Paul Livengood

He's coming home: Mercer returns to his own 'backyard'

On Saturday night, one of Houston’s own had the first homecoming of his collegiate career.

That someone was Demun Mercer, sophomore wide receiver.

Mercer was born in Louisiana, but has lived in Houston since he was in fifth grade. His uncle is a pastor at a church on Francis Street, which is just a few blocks away from the University of Houston and across the street from the football stadium.

“Growing up, I’ve seen the stadium,” Mercer said. “Basically like being in the backyard, hearing the announcers announce other guys before my time. It’s a good experience living in that area.”

Ward Jr., Cougars expose Bobcats in 59-14 victory

Touchdown Greg Ward Jr.

Texas State players, coaches, and fans heard that sentence six times Saturday night. Count them: one, two, three, four, five, six.

Greg Ward Jr., Cougars junior quarterback, was unstoppable in this game. He displayed speed to get around the edge on numerous scrambling plays that recquired improvisation. Ward Jr. finished the game with 375 all-purpose yards and six touchdowns.

“He’s a special athlete,” said Coach Dennis Franchione. “We had trouble getting him on the ground. His athleticism and speed was certainly prevalent. He threw a good ball. He’s a really good player.”

Analyzing the loss: Houston 59, Texas State 14

What the loss means: The Texas State football team is in trouble. Six wins wasn’t enough to get a bowl game in 2013. Seven wins wasn’t enough last year.

You’d think eight wins would leave no doubt. To realistically accomplish that, Texas State needs to win seven of their eight conference games to make the 8-4 threshold. At this point, beating Georgia Southern, Arkansas State, and Louisiana-Lafayette all on the road seems unlikely.

Why the Bobcats lost: Houston is too good. The talent difference was extremely prevalent. There is a reason this team has 22 votes in the AP coaches poll. Houston finished with 366 rushing yards and 323 passing yards. Enough said. 

Live analysis: Texas State vs. Houston

FOURTH QUARTER

Texas State: Chris Nutall 1-yard touchdown run, 12:57.
Drive summary: 13 plays, 85 yards, 4:07.

Key play: Texas State drove down the field methodically with no huge bursts. Just solid gain after solid gain. Can't ask for more offensively. 

Houston: 25-yard touchdown run by Ryan Jackson, 03:52.
Drive summary: 7 plays, 57 yards, 3:50.

Houston 59, Texas State 14: Greg Ward Jr. took over the game, favoring his Demarcus Ayers. He threw him the ball for eight catches, 126 yards, and two touchdowns. Ward totalled for 375 all-purpose yards and six total touchdowns. 

THIRD QUARTER

Game preview: Bobcats face familiar foe in last non-conference game

Similar to the game against Prairie View A&M, there is a sense of familiarity with Houston, due to the large majority of Texas State’s players being from that area.

These are players some Bobcats played either with or against in high school. Being focused for this game should not be an issue for Texas State. If Texas State shows up to the Cougars’ backyard like they did in 2012, the Bobcats will be ready to play.

“They’ll speak to it better than I, but I remember in pregame warm-up that night asking a couple of our coaches, ‘Wow. We are kind of weird here, what’s going on?’” said Coach Dennis Franchione. “What it was is they were really ready to play. They had their pencil sharp and they were spot-on.”

Press conference recap: Franchione discusses Southern Miss, struggling defense, Houston

After a 56-50 loss to Southern Mississippi last week, Coach Dennis Franchione addressed the media Tuesday afternoon recapping the game and looking ahead towards Houston.

Opening statement: "Reflecting back on Saturday night, it’s tough to lose at home. It’s a shootout. Not much defense played by either team. We missed a turn or two, and got behind in the cycle and never caught up. The kids battled hard. We played not very well on defense, and we played a pretty solid game most of the evening on offense. The kicking game was better than the week before."

'The Legend of San Marcos' making his mark at Texas State

Under the lights of Doak Campbell Stadium, with the “Tomahawk Chop” being yelled into his ears by 80,000 Seminole fans, Lumi Kaba, junior kicker, became the legend of San Marcos.

The ESPN broadcast tagged Kaba with the nickname during his performance that concluded with seven punts for 326 yards.

His journey to that point was an unusual one, however.

Kaba was born and raised in Europe, where soccer is the main sport among the youth. The young European boy learned to love the game from his father, Ziber Kaba.

Lumi Kaba played forward throughout his soccer career.

While Lumi shared the same love for the game with his father, they disagreed on which teams to root for.

Bobcats outpaced 56-50 against Golden Eagles

Coach Dennis Franchione expected a high scoring game heading into the matchup against Southern Mississippi.

Well, he got that in spades.

“I’m not sure I foresaw this many points,” Franchione said. “I did think that it would be in the thirties or forties.”

Tonight’s total score (106) is the second highest that Texas State has ever had in a game since joining FBS in 2012. The highest was a 62-55 loss to Louisiana Tech in 2012.

Franchione and Tyler Jones, junior quarterback, shared the same thought, but the other team made a couple more plays during the game.

Analyzing the loss: Southern Mississippi 56, Texas State 50

What the loss means: The Texas State football teams' season is in trouble. Losing this game leaves some points of emphasis leading into the conference schedule.

First, Texas State is now going to have to beat at least one of Sun Belt Conference's Big Three: Arkansas State, Georgia Southern, and Louisiana-Lafayette. The Bobcats went 1-2 against them last season at home and now they have to play all three on the road this season. If Texas State loses to Houston, which is certainly possible or even likely since the Bobcats lost to Southern Mississippi, then the Bobcats will need a near perfect conference record to even think about bowl eligibility.

Live analysis: Texas State vs. Southern Mississippi

FOURTH QUARTER

Southern Mississippi: 52-yard touchdown catch for Casey Martin, 13:36.
Drive summary: 3 plays, 52 yards, 1:12.

Key play: Nick Mullens found Casey Martin again for another long pass. There is a common theme happening here.

Texas State: Robert Lowe two-yard touchdown rush, 8:12.
Drive summary: 14 plays, 84 yards, 5:24.

Key play: Tyler Jones ran the ball effectively on this drive. Jones picked up multiple first downs with his legs and capped off the drive with his buddy from those DIRECTV commercials.

Texas State: Tyler Jones 54-yard touchdown rush, 7:59.
Drive summary: 1 play, 54 yards, 0:13.

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