From the press box: Incarnate Word upsets Texas State

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SAN MARCOS – Incarnate Word became the latest FCS program to upset an FBS school when the Cardinals beat Texas State 42-34 at Bobcat Stadium on Saturday night. It was the first loss by Texas State to an FCS program as an FBS program, dropping to 8-1 overall since 2012. This was the first loss by Texas State to a Southland Conference squad in that same span, falling to 6-1 against those teams. 

Here are three things I know, and three things I think I know following the upset win by UIW. 


UIW quarterback Cameron Ward is a star: Incarnate Word wasn’t as talented as Texas State at the skill positions or in the trenches, but the clear quarterback advantage lay with the Cardinals thanks to Ward, a freshman who lit up FCS defenses in the spring when UIW went 3-3. Ward went 31 of 47 for 376 yards and four touchdown passes in the win. 

Brady McBride is an experience: Texas State’s quarterback is a mystery box at times, mixing the sublime with the frustrating. He supplied a few of both types of plays on Saturday night. His touchdown pass to Marcell Barbee with 11:17 left in the fourth quarter was a perfect example. McBride slipped a few defenders, rolled to his left and then threw across his body to Barbee. It was the last time Texas State would lead in the game. 

UIW can make some noise in FCS: The Cardinals started the spring 3-0 before three consecutive losses to end the abbreviated season. UIW is back to its winning ways to start the 2021 fall season. The only loss for UIW was an overtime loss on the road in Week 1 to Youngstown State. UIW could make some waves in the FCS playoffs if Ward and company continue rolling offensively. 


Brock Sturges is Texas State’s best running back: The former Allen High School star took an interesting route to San Marcos. Sturges originally attended Arizona State before transferring to Butler Community College and then to Texas State. The problem? Sturges can’t hold onto the football. He fumbled twice in the game, losing one. His inability to control the football prevents the Texas State offense from being its best. 

The Texas State offense is good enough: The Bobcats’ defense was the problem in the game against UIW. The Bobcats managed to score more than 30 points and more than 400 of total offense, but it wasn’t enough to beat the Cardinals at home. No FBS team playing at home against an FCS program should lose if the offense scores more than 30 points. 

Jake Spavital should feel some pressure: The loss drops Spavital to 6-21 in his third year as head coach at Texas State. He inherited a troubled program and there have been a few bright spots, including the overtime win over FIU in Week 2, but the loss to UIW shows how far the Bobcats still need to go to compete within the Sun Belt Conference. UIW is a good team, but losing at home to an FCS program that's less than an hour away from campus can't make the boosters feel good about the current state of Texas State. 

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