Idaho 38, Texas State 31: What We Learned

Three key takeaways from the Bobcats' loss to the Vandals.
Photo by Diana Porter

Photo by Diana Porter

Texas State’s season came to an inelegant finish with a 38-31 loss to Idaho in Moscow, Idaho. What did we learn? DCTF’s Thomas Bingham breaks it down.

Slowed down early
The Bobcats faced an early uphill climb because the offense had another slow start. It was the sixth time this season that the Bobcats scored three or fewer points in the opening quarter. The defense started the game with a three-and-out, but the first offensive play started the team’s downward spiral. C. J. Best lost a fumble on a run of negative-3 yards, and two plays later, the Bobcats were behind in this game. The Bobcats couldn’t keep up in the first half because the defense allowed points on two of the next three Idaho possessions. It didn’t help that quarterback Tyler Jones, arguably the team’s MVP this season, completed one of his first six pass attempts.

Jones was the team’s offensive spark
The Bobcats scored the most points in a road game this season, but Lady Luck didn’t contribute enough. The Texas State offense, slowly but surely, climbed back into this game because its leader directed the ship. Jones used his dual-threat abilities to lead the comeback. He completed a 10-yard pass to Brandon Smith on fourth-and-four to set up his touchdown run, a few plays later. He bookended intermission with that score on the final Bobcat possession of the first half, and a second on the opening possession of the second half.

Couldn’t close the deal
Texas State and Idaho didn’t participate in Rivalry Week, but their game played out like a rivalry. It’s been a wild weekend of college football, so many games were decided by plays down the stretch. The Bobcats swung and missed on offense and defense in the closing minutes, after erasing two second half deficits. The defense, which shutout Idaho in the third quarter, allowed scores to open and close the final quarter. A costly offsides set up the game winning score, and a hurried Jones threw a last minute interception.

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