing over and over again.
Despite the way the Bobcats have been losing, the maturity of the team seems to be a bright spot. No one is pointing fingers, not even defensive players who have to go back out on the field shortly after getting a big stop.
“I mean, (when it comes to the turnovers) it is what it is. Let’s go back out there. We’ve got to do it again,” graduate linebacker London Harris said. “(We have to) just keep getting the ball back to the offense and keep trying to score the ball on defense. You know, just keep going and keep doing and keep working and keep chipping away.”
The ‘Cats will have a challenge on their hands when Appalachian State (3-2) comes to town this Saturday — they’ll have to wipe the slate clean and get back to work on the Mountaineers if they want to be competitive come game time. From Spavital’s perspective, his team is already over the loss and focusing on the work.
“I told our kids that there’s a lot of ball left, you know, we got to have a sense of urgency and focus and an intention on just correcting the mistakes. Our mistakes are magnified at a pretty high level right now. And, you know, I encouraged them to keep the fight,” Spavital said. “They have great energy and they got great optimism right now, and they practice well, but it’s about minimizing the damage and making sure that we’re trying to do our job at a high level with consistency.
You just kind of look at the overall game and it’s just kind of one of those deals where we thought it was a lot closer than what the final score was.”
The maroon and gold will return to San Marcos on Oct. 8 to face off with Appalachian State. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. with a blackout night scheduled inside Bobcat Stadium.