SAN MARCOS, TX – Texas State senior quarterback Tyler Jones stepped up to the podium after last night’s win and addressed questions as he does every game. The mild-mannered Jones takes his time and gives honest, coach-like answers.
From his first answer, you wouldn’t have known he just led his team to a 48-17 shellacking of the Incarnate Word Cardinals in a game where he threw for 475 yards and five touchdowns.
You also wouldn’t expect he knew that he broke his own previous yardage record, and moved up in the Texas State record books.
“We were pretty sloppy at first. We were kind of shooting ourselves in the foot with penalties, just things that we’ve got to fix, so the win’s good but all around a lot of work’s got to be done,” Jones said.
Jones is right, there were some mistakes, especially in the first quarter.
Incarnate Word has been known to be a slow starter, being outscored in the first three quarters in their last three games leading up to tonight’s matchup against Texas State.
But the Cardinals flipped the script tonight, getting on the scoreboard first with a Broderick Reeves 47 yard touchdown run early in the first quarter.
It was the Bobcats instead getting off to the slow start, and it took almost a full 15 minutes after Incarnate Ward scored to tie the game up, with Jones finding Gabe Schrade for an 11-yard touchdown pass.
Once Texas State finally got on the scoreboard, they didn’t look back. The Bobcats’ defense made the stops they needed to to keep the Cardinals out of the end zone as they waiting for the offense to come around.
Just under three minutes later, Jones found freshman wide receiver Thurman Morbley on a 44-yard pass, and finished off the first half with a touchdown toss to Eric Luna with 16 seconds left on the first half clock.
The Cardinals’ offense was limited to just the first seven points and a field goal as they went into the locker room at halftime trailing the Bobcats 21-10.
Incarnate Ward was held scoreless in the third, while Jones connected with Schrade again and senior Tyler Siudzinski finished off a drive with a three-yard touchdown run.
Incarnate Word’s only other score of the night was a 71-yard run by Desmond Hite. PJ Anderson then caught Jones’ fifth touchdown pass. Freshman Brendon Rushing put the exclamation point on the win as junior quarterback Eddie Printz found him on a 65-yard touchdown pass.
Even with a big home win to get the Bobcats to the .500 mark before conference play starts next week, head coach Everett Withers, like Jones, was not completely satisfied with his team’s performance.
“We didn’t play very well I didn’t think tonight,” Withers said. “I would say that’s a C grade at best. We had way too many mistakes. Bad football teams played like we played tonight, so I guess we’re a bad football team.”
It’s likely still a bit early to make that judgement call. The Bobcats started off the season on a high with a big win on the road against Ohio before facing two nationally ranked teams.
Conference play, beginning next week on the road against Georgia Southern, will be more of a measuring stick for Withers and his staff.
• Morbley had a career-high 133 receiving yards to lead both teams. Games like tonight’s should help Morbley’s development.
• Early in the game when the Bobcats’ offense struggled, Lumi Kaba delivered great punts to put the defense in position to keep Incarnate Word on their side of the field. He had a total of five punts for 200 yards, with a long of 55.
• Texas State finished with a school record 540 passing yards, and they also had 670 yards of total offense