The Texas State Bobcats (2-2) fell behind early and never recovered as they fell to the Thunderbirds from Southern Utah University (2-3) 34-20 on Saturday night at Bobcat Stadium. This was the ninth meeting between these two teams and Southern Utah now has a 5-4 advantage. Texas State entered Saturday night’s game with a 4-1 record against the Thunderbirds in games played at San Marcos.
The Bobcats fumbled the opening kickoff and Southern Utah capitalized with a 8 yard run to take a 7-0 lead with just over a minute gone off of the clock. Texas State gambled on their next drive by going for a 4th & 1 at midfield but he runner was stuffed and Southern Utah took over on downs. Eight plays later the Thunderbirds kicked a 38 yard field goal to take a 10-0 lead with 8:44 left in the 1st quarter. After a punt, Southern Utah took over at their own 34 yard line and they marched it 66 yards on 10 plays to take a 17-0 lead with 3:56 still remaining in the 1st quarter. Texas State had to punt again and Southern Utah had the ball back at their 41 as time ran out in the 1st. Texas State was out gained 110-48 in this forgetful 1st quarter.
The Bobcats finally stopped the Thunderbirds when Kenneth Hampton intercepted a pass at the Bobcat 17. This fired up the offense and it only took 4 plays to go the 83 yards for the TD. Karrington Bush took it the final 52 yards on a run and the score was now 17-7 with 13:02 left until halftime. The teams then traded punts before Southern Utah’s kicker hit a 51 yarder with 6:22 reaming to bring the score to 20-7. Right before half the Thunderbirds attempted another field goal, this time from 47 yards but it was wide right. The Bobcats trailed at halftime 20-7. Southern Utah held the ball for 9:11 in the 2nd quarter but Texas State out gained them 135-101.
Southern Utah opened the 3rd quarter with a 9 play 46 yard drive but missed another field goal. Texas State took over but fumbled at their own 30 and it only took one play for the Thunderbirds to capitalize once again when they score don a 30 yard pass to take a 27-7 lead at the 10:56 mark in the 3rd quarter. The Bobcats were forced to punt on their next possession and the Thunderbirds were once again unstoppable when they went 70 yards on 10 plays to take a 34-7 lead with 3:31 left in the 3rd. The teams then traded punts to end the quarter. Southern Utah held the ball for 9:51 in the quarter and out gained the Bobcats 148-61 in the quarter.
The Bobcats put up a TD in the 4th when Clint Toon hit Daren Dillard for a 20 yard pass. The 2 point conversion was not good to make the score 34-13. The teams traded interceptions before Bradley George hit Cameron Luke for a 20 yard TD pass to bring the score to 34-20 with 3:39 left in the game. This was Lukes 5th TD catch of the season. The quarter ended with Texas State getting 173 passing yards.
The Bobcats 2 Quarterback attack of Bradley George and Clint Toon threw for a combined 301 yards and 2 touchdowns. Toon was 20-of-34 for 172 yards and had one touchdown and an interception. George finished the night 9-of-18 for 129 yards and one touchdown. The Bobcats racked up 451 yards of total offense in the loss but converted on only 3 of 15 third-down attempts. RB Karrington Bush rushed for 100 yards on 8 carries. Southern Utah was 6 of 15 on third-down conversions and held the ball nearly eight minutes longer. Southern Utah got 114 yards on 32 carries by RB Decker Alexander. The Bobcat defense was led by Patrick Strodtman (6 solo and 3 assisted tackles and an INT), Courtney Smith (5 solo and 4 assisted), Drenard Williams (4 solo, 2 assisted and 3 pass break ups) and Ray Parker (1 solo, 3 assisted and 2 tackles for loss).
Texas State football returns to the field next Saturday, Oct. 4 at 5 p.m. as they will host Texas Southern at Jim Wacker Field.
By Michael Wright
EDIT: Article title incorrectly listed this as the first road win for Southern Utah in seven years. The last road win was actually in 2004. This mistake was not made by the article’s author but was taken from a typographical error on a site about the Thunderbirds.
Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 Final
Southern Utah 17 3 14 0 — 34
Texas State 0 7 0 13 — 20
Photos by Beth Rasmussen
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