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UTSA Beats Texas State In A Classic, 51-48

The fourth installment of the I-35 Rivalry turned into a mind-melter.

Image courtesy of Roy Burkhart III

The fourth edition of the I-35 Rivalry didn’t disappoint. Great plays, gutsy calls, blown calls, questionable calls, mistakes, redemption, heartbreak, pride: all summed up the game of the year so far.

If you didn’t fall off your couch, lawn chair, La-Z-Boy or toilet while watching this game you’d better ask Milhouse Van Houten for your soul back cause you ain’t got one.

UTSA’s Frank Harris accounted for four touchdowns, Jeremiah Haydel brought the ‘Cats back from the brink of defeat, and the fans of both teams pulled out their hair, threw their hands up in excitement or succumbed to alcohol poisoning regardless of their team affiliation.

First Half

The first two drives of the game gave the fans a peak at a would-be shootout. Texas State would strike first on their opening drive going three plays to paydirt via a 66 yard toss from Tyler Vitt to Brock “Lesnar” Sturges. After the Bobcats struck, UTSA responded with their own two play 75 yard drive, ending with a 17 yard quarterback scamper from Frank Harris to tie the game.

Despite the quick start, for a while the action would die down. After two touchdowns in five plays and 1:20, we wouldn’t get another score until 12:27 left in the second when UTSA kicker Hunter Duplessis nailed a 27 yard field goal to take a 10-7 lead.

UTSA would own the rest of the second quarter with a 19 yard Frank Harris touchdown run and a Sincere McCormick five yard TD rush.

As the Roadrunners would score 24 straight unanswered points, the Bobcats would punt four possessions in a row and throw a pick after their initial score.

Second Half

The tides turned and the Bobcats made adjustments. After forcing UTSA to punt, Texas State would drive four plays in 59 yards to paydirt. Bobcat quarterback Tyler Vitt would hit Jah’Marae Sheread from 31 yards out for a touchdown to cut the lead to 24-14.

Roadrunner Frank Harris would orchestrate his own four play drive ending in Harris scoring on the ground from 13 yards out.

With 2:04 left in the third, Bobcat running back Calvin Hill would score from 12 yards out to make it a 31-21 game.

From this point on college football’s nucleus resided in San Marcos, Texas.

The next Bobcat drive culminated in another Sturges touchdown run to cut the lead to 31-28.

UTSA would nail a field goal on the next drive, setting up Texas State for a game winning drive.

After 10 plays and 59 yards the Bobcats seemed poised to take control until a tipped Tyler Vitt pass was picked off by Agent Zero himself, Rashad Wisdom, who ran back 81 yards for a touchdown.

Just as the chances of a Bobcat victory were out of reach the impossible happened. First, Marcell Barbee would snatch an impressive 20 yard touchdown reception to cut the lead to 41-35.

After a three and out by UTSA, the Roadrunners would punt to playmaker Jeremiah Haydel who would take it to the house to tie the game at 41. With no surprise for a classic game, Texas State’s kicker would botch the extra point, sending the game into overtime.

Overtime

The first overtime possesions would culminate in a UTSA touchdown reception by Joshua Cephus that made SportsCenter’s top play of the day, and Barbee would catch his second touchdown of the day to send it to double overtime.

Texas State went first in OT and missed a chip shot, setting UTSA up for a Duplessis 29 yard game winning field goal to give UTSA this year’s rivalry victory in the second OT.

Frank Harris ran for three touchdowns and threw for 169 and a touchdown for UTSA in the victory. The Roadrunners as a whole torched the Bobcat defense for 330 yards on 6.5 yards per rush.

Tyler Vitt filled in at quarterback for Brady McBride due to Covid testing and threw for 346 and four touchdowns.

Roadrunner running back Sincere McCormick would rush for a game-high 197 and a touchdown as he would run all over a gassed Texas State defense. McCormick set a new UTSA program record for single-game rushing yards.

Next up for UTSA is a showdown with Stephen F. Austin next Saturday while Texas State will travel to Monroe to take on, well Louisiana-Monroe next Saturday.