by JASON GORDON
After pulling one of the biggest upsets in the history of college football according to Las Vegas oddsmakers in week one at the University of Houston, the Texas State Bobcats got a taste of the reality of competing in the Football Bowl Subdivision Saturday night in San Marcos.
After a 30-13 win at the University of Houston as nearly a five-touchdown underdog last week, more than 33,000 fans filed into Bobcat Stadium Saturday night, nearly doubling the renovated stadium’s former attendance record of 16,600.
The electricity that filled the stadium before the game quickly flowed over to the Red Raider fans that made the long trip to San Marcos. Texas Tech scored early and often and lever let up in a 58-10 drubbing of the Bobcats.
A fireworks show lit up the nighttime San Marcos sky as planned after the game at Bobcat Stadium to stamp Texas State’s home debut in the FBS, but Texas Tech fans probably thought the display was in their team’s honor after the stomping the ’Cats took at the hands of the Red Raiders.
The Bobcat defense actually led an impressive Texas State start against Tech. Texas Tech fumbled the ball on an end-around play and Texas State recovered at the Red Raider 46. Unfortunately, Texas State could not capitalize as Shaun Rutherford, who played flawlessly against Houston, had a pass intercepted and returned 88 yards for a touchdown by Red Raider Cody Ross, giving Texas Tech a 7-0 lead less than four minutes into the game.
The Red Raiders’ good fortune continued on the ensuing kickoff as the wind held up the kick and Texas Tech recovered the kick at the Texas State 40-yard line. Three plays later, the Red Raiders extended their lead to 14-0 as Seth Doege connected on a 23-yard touchdown pass in the left corner of the end zone to Darrin Moore.
Tech’s offense kept on going the very next drive when Leon Mackey caught a pass over the middle and weaved his way through traffic down to the Bobcat 4-yard line. The Red Raiders capitalized the very next play on a Doege pass to Moore in the back of the end zone to make it 21-0 with six minutes left in the first quarter.
Tyler Ardnt came in at the beginning of the second quarter in relief of Rutherford at quarterback and kick-started the Bobcat passing game. After using his legs to get a Texas State first down, he completed a pass to Tim Hawkins to get the team in scoring position. He then completed a 25-yard touchdown pass to Terrence Franks for the team’s first score of the day.
Texas Tech didn’t let up, however, as Doege complete his fourth touchdown pass of the first half, midway through the second quarter, this one a 19 yarder to Jace Amaro and the Red Raiders went on to lead 38-10 at halftime.
Texas Tech added more offense in the second half, highlighted by Kenny Williams’ 16-yard rushing touchdown to make it 52-10.
Doege finished the game with 319 passing yards and five touchdowns for Texas Tech. Rutherford, who completed 19-of-25 passes for 196 yards against Houston, was 1-of-9 passing for 11 yards with the one interception against the Red Raiders. Arndt, who replaced Rutherford, was 12-of-22 for 130 yards with one touchdown and one interception.
After a week off, the Bobcats will return to action on Saturday, Sept. 22, at home against Stephen F. Austin beginning at 6 p.m.
JASON GORDON is sports editor for the Hays Free Press where this story was originally published. It is reprinted here through a news partnership between the Free Press and the San Marcos Mercury.
PHOTOS by RON OSWALT