Texas State football (1-8 overall, 1-4 Sun Belt) was unable to overcome mental mistakes as they lost 38-17 to Appalachian State (5-1 overall, 2-1 Sun Belt) Nov. 8.
Junior quarterback Tyler Vitt had the start this week after starter sophomore quarterback Brady McBride was benched. Vitt started off well during the first quarter, throwing a 75-yard touchdown to junior wide receiver Javen Banks. Banks made a spectacular catch over two defenders around the Bobcat 40-yard line, broke a tackle and ran it all the way to the end zone, giving the Bobcats a 7-0 lead on the third play of the game.
The Mountaineers would respond with a seven-play, 72-yard drive that was capped off by a 32-yard pass from senior quarterback Zac Thomas to sophomore tight end Miller Gibbs. The Bobcats were almost able to create a turnover on the drive when junior linebacker Sione Tupou forced a fumble by junior running back Daetrich Harrington, but the Mountaineers recovered the ball at Texas State's 44-yard line. This would tie the game at 7-7.
With two minutes left in the first quarter and the game still tied, Vitt threw an interception to sophomore outside linebacker Brendan Harrington, that would be returned 49 yards for a touchdown to give App State a 14-7 lead.
To start the second quarter, sophomore kicker Seth Keller made a field goal from 42 yards out to narrow the deficit to 14-10, giving the Bobcats their last points scored until the fourth quarter.
On the next possession, the Mountaineers would score once again as Thomas threw to senior defensive lineman Caleb Spurlin for a one-yard touchdown and increase their lead to 21-10.
The Bobcats failed to score any points on their next two drives. Near the end of the second half, App State scored a field goal after driving 50 yards downfield to increase its lead to 24-10.
Neither team was able to score in the third quarter, as each team used up a lot of clock on their possessions. Texas State would turn the ball over once again on their only drive of the quarter as App State's senior defensive back Shemar Jean-Charles intercepted a pass from Vitt.
Early in the fourth quarter, Thomas threw a nine-yard touchdown to Jalen Virgil to end a 91-yard drive for App State that spanned 16 plays and 7:26 to put them up 31-10.
On Texas State's next possession, the Bobcats would score in eight plays as Vitt found junior wide receiver Marcell Barbee for a 14-yard touchdown. With 11:20 left in the game, the Mountaineers led 31-17.
The last touchdown in the game came with 5:59 on the clock as sophomore running back Camerun Peoples rushed 32 yards to extend the Mountaineer's lead to 38-17.
The Bobcat defense seemed to have no answer for Thomas and the Appalachian State offense. Thomas finished with three touchdowns while going 18-27 with no turnovers. Harrington put up impressive numbers as well, rushing for 113 yards on 18 attempts.
Texas State's sophomore running back Jahmyl Jeter had an outstanding performance, rushing for a career-high 135 yards on only 11 carries. The Bobcats would finish with 215 yards on the ground.
Vitt completed 21-of-38 passes for 205 yards and two touchdowns in only his third start of the season.
Barbee hauled in a season-high six catches for 65 yards on seven targets. Banks also played well, ending the night with a career-high 89 receiving yards on four catches.
The Bobcats will play their final road game of the season against Georgia Southern at 2:30 p.m. in Statesboro, Georgia Nov. 14. The game will be broadcast on ESPN3.