The Texas State football team allowed an opponent to score more than 50 points for the third time this season. Here are the five key plays from the 59-14 loss to Houston Saturday night.
1. So it begins
On the second play of the game, Greg Ward Jr. ran to the left side for 35 yards. While the play wasn’t game-changing in a microcosm, Ward Jr. set the tone for the rest of the game after his first carry. He made sure to dictate the action and not the other way around. Texas State’s defense chased him around the field for the entire game to no avail.
2. Not the Best play
C.J. Best was one of two players to fumble the ball inside the opposition’s 20-yard line. Best’s fumble, in particular, appeared to be more damaging because Houston scored on the ensuing possession. It was quite possibly a 14-point swing in a 14-point game at the time. The Bobcats were never within striking distance after Best’s fumble.
3. White’s costly fumble
Who knows what would have happened if Lawrence White hadn’t fumbled the ball on Texas State’s first possession? The offense generated some rhythm with two consecutive first downs to Gaines and Ryan Carden, senior tight end. White continued the drive with a 17-yard reception of his own, but ceded possession once he was hit. White’s fumble likely erased at least three points for the Bobcats.
4. Dunbar escapes for long gain
It’s easy to forget, but Texas State was tied 7-7 with Houston at one point. On the previous possession, Tyler Jones faked out the defense for a four-yard rushing touchdown. A defensive stop gives the Bobcats the ball back with a chance to take the lead. What happened instead was Houston scoring seven points in two plays.
Texas State left Steven Dunbar, Cougars sophomore wide receiver, all alone on the right side of the field. One juke later, which pushed Dila Rosemond out of the play entirely and Dunbar escaped for a 65-yard touchdown.
5. Taking it to the house
Tyler Jones, junior quarterback, isn’t a careless thrower. He doesn’t attempt ridiculous passes through tight angles, instead opting to move the offense down the field methodically. His throw to Jafus Gaines, senior wide receiver, was atypical of the normally risk-averse Jones. William Jackson III, Cougars senior cornerback, jumped the comeback route and received Jones’ pass in stride for a 35-yard interception return for a touchdown. The score was already out of hand by then though.