Texas State falters in second half, falls to New Mexico State

Photo by Gerald Castillo

Texas State Football

Texas State saw its 21-17 halftime lead quickly erased Saturday. New Mexico State outscored the Bobcats, 28-14, in the second half leading Texas State to a 45-35 loss. 

The Bobcats (2-7, 1-4 Sun Belt) outplayed New Mexico State (4-5, 2-3) in the first half, but Texas State’s third quarter blues struck again. The Aggies put up 14 points to open a 31-21 lead. The Bobcats kept it close getting to within 31-28, and 38-35, but New Mexico State’s resurgent second half was too much for Texas State.

Junior wide receiver Tyler Watts said the Bobcats’ second-half letdown was the product of their inability to finish.

“We come out there, especially if we’re up," Watts said. "I feel like sometimes we just kind of like breathe and relax for a second and think everything is going to be fine. But no, this is college football like everybody is good on that field. We just got to do a better job of finishing and that’s my part as a leader. That’s my responsibility and my fault. I need to get guys going. Get them more energy. Get them some more juice. I’ll be working on that.”

Both Watts and sophomore linebacker Bryan London II said Texas State struggles when facing adversity. 

“We just need to do a better job of playing through adversity,” London said. “When we get down it reflects.”

But Texas State looked poised in the first half. 

The Bobcats took their opening possession down the field with ease. Fifth-year senior quarterback Damian Williams connected with senior wide receiver Elijah King four times for 44 yards during the 9-play, 75-yard drive. Texas State capped off their first possession on a reverse pitched to sophomore wide receiver Hutch White that he then threw to senior tight end Gabe Schrade for the touchdown. 

New Mexico State responded with a quick drive of its own. The Aggies capitalized on an 8-play, 75-yard drive when redshirt senior quarterback Tyler Rogers scored on a rush from two yards out. 

Williams, again, found King on the second possession. King caught two passes with his second resulting in an 11-yard touchdown reception to give the Bobcats a 14-7 lead. 

New Mexico evened the score at 14-14. But Texas State jumped back in front when Watts took a reverse 76 yards into the endzone to give the Bobcats a 21-14 lead. 

Aggie sophomore kicker Dylan Brown cut Texas State’s advantage to 21-17 on a 35-yard attempt. 

Trailing the Bobcats 21-17 in the third quarter, New Mexico State scored on a 29-yard pass from Rogers to redshirt sophomore wide receiver Anthony Muse and a 22-yard pass from redshirt junior Nick Jeanty to redshirt junior wide receiver Jaleel Scott, which gave the Aggies a 31-21 lead. 

Texas State cut into New Mexico State’s lead when Williams connected with Watts for a 13-yard touchdown grab to cut the deficit down to 31-28. 

But the Aggies answered with a 1-yard touchdown run from senior running back Larry Rose. Texas State responded with a 69-yard touchdown pass from freshman Jaylin Nelson to freshman wide receiver Caleb Twyford to bring the New Mexico State lead down to 38-35. 

The Bobcats, however, couldn’t rally and fell to the Aggies, 45-35. 

“Obviously, it’s not the outcome that we wanted,” head coach Everett Withers said. “I thought we played hard and tough in the first half. We ended up having a couple injuries that really hurt us … But I thought our kids battled. We made some mistakes on defense in the second half that are uncharacteristic of some of our older guys but we’ll learn from this one and try to get better. Try to be a better football team next week.” 

San Marcos Daily Record

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