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Quarterback T.J. Finley celebrates a his touchdown run in the Bobcats 77-34 win over Jackson State.
Daily Record photo by Gerald Castillo

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Defensive linemen Terry Webb and Tavian Coleman celebrate during the Bobcats win over Jackson State.
Daily Record photo by Gerald Castillo


A historic offensive performance drives Texas State to victory in home opener
Tuesday, September 19, 2023

In the first home game of the season, Texas State needed to prove that it was a new era in Bobcat football. The Bobcats responded by putting up the most points in the Division 1 era.

Churning up 684 yards of offense, Texas State defeated Jackson State, 7734, in front of a crowd of 24,118 in the home opener for the Bobcats.

Though the offensive output was a shock to some Bobcat fans, the results were not a shock to quarterback T.J. Finley.

“We had this thing figured out by Week 1,” Finley said. “During fall camp, we put in a lot of work and in the offseason we put in the extra work to make sure everyone was brought in and on the same page. So we’ve had it figured out and what our identity was going to be.”

77 points is the most points ever scored by a Texas State football team in the Division I era and this game also missed the mark for most points scored by a Bobcat football team by two points– when the 1920 football team won, 79-0, against Meridian College.

After taking the lumps against rival UTSA, the Bobcats were able to figure out their mistakes as Texas State ran for 399 yards Saturday, as compared to just 31 yards against the Roadrunners, kicking off the scoring bonanza with a 56-yard touchdown by running back Ismail Mahdi.

“Unfortunately we played a hell of a defense in UTSA that played really well,” Finley said. “They exposed us a little bit on what we needed to get better at and what we needed to work. But, ultimately, it comes down to us whether or not we are going to execute. As you can see, when we execute, we can be very dangerous.”

Despite playing in only the first half, Finley completed his night throwing for 251 yards and three touchdowns, while rushing for 20 yards and two touchdowns.

Head Coach G.J. said he was happy for his team for responding to the loss, as well as the fans who attended the game.

“I’m really proud of the guys,” Kinne said. “I thought they played really hard. I thought the fans and what we had in the stadium today was really special. The pregame, the Cat Walk, that matters. That is why I came to Texas State.”

One of the key stats of the game was the Bobcats scoring touchdowns on 11 drives out the 13 Texas State offensive possessions.

As Finley stated, Kinne’s expectation for the Texas State offense is to score on every possession.

“That is the standard and what we need to strive for,” Kinne said. “Everytime we go out there to practice and go out on the field, we expect to score touchdowns on every possession. We have to continue to clean up some things, but this week in practice it’s good to get punched in the mouth because you figure out your deficiencies and where you are at as a club.”

Despite holding Jackson State to 20 points during the majority of the second half, the Bobcat defense was plagued by penalties which allowed Jackson State to both extend the drive as well as score to keep the game close.

Texas State will look to clean up the mistakes made against Jackson State as the Bobcats host Nevada next Saturday.

“To me it was the penalties,” Kinne said. “I think the guys were really excited with it being the home opener and having the fans which was awesome to see. They let the emotions get to them a little bit but we can up those penalties. That is something we can control. We did really well in the first two games but this one got away from us a little bit.”

cmcwilliams@ Twitter: @ColtonBMc

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