SAN MARCOS– Texas State was looking to get back into the win column after suffering a 37-13 loss at the hands of Georgia Southern on October 29th. New Mexico State was in a shoot out on Halloween with Idaho and prevailed in overtime in a 55-48 win.
New Mexico State won the coin toss and elected to receive the ball to start the game and they were able to march right down the field and put up a score on a 12 play, 75 yard drive. After converting on a third and six and a fourth and one on the drive, the Larry Rose III was able to punch the ball in from 22 yards out to give the Aggies a 7-0 lead with 11:22 left in the opening quarter.
After the two teams exchanged three and outs, the Bobcats took over on their own 31 yard line. On second down, the pocket collapsed around Tyler Jones and he tucked the ball in and began to run, but fumbled the ball as he began to run and Stephen Meredith recovered the ball for the Aggies.
New Mexico State was able to gain 6 yards on the first three downs and faced a fourth and four on the ensuing possession. Rather than try a 48 yard field goal, they went for it and a pass from Nick Jeanty to Rose III fell incomplete and they turned the ball over on downs.
Jones and Robert Lowe helped lead the Bobcats down the field and the Bobcats looked as though they tied the game up at 7 when Jones found Brandon Smith in the corner of the end zone for a touchdown, but the play was reviewed and overturned as Smith did not maintain possession of the ball. Instead, the Bobcats had to settle for a 34 yard field goal attempt from Lumi Kaba. The Kaba kick was no good and the Bobcats came away empty handed and still trailed the Aggies 0-7 with 3:30 remaining in the opening quarter.
The Aggies were unable to capitalize on the Bobcats miscue. They did manage to drive the ball to the 50 yard line, but the drive stalled and they were forced to punt the ball back over to the Bobcats.
After picking up one first down on their next possession, the Bobcats were once again forced to punt the ball back over to the Aggies. Kaba was able to hit a 59 yard punt to pin the Aggies all the way back to their own 3 yard line.
The Aggies went to work with their backs facing their own end zone. Rose III was able to pick up a first down on third and two from the 11 to move to the Aggies to the 19 yard line. On the next play, Jeanty connected with Tyrain Taylor for a big 47 yard completion to move the ball to the Bobcat 34 yard line. Rose III continued to hurt the Bobcats as he helped move the Aggies into the red zone and they ultimately settled for a Parker Davidson 27 yard field goal. After the field goal, the Aggies now lead 10-0 over the Bobcats with 9:59 to go in the second quarter.
Jones and Lowe led the Bobcats down the field on their next possession and had a hand in every one of the 75 yards on the scoring drive. Jones capped off the drive with a 7 yard touchdown rush as he juked his way into the end zone untouched to get the Bobcats on the board. They now trailed 7-10 with 5:59 remaining before the halftime break.
The Bobcats defense was able to come up with another stop and forced the Aggies to punt after a quick three and out. The Bobcats took over on their own 20 yard line after a 70 yard Anthony Torres rugby style punt just touched the line as the Aggie defenders were unable stop it.
The Jones and Lowe show once again took over as they each had a hand in every yard on the drive and helped the Bobcats get their first lead of the game. This time, the 80 yard scoring drive was capped off by a 8 yard Jones run to put the game at 14-10 in favor of the Bobcats with 2:30 left in the first half.
The Aggies did manage to get into Bobcat territory before the half after Rose III rushed for 36 yards to move them to the Bobcat 36 yard line. They made it all the way to the Bobcat 28 yard line before the drive stalled and would have to settle for a field goal attempt. The 46 yard field goal attempt was wide left and the Aggies failed to add any more points before halftime.
At the break, the Bobcats held a 14-10 lead over the Aggies.
After already converting on a fourth and one on their opening drive of the second half, the Bobcats offense could not pick up another and were forced to punt the ball away. The Aggies took full advantage of their defense holding up and regained the momentum and the lead.
Jeanty began picking apart the Bobcat defense as he led they Aggies on a 18 play, 89 yard drive that was also helped with a couple of key Bobcat penalties. David Mims was called for a pass interference on a pass that seemed to have the hang time of punt and should have been picked off and later in the drive Damani Alexcee was called for that same penalty inside the red zone to give the Aggies the ball on the Bobcat 2 yard line with a fresh set of downs. Two plays later Jeanty finished off the drive when he found a wide open Clayton Granch in the end zone for six points. After the extra point, the Aggies led 17-14 with 5:25 left in the third quarter.
After the two teams exchanged three and outs, the Bobcats got the ball back and started their next drive at their own 42 yard line. Jones and Lowe would again guide the Bobcats down the field and helped them recapture the lead. This time, Jones and Lowe hooked up for the score when Jones found him for a 21 yard catch and score to put the Bobcats up 21-17 with 14:46 left in the fourth quarter.
The Aggies answered right back with more of the same. Jeantry carved up the defense and Rose III finished off the drive from 2 yards out to put the Aggies up once more. A Bobcat penalty inside the red zone on second down again gave the Aggies the ball at the Bobcat 2 yard line with a fresh set of downs and allowed them to capitalize. With 10:12 left in the game, the Aggies took a 24-21 lead.
After moving the ball to midfield on their next drive, the Bobcats would again be forced to punt the ball away and the Aggies took over on their own 18 yard line. Rose III would again hurt the Bobcats 3 plays later when he took a short pass from Jeanty 77 yards to pay dirt. The Aggies now led 31-21 with 7:26 remaining in the game.
Jones was putting together a nice drive for the Bobcats on the ensuing possession and moved them into the red zone, but a miscue would stop them from putting up anymore points on the board. Jacob Nwangwa intercepted a Jones pass at the 2 yard line and the Aggies took over with a 10 point lead and 3:36 left in the game.
Rose III helped the Aggies run the ball and the some of the remaining clock for the remainder of the game. After the Bobcats managed to get the ball back with under 2 minutes left, any hope of a comeback was lost when Jones threw his second interception of the quarter and the Bobcats fell to New Mexico State 31-21. The Bobcats fell to 2-6 and the Aggies improved to 2-7 on the year.
Next up for the Bobcats they will face off with Georgia State at home and the Aggies will play Louisiana Lafayette.
New Mexico State
Nick Jeanty-24/45, 297 yards, 2 touchdowns, 16 yards rushing
Larry Rose III-31 carries, 207 yards, 2 touchdowns, 2 receptions, 85 yards, 1 touchdown
Tyrain Taylor-6 receptions, 81 yards
Tyler Jones-21/36, 287 yards, 1 touchdown, 2 interceptions, 22 yards rushing, 2 touchdowns
Robert Lowe-22 carries, 88 yards, 4 receptions, 55 yards, 1 touchdown
CJ Best-6 receptions, 74 yards
“Our team can’t find the way and that’s on me. I take full responsibility for that. We were ready to play, we just made some mistakes. We could have done more.”-Coach Fran head coach for Texas State
“We really wanna get it right, we want to get it going. I feel like our heart is there as far as all 11 people on the field. Sometimes we just have breakdowns and it really hurts us. But I don’t doubt the fight and I don’t doubt the want to (play better).”-Damani Alexcee safety for Texas State
“There were some plays that we should have made. They’re going to have their highs and lows, we are going to have our highs and lows, it’s just whoever can maintain a pretty steady level. Sometimes you make some boneheaded mistakes.”-Tyler Jones quarterback for Texas State
Cover photo for this article was used courtesy of lmtribune.com