Lauren Hancock | Staff Photographer

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.”

Game rewind: Jones turns in career-best performance against Southern Mississippi

In a game with 1,204 total yards, there was one player who accounted for more than a third of that total.

That rare distinction belongs to Tyler Jones, junior quarterback, who finished the 56-50 loss to Southern Mississippi Saturday night with a career-high 470 all-purpose yards.

His performance nearly allowed Texas State to come away with a victory despite its defense allowing 613 yards.

What Jones’ stats don’t tell you is that he needed to help his team rally from two double-digit deficits in the same game.

Notebook: Franchione to evaluate struggling defense

Once again, the Texas State football teams’ defense was exposed.

It was a matter of being outclassed against Florida State. Against Prairie View A&M, the Texas State defense clamped down on the running game but allowed 323 passing yards to a FCS level team.

The 56-50 loss to Southern Mississippi was a manifestation of both. The Bobcats were picked apart through the air, in the running game and everything in between.

Southern Mississippi tallied 613 total yards – 333 passing and 280 rushing.

“We are going to have to go back to the drawing board and analyze and see what we can do to find a way to make some stops,” said Coach Dennis Franchione.

Answering our pregame questions: Texas State vs. Southern Mississippi

Prior to the Texas State football teams' matchup against Southern Mississippi, we posed five questions relevant to the game. Here's how the answers played out Saturday night.

1. HOW WILL THE OFFENSIVE LINE FARE THIS TIME AROUND?

Texas State allowed three sacks, eclipsing the season total (1) in one game. The offense was still humming and the offensive line created space for Tyler Jones, junior quarterback, to utilize his legs. Jones picked up a career-high 160 rushing yards, in part to the offensive line maintaining their blocks to set up designed quarterback runs.

2. WHICH DEFENSE WILL STEP UP?

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