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Texas State Defeats the Visiting Houston Baptist Huskies

In a game too close for comfort the Bobcats struggle to put away their FCS foe.

Year two of Coach Everett Withers and the Damian Williams era began Saturday night with a matchup against the Houston Baptist Huskies in which was supposed to be a warm up game. But it was too close for comfort for the Bobcats who escaped their opening day matchup 20-11.

The game started with a 39 yard beautiful teardrop pass from Williams to receiver Elijah King, flashing the brilliance he showed in spring practice but ended with an ill-advised interception by Williams that promptly ended the Bobcats’ momentum.

For the rest of the first quarter and most of the second quarter it all belonged to the Huskies as quarterback Bailey Zappe and the HBU receivers exposed and shredded the State secondary and shifty Husky running back Terrance Peters scored Baptist’s only touchdown to give them a 9-0 lead midway through the second quarter.

Texas State’s defense started clamping down and Texas State added a field goal and a last minute power touchdown run by Damian Williams to give Texas State a 10-9 lead going into halftime.

A sloppy third quarter was marred by penalties and miscues with the first five drives by the two teams combining for only 21 yards total. That all changed when Texas State running back Anthony Taylor ripped off a 48 yard run, finally giving the Texas State offense some excitement.

Entering the fourth quarter Texas State scored a field goal on a stalled drive giving the Bobcats a cushy lead until Damian Williams botched a shotgun snap and was tackled in the end zone, cutting the lead to 20-11.

Houston Baptist threatened a couple of times getting as close as the Bobcat two yard line but the Texas State defense held up and the ‘Cats escaped with a win.

The game was a supposed to be a warm up to get a feel for the new talent by giving them playing time in a blowout. But the game was so close that other than one drive Damian Williams played the whole game. Willie Jones III made an appearance for the last drive of the first quarter showing some wheels but no other quarterback made an appearance.

Texas State shot themselves in the foot with penalties, turnovers and miscues which gave HBU their chances and scores.

The offensive line continued to struggle as the Baptist defense manhandled the big uglies and got to Williams time and again disrupting his rhythm. If it wasn’t for his pocket presence it would have been worse. Trysten Mizerak who was supposed to be a breakout player on the line got burned all night but the line as a whole suffered all around.

A bright spot was in running back Anthony Williams who gave Texas State most of its fireworks and hopefully we will see him a lot more going foward. Elijah King was also the only other major producers on offense leading all receivers with 85 yards.

The HBU offense gave the Bobcats problems most of the night running and passing all over the maroon and gold. Easy Anyama and Gabe Loyd stood out as playmakers all the while giving Texas State a solid unit toward the end of the game with the defense settling in and finding their footing.

We didn’t get to see much of the freshman quarterbacks as Damian Williams was relied on most of the night. Williams made some good throws and some questionable throws but showed his ability on the ground scoring Texas State’s first touchdown of 2017. He’s gifted but he needs more time in the pocket.

With their first win since October of 2016 Texas State had a rough time and unfortunately it gets rougher with an obscenely difficult next four games. For State to be successful they need their offensive line to get some fluidity going and the porous secondary needs to find a better combination of players or else they are going to get torched by teams faster than Houston Baptist. Up next for the Bobcats is a trip to Boulder to take on the Pac-12’s Colorado Buffaloes.