Well, that didn’t go as planned.
In a 35-7 loss to Rutgers Saturday, the visiting Bobcats could’ve done better but it also could’ve been much worse.
The game started off with Rutgers putting together touchdowns on their first two drives, capped off by scoring runs of nine yards and one yard by running back Raheem Blackshear. Meanwhile the first Texas State drive lasted 15 plays and was kept alive by Rutgers defensive penalties, only to end with a blocked Chris Kessler 51-yard field goal attempt.
For Texas State, six of their 12 first downs came in that first drive and the Bobcats’ 12 other drives of the game would only average 3.1 plays a drive.
Texas State’s defense actually tripled their interception output of 2017 by picking off true freshman quarterback Artur Sitkowski three times including a 51 yard pick six by cornerback Kordell Rodgers that cut the Scarlet Knight lead 21-7.
But one Jonathan Hillman touchdown scamper and a fumble in the end zone by Bobcat quarterback Tyler Vitt, was more than enough to put away Texas State.
The Bobcats only mustered 76 yards on the ground and quarterback Willie Jones III despite a couple of big runs, only completed 31.6 percent of his passes for 79 yards and an interception.
Offensive linemen for Texas State did get manhandled throughout the afternoon and committed three false starts, three sacks allowed and four quarterback hurries.
Defensively the Bobcats’ standouts were impactful. Linebacker Bryan London II had nine tackles, safety A.J. Krawczyk added eight of his own and linebacker Frankie Griffin had seven tackles, a sack and two tackles for losses.
Texas State allowed 218 yards rushing which put Rutgers in position to dictate the time of possession.
The Bobcats did manage to force three turnovers (three interceptions and a fumble) which surpassed last year’s average of 0.2 turnovers forced a game. The pick six by Rodgers was the first one since 2016.
As mentioned before, true freshman Bobcat quarterback Tyler Vitt got some playing time toward the end of the game completing 3 of his 5 passes for 21 yards.
Texas State had the ball for 24:28 compared to Rutgers’ time of possession of 35:32, committed 15 penalties for 119 yards and only mustered 176 yards of total offense.
The Bobcats return next Saturday to host Texas Southern in their home opener.