Despite trailing 14-13 in the middle of the third quarter, the Texas State Bobcats gave up 21 unanswered points to the Appalachian State Mountaineers for a 35-13 loss in Boone, N.C. on Saturday.
The loss drops the Bobcat’s record to 3-8 overall while App State improves to 10-1 as the Mountaineers search for a New Year Six Bowl spot.
The game followed a formula Texas State has become accustomed to, playing close with one of the best teams in the Sun Belt in the first half only to be let down by a poor offensive performance and exhausted defense.
After allowing the Mountaineers to score on their first drive, the Bobcat defense held an offense that has toppled two SEC teams in check with a first turnover and missed field goal in the first half.
As the defense gave the Bobcat offense opportunities to score, however, the offense failed to convert any of those opportunities into points.
Bobcat defense forced a fumble in the second quarter, allowing the ‘Cats to open their drive at the App State 30 yard line.
On the very next play, the snap between the quarterback and the center went over Bobcat quarterback Tyler Vitt’s head and the ball back at the App State 42 yard line. The misuse of the offense forced a 48-yard field goal by senior kicker Joshua Rowland to put their first points on the board.
Texas State came alive for one series in the game, pulling off its lone touchdown as Tyler Vitt found Javen Banks on a 54-yard touchdown pass with just two seconds left in the half.
Following another Joshua Rowland field goal and a big defensive stop by the Bobcat defense during the third quarter, the Texas State offense had an opportunity to take its first lead of the game as they trailed just 14-13.
A Tyler Vitt interception on the first play of the drive ended all hopes for a Bobcat lead, however, and the momentum swung in App State’s way.
The Mountaineers turned the interception into seven points and never looked back, outscoring the Bobcats 21-0 for the rest of the game for the 35-13 victory.
The offense continued its woes in the game, producing 208 yards of offense to App State’s 408.
Texas State quarterback Tyler Vitt finished the day going 18-34 on 154 yards of offense with one touchdown and one interception.
The rushing attack for the Bobcats was nonexistent with only 54 yards on the ground. Junior running back Robert Brown Jr. was the leading carrier with 8 carries and 35 rushing yards.
The ‘Cats have one final opportunity to improve their record on the season with a road matchup against the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers on Saturday. Both teams are 1-4 in their last five games. The Chants most recently defeated Troy in a close contest, something that the ‘Cats were unable to complete in a 63-27 home loss. Texas State is projected at a 22.8 percent chance of victory despite having a better record than CCU in conference. With a more balanced offensive strategy than the ‘Cats, Texas State will need to up their run game and allow their defense some breathing room in order to complete an upset and achieve three conference wins.
Texas State closes out the season on the road at 11 a.m. on Saturday against the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers.