The Texas State football team came up with some big second half turnovers, but it was not enough as UTSA was able to come away with a 38-31 win in the inauguaral I-35 Rivalry football game, Saturday afternoon at the Alamodome in San Antonio.
The first quarter was an offensive explosion of sorts with 24 total points coming in the first 15 minutes. The Bobcats’ biggest play was a 57-yard touchdown on a seam route, similar to the one at Navy last week from Shaun Rutherford to Isaiah Battle, midway through the first quarter.
The two teams combined for 247 yards of offense, as well as a 80-yard punt return by UTSA to make the score 10-0 at the time. When the first quarter ended, the Roadrunners held a 17-7 advantage.
Late in the second quarter, Rutherford carried the Bobcats to get even closer. First he kept the ball on an option over right tackle for 17 yards down to the UTSA 20 yard line. A few plays later after he had converted on third-and-one, Rutherford leaped in from two yards out to make it 17-14. On the drive he had five carries for 39 yards.
After a Rutherford fumble helped the Roadrunners take a 31-14 lead to begin the third quarter, the Texas State defense helped keep the Bobcats in the game. Defensive end Jaimie Clavell-Head picked off his second screen pass of the season and took the ball to the 32 yard line of UTSA. Will Johnson connected on a 23-yard field goal on the ensuing drive to make it a 31-17 game.
On the Roadrunners’ next drive, Darryl Morris intercepted an Eric Soza overthrow and returned it to the UTSA 49 yard line. Rutherford then drove the Bobcats down inside the 10-yard line and Terrence Franks rushed it in from six yards out to make it just a 31-24 game.
Down 38-24 in the final minutes of the 4th quarter, Texas State made one final gasp, putting the ball in the endzone with 1:40 to go on Brandon Smith’s first career touchdown reception, to make the game 38-31. Unfortunately the ensuing onside kick was recovered by UTSA and the Bobcats were unable to drive the ball down the field with 35 seconds to go after forcing a three-and-out.
Next up for the Bobcats will be its season finale, next 3 p.m. Dec. 1, when it hosts New Mexico State at Bobcat Stadium. It will mark the final football game for Texas State as a member of the WAC.
PHOTOS by RON OSWALT