Texas State Football (1-2 overall) fell to the Incarnate Word Cardinals 42-34 on Sept. 18. The loss marks the Bobcats' first against an FCS opponent since they became an FBS school in 2012. They had won their last eight games against FCS opponents.

In the post-game press conference, Head Coach Jake Spavital said 25 players were ruled out due to COVID protocols and injuries.

The absences were particularly noticeable on the defensive end as they let up 42 points, leaving the Bobcats' inconsistent offense to keep up with the Cardinals. 

They managed to do it for the majority of the game as there were eight lead changes throughout. The Bobcats finished with more net yardage (460 yards) than the Cardinals (455 yards). Texas State also outran the Cardinals. The team finished with 182 yards on 44 attempts compared to Incarnate Word's 79 yards on 23 attempts.

The Bobcats got their first score via a one-yard touchdown from sophomore running back Jahmyl Jeter (6 ATT, 46 YDS, 2 TDS) to go up 7-0 in the first quarter.

Incarnate Word responded with a five-yard rushing touchdown from graduate running back Kevin Brown (7 ATT, 5 YDS, 1 TD), tying the game 7-7.

The biggest difference was in the passing game. Although sophomore quarterback Brady McBride (25-41 ATT, 278 YDS, 2 TDS) played his most statistically impressive game of the season, the Cardinals sophomore quarterback Cameron Ward (31-47 ATT, 376 YDS, 4 TDS, 1 INT) outperformed him, particularly on big plays. Ward had eight passes of 15 yards or more, totaling 193 yards. 

One of those big plays was a 32-yard touchdown pass from Ward to wide receiver Robert Ferrel (10 REC, 132 YDS, 2 TDS) giving the Cards a 14-7 lead late in the first quarter.

The Bobcats took back the lead as Jeter scored another touchdown and a Cardinals' fumble in the endzone allowed Texas State to make a 33-yard field goal to bring the score to 17-14 going into halftime.

Incarnate Word scored in its first drive of the third quarter as graduate running back Marcus Cooper (10 ATT, 74 YDS, 1 TD) ran a nine-yard touchdown to get a 21-17 lead.

The back-and-forth contest continued later in the quarter as McBride threw an 18-yard pass in the back of the endzone leaving junior wide receiver Marcell Barbee (5 REC, 54 YDS, 2 TDS) to make a toe-tap touchdown, taking a 24-21 lead.

Texas State managed to stop the Cards on the following drive but as the Bobcats went to return the punt, they fumbled allowed the Cards to recover. They went on to score on the drive as Ward connected with Ferrel for their second touchdown of the game, bringing the game to 28-24 leading into the final period.

The Bobcats got their final lead of the game in the fourth quarter as McBride threw to Barbee for a 14-yard touchdown, 31-28. It didn't last long as Ward got his third passing touchdown of the game, getting a 35-31 lead.

With the lead in their hands late in the contest, the Cardinals buried Texas State as Ward threw his fourth touchdown of the game to junior wide receiver Taylor Grimes going up 42-31 with 2:48 left.

Texas State scored a field goal to make it a one-score game at 42-34 but they could not recover the onside kick, letting the Cardinals run out the clock.

After the game, Spavital addressed a silent and disappointed locker room by saying "this one's on us."

The Bobcats will go on the road to play the Eastern Michigan Eagles at 1 p.m. on Sept. 25 at Rynearson Stadium in Ypsilanti, Michigan. This game will air on ESPN+.

Journalism is an act of civic responsibility. We see our work as a public service that is necessary for a community to thrive because knowledge is empowering. If you enjoyed this story, please consider helping us "Defend the First Amendment" by donating today!

Load comments