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Texas State's Hal Vinson grabs UTSA quarterback Frank Harris in the last meeting of the I-35 rivalry between the Bobcats and the Roadrunners. Texas State looks to win their first ever football game against UTSA in a Week 2 showdown during the 2023 season.
Daily Record photo by Gerald Castillo


Texas State's Hal Vinson takes down UTSA's Sincere McCormick during the Bobcats last game against the Roadrunners.
Daily Record photo by Gerald Castillo


Sunday, June 18, 2023

Texas State and UTSA to renew I-35 rivalry

Countdown to Kickoff takes a trip down to the Alamodome in the renewal of the I-35 Rivalry.

For the first time since the 2020 season, the Bobcats and the Roadrunners will meet on the football field as the Bobcats will look to win their first game in the series.

In their last meeting, the Roadrunners escaped San Marcos in a thrilling 5148 2OT win in what is the highest scoring game in the series in the first game under then new head coach Jeff Traylor.

The game saw the Bobcats storm back from a 4128 deficit with 3:24 left in the fourth quarter including an electric 91 yard punt return for a touchdown by Jeremiah Haydel to tie the game up at 41-41 with a 1:16 left in the game only to miss the extra point.

Since the win, the Roadrunners finished the 2020 season with a 7-4 record and qualified for their second ever bowl game.

UTSA rose to power in the Group of Five ranks, winning the Conference USA title twice in 2021 and 2022.

On the other side of the coin, Texas State stumbled finishing the 2020 season with a 2-10 record.

The Bobcats finished the 2021 and 2022 seasons with identical 4-8 records which saw the firing of then head coach Jake Spavital.

Heading into the 2023 matchup, the rivalry will add a new twist with the addition of new head G.J. Kinne.

Both Kinne and Traylor have a unique connection between the two with Kinne playing his senior year of high school for the Gilmer Buckeyes under Traylor who coached at Gilmer for 15 fifteen years and led the Buckeyes to three state championships.

The two crossed paths once more in 2017 joining Chad Morris' staff at SMU before following Morris Arkansas in 2018.

While the interesting tale of the two head coaches will certainly soak up the headlines, the Bobcats will be more interested in making history. Despite the I-35 rivalry roots dating back to 1991, the football series between the two teams is relatively young with only four games played between the two teams.

Unfortunately for Bobcat fans, UTSA has dominated the series winning all four games in 2012, 2017, 2018, and the aforementioned 2020 game.

But don’t let the overall rivalry record fool you because three out of the four games have all been decided by one possession as well as drawing some of the biggest crowds in both UTSA and Texas State program history.

If the Bobcats want to finally take down the giant Roadrunner that has been clinging to their backs, one of the keys to a victory will be stopping UTSA legend Frank Harris.

A four year starting quarterback for the Roadrunners, Harris threw for 4,059 yards while throwing 32 touchdowns and just nine interceptions.

During the 2020 game against Texas State, Harris threw for 169 yards and one touchdown in the thrilling win over the Bobcats.

coltonbmcwilliams Twitter: @ColtonBMc

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