Before an incredibly late 8:30 PM kickoff in Bobcat Stadium, the storylines surrounding the two programs were ones of disappointment, angst, and coaching changes, only briefly punctuated by a last minute announcement that Texas State would be wearing all black uniforms.
Surprisingly enough, the actual game itself may have become the big story, as the Texas State Bobcats defeated the ULM Warhawks 16-3 in one of the strangest, most unwatchable football games in Sun Belt history. In fact, this game was so bad/dumb/amazing that it featured the following:
- Over 700 yards of punts
- 19 combined points on 7 combined trips to the red zone
- 181 yards of offense for ULM. TOTAL.
- A penalty called against ULM for a play that was overturned by replay. No, seriously, I'll explain it in a bit.
- ESPN announcers mentioning an obviously fake Tweet about Dennis Franchione resigning and treating it as "rumors"
- A combined 7 of 31 on third down attempts
- Some of the most atrocious offense you'll ever see.
and now, your moment of zen https://t.co/eflmR3SOAY— Underdog Dynasty (@underdogdynasty) November 20, 2015
#ULMvsTXST: Winner gets a chalky peppermint, loser gets kicked in the shin.— Ishmael Johnson (@Ish_46) November 20, 2015
Texas State's offense would make some traction between the 20s a few times with Robert Lowe and CJ Best taking advantage of ULM's weaknesses on the far sides of the field. Yet the Bobcats' red zone trips were feast or famine: either they were hitting senior tight end Lawrence White for two touchdowns on his coming out party for Senior Day, or they were stalling as ULM's defense stiffened against the easiest offense to scout on the planet.
In six red zone visits, Texas State came away with 16 points on three of their attempts. Two of the opportunities were missed field goals, one of which came after Texas State went backwards on 1st and goal at the 5. The Dennis Franchione Special came through with flying colors on that possession as two rushes off the right tackle, an incomplete pass, and a false start precluded Lumi Kaba shanking the mostly gimme 27 yard attempt.
Yet despite Texas State doing their damndest to bumble the game away on offense and special teams, ULM was far, far worse. The Bobcat defense played better than they had all season, yet the Warhawk offense, led by a converted wide receiver thrown to the wolves at quarterback, reached a whole new level of sadness. Two interceptions thrown to the Texas State defense doubled the Bobcats' season output in that metric, and a fumbled punt added insult to injury.
Hey, give the kid a break. It'd be like if you tried to go out there and play quarterback.
You really wonder if Tx State's defense walked off the field, could ULM score. #ULMvsTXST— Berry Epley (@apps94) November 20, 2015
You read that right. This play in particular was the climax of the smorgasbord of black comedy that was this football game, as the Sun Belt refs gave a stunning display of ineptitude (yes, even for them) that practically had the announcers throwing rotten tomatoes out of the press box window at them.
Go ahead, put on Yakety Sax before you read what happened. I'll wait.
- Tyler Jones awkwardly throws an obvious forward pass off his back foot. It bounces to the turf, ULM defenders pick it up to try and sell a scoop and score from a lateral.
- The Sun Belt refs believe ULM and call a touchdown.
- The refs penalize ULM for sideline interference during the play
- The booth reviews the play, overturns the ruling to the obviously correct determination that Tyler Jones threw a forward pass
- The Sun Belt refs don't pick up the sideline interference flag for the play they just nullified and still penalize ULM 15 yards.
At that point in the game, Texas State was still clinging to a 10-3 lead, and the touchdown would've tied the game and more than likely set up an overtime slapfight for the ages. Yet all the Warhawks got was a 15 yard penalty and this lousy t-shirt. Karl Benson's gonna run out of ref crews to suspend at this rate.
The game continued to devolve as the 2nd half wore on, as ULM's offense ran off the rails even further and Texas State couldn't buy a point.
That Jay Walker graphic was the first time someone was visibly smiling during this game. #ULMvsTXST— Thomas K (@tkappstate) November 20, 2015
ABSOLUTELY NOBODY DESERVES TO WIN THIS GAME— Underdog Dynasty (@underdogdynasty) November 20, 2015
But Texas State would eventually prevail as Aaron Shaw's interception on an absolute duck of a throw by ULM's Earnest Carrington would lead to the knockout blow that felled ULM in the 4th quarter.
In all seriousness, this was a big win for Texas State's senior class during a nightmarish season. Perhaps this will give them some needed momentum to take on an Idaho squad in the Kibbie Dome whose offense looks suspiciously similar to the Georgia State unit that smacked down the Bobcats a week ago.
ULM, on the other hand, well...better hope that next coaching hire is a home run, because John Mumford isn't gonna save you.
1. Happy for the seniors 2. That game was the equivalent of a cat walking on a keyboard and hitting send #txst— Will Butler (@THETXSTUniv) November 20, 2015
Wins always feel good. But let us never speak of this game again, lest we anger our ancestors.