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November 8th, 2008
Texas State beats Southeastern Louisiana 38-24

The Texas State football team used a quick start by its offense and defensive units to hand Southeastern Louisiana a 38-24 loss in a Southland Conference game Saturday at Strawberry Stadium in Hammond, La.

“The fast start on offense and defense was huge,” Texas State head coach Brad Wright said. “We came out fast and this is a rough trip for us because we left on Thursday and broke the trip up. Anytime you can get up on the road it is a plus. Anytime you can get out quickly on offense and get some turnovers on defense it helps your cause.”

The Bobcats scored 28 points in the first half as Bradley George threw a 68-yard touchdown pass to Cameron Luke on the first offensive play of the game and Texas State intercepted three passes to put the Bobcats in scoring position on three other possessions in the first half.

“That was huge,” George said. “We have come out the last couple of weeks looking to strike early on offense. Cameron Luke made the play. It wasn’t that good of a throw.  He just made an incredible catch and took the ball in for the score. That gets everyone fired up and ready to roll, knowing that we can score on offense.”

After George threw his touchdown pass to Luke, the Lions came right back when Brian Babin hit Chris Wilson for a 10-yard TD to cap a 10-play, 73-yard drive and Jeff Turner added the extra point to tie the score at 7-7.

The Bobcats scored on their next possession when Stan Zwinggi ran for a 20-yard touchdown and Andrew Ireland added the extra point to give the Bobcats a 14-7 lead.

On Southeastern Louisiana’s next possession, Morris Crosby put the Bobcats in scoring position again when he intercepted Babin’s pass at SLU’s 48-yard line and returned the ball down to the 26. The Bobcats capitalized on the turnover when Karrington Bush ran for a four-yard touchdown and Ireland added the extra point to put the Bobcats up 21-7.

The Bobcat defense struck again on SLU’s next possession when Joe Bell intercepted Babin’s pass at the Lion 45-yard line and returned the ball to the 40-yard line. On the first offensive play, George hit a 40-yard touchdown pass and Ireland kicked the extra point to give Texas State a 28-7 lead.

The Lions scored the final points in the first quarter when  Jasper Duckworth scored on a six-yard run and Turner added the extra point to make the score 28-14.

Texas State picked right up where it left off in the opening quarter when the Bobcats drove 80 yards on 12 plays to open up a 35-14 lead when Bush ran for his second touchdown of the day from four-yards out again with 10:11 left to play in the first half.

After Kenneth Hampton intercepted Babin for the third time in the game at SLU’s 43-yard line, Andrew Ireland added a 45-yard field goal to make the halftime score 38-14.

“That was a big plus for us because (Babin) had thrown just three all year coming into the game and we were able to pick off three today,” Wright said. “He may not have had his best day today, but I know one was tipped and Mo Crosby cut across and got another one.”

That was the final points of the day for the Bobcats as Southeastern Louisiana scored 10 points in the second half as Turner kicked a 41-yard field goal in the third quarter and Babin hit Sim Yarborough for a 16-yard touchdown pass with 14:29 left in the game.

Texas State’s defense shut the Lions down the rest of the way as the Bobcats forced Courtney Smith forced a fumble at the Bobcats’ 20-yard line and Will Thompson recovered the ball to thwart SLU’s final threat in the game.

Texas State took six minutes off the clock before Ireland’s 42-yard field goal attempt was blocked. After the blocked field goal attempt, the Bobcats held the Lions on downs and ran out the final seconds on the clock.

“You have to give the defense credit because they forced five turnovers in the game,” George added.

The victory improves Texas State’s record to 6-4 overall and 3-2 in the Southland Conference standings. The win also gives the Bobcats their fourth road win this season, marking the first time since Texas State joined the NCAA Division I ranks that they have won four road games.

Texas State returns home to play Nicholls next Saturday in the final home game of the regular season. The game kicks off at 3:00 p.m.

by Rick Poulter

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