Photo courtesy of TXST Athletics
Bobcats plagued by self-inflicted wounds in 40-13 loss to JMU
On a rainy day in Harrisonburg, Va., the Bobcats couldn’t get out of their own way.
Texas State (2-3, 0-1) fell 40-13 to James Madison (JMU) with the help of a touchdown run by redshirt junior running back Jahmyl Jeter on the final play of the game. The Dukes jumped out to a 7-0 lead in the first quarter and never looked back, capitalizing off penalties and turnovers from the maroon and gold.
“Overall, they handled the elements better than we did. We weren’t as good on critical downs as they were. They made some explosive plays on us — on third downs and third-downs-and-longs, they were getting some conversions,” head coach Jake Spavital said. “When we did get turnovers, we couldn’t capitalize on them. We threw a pick-six after one of those turnovers on a play that was wide open, (and) it just gets deflected at the line of scrimmage. So, there were some things that didn’t go our way.”
JMU (4-0, 2-0) held the Bobcats to 246 total yards of offense and forced four turnovers throughout the night. The Texas State defense forced three turnovers of their own, but the maroon and gold ended up with zero points off of them. In contrast, the Dukes were stopped just once after their takeaways — scoring 21 points off turnovers on three out of four possessions after a takeaway.
JMU also held redshirt junior quarterback Layne Hatcher to his lowest passing yards total in 2022, stifling the Bobcats’ offense throughout the game. Hatcher finished with 146 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions during the afternoon.
Lincoln Pare led the Bobcats with 87 rushing yards on 17 carries, but the Dukes also forced a turnover out of him. JMU punched the ball out early in the fourth quarter to kill another Texas State drive.
“We knew that in these games there would be some adversity, based on elements and all of that. We told our kids to keep fighting. I think they kept fighting. It really comes down to the execution side of it. You can’t have four turnovers, and they had three turnovers,” Spavital said. “You can’t have the penalties we had in certain moments. We had some chop blocks and we had a personal foul, where I got to get to the bottom of that one. There were some of those that killed the drive(s) offensively. We went into it trying to manage it as best as we possibly could.”
The maroon and gold were able to have one effective drive during the game coming out of halftime, starting with two big-time catches from Marcell Barbee for chunk yardage and ending with a 17-yard touchdown pass from Hatcher to redshirt freshman Charles Brown.
After that, it was once again all Dukes. James Madison ended the game on a 14-0 run despite turnovers caused by the Bobcats’ defense and a little bit of a slower pace offensively from the Dukes after senior quarterback Todd Centeio was roughed up early in the second half.
The Bobcats will return home to play Appalachian State — the team JMU pulled off a 29-point comeback against in week four — inside Bobcat Stadium in San Marcos with kickoff set for 6 p.m.
“The message to the team afterwards was everybody has got to look themselves in the mirror because the consistency individually is not where it needs to be. We still got seven games left, and we need to respond,” Spavital said. “We need to have a good week of practice. We need to get back to work, make the corrections and adjustments and put it behind (us) and move on to (Appalachian) State, and that’s another quality opponent coming in. Overall, we can’t make those mistakes.”