Texas State quarterbacks TJ Finley and Malik Hornsby split first-team practice reps up until kickoff for the Bobcats' season opening game against Baylor on Sept. 2. In a battle where both men made a strong case, head coach GJ Kinne decided to turn to the 6-foot-7-inch Finley, who transferred from Auburn in May.
Finley responded by completing 22-of-30 passes for 298 yards and three touchdowns. Oh, and Texas State upset four-touchdown favorite Baylor at home. For those week one heroics, he's earned Sun Belt Player of the Week. He's the first Texas State player to be named Sun Belt Offensive Player of the Week since 2021 (Tyler vitt).
Finley began his career at LSU in 2020 when he threw for 941 yards and five touchdowns in relief of injured quarterback Myles Brennan, but he transferred to Auburn after the season ended. He never fully caught on at Auburn, throwing seven touchdowns to five interceptions on a 56 percent completion rate in two seasons of action. Looking for another fresh start and a chance to compete for the starting job, Finley headed to San Marcos under first-year coach Kinne.
Now, he's competing to improve himself and not satiate critics who felt a lackluster SEC career could carry over into the Sun Belt.
"You will never silence doubters," Finley said after win over Baylor "Us as a team, we put our foot down and let people know that we're here. And we're coming, as Deion (Sanders) would say. As far as silencing the doubters, I'm not worried about that. I'm worried about winning day in and day out."
Finley looks to stay hot this Saturday as Texas State travels to play UTSA in a contest pitting Road Runners' head coach Jeff Traylor with his former quarterback, Kinne.
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