The seventh battle between the Texas State Bobcats and the South Alabama Jaguars was as thrilling as we have ever seen in recent memory, with the Bobcats pulling this one out in 4OT.
Led by Brady McBride, Jahmyl Jeter, and Calvin Hill, Texas State put together an offensive barrage to crawl their way back into the ballgame and ultimately they picked up their biggest win of this season.
“You ALL SAW IT LAST YEAR last year, how hard we fight , But the mentality that we’ve had the last two weekS is a three-second reset and move on to the next play,” SPAVITAL SAID.
The thriller at Jim Wacker was the seventh battle between the two programs, both came into this game coming off of losses. While South Alabama came into this game as 3.5 point favorites, the Bobcats were determined to rebound in a big way after their bye week.
“It was perfect timing. (texas state’s bye week). We had great team meetings, great film sessions. (he later added) it made us come together as a team,” brady mcbride said.
Texas State began this contest with a three-play, 76-yard drive that ended with a 56-yard rainbow from Brady McBride to Javen Banks. The 56-yard strike opened up the scoring for Texas State, putting them up seven points early in the ballgame.
After a series of three and outs by both teams, South Alabama found themselves deep inside Texas State territory. The Bobcat defense held the Jaguars to a field-goal try from 27 yards out, as kicker Frankie Onate missed the attempt wide right. This kept the lead at 7-0 for Texas State with under three minutes left in the first quarter.
The Cats were unable to take advantage of the missed attempt, as Brady McBride threw his first interception since week one after a scramble throw intended for Javen Banks. The pass was picked off by Darrell Luter Jr., his first interception on the season which gave USA the ball at Texas State’s 43-yard line.
With USA driving, the first quarter came to a close with the Bobcats clinging on to their 7-0 lead after one period of play.
On the first play of the second quarter, the Jaguars strike with a score of their own inside the ten yard line. A.J. Phillips rushed from six yards out, tying the game up at seven a piece with 14:56 left in the second quarter.
The Bobcats found success on their ensuing possession as Jahmyl Jeter rumbled for 29 yards. Landing in the red-zone, the Cats were prepared to notch a big-score to put them ahead, but Brady McBride ended up throwing his second interception on the day. The Jaguars returned the pick inside their own 45, after coming up with a huge stop early in the second quarter.
The Jaguars were able to cash in on the turnover with a field goal. From 35 yards out this time, South Alabama split the uprights, putting them up three points by a score of 10-7 with eight minutes left in the second quarter.
The Bobcats found themselves in a similar position on their next possession, once again it ends in the same manner. Brady McBride threw his third INT of the game, this one was inside USA territory again. The Jags returned the pick inside the Texas State 35.
South Alabama cashed in again off of the turnover, scoring a touchdown from one yard out with five seconds remaining in the half. This concluded the first half, with USA up by a score of 17-7. McBride threw three interceptions on just 18 attempts in the first half, while Jake Bentley was efficient on 14 attempts, throwing one touchdown.
The first half was ran by the Bobcats as they out-gained the Jaguars by a total of 203-164. Turnovers killed this Texas State unit in the first half, otherwise, they’d have a good chance at leading after two quarters.
South Alabama’s first drive of the second half started with a couple of first downs of their own, before Troy Lefeged Jr. picked off Jake Bentley, returning the interception inside USA territory. Texas State picked up a blindside block call on the return, but a huge defensive play set the Cats up in solid field position to answer back.
After picking up a targeting call, the Bobcats failed to get anything of substance from their first drive of the second half. They punted on the next set of downs following the targeting call, giving the Jags a chance to put up points.
They failed to answer, as, on the ensuing drive for the Bobcats, they drove down the field and found themselves inside Jaguars territory. Kicker Seth Keller drove home a 38-yard field goal to bring the Cats within one touchdown, by a score of 17-10 with under four minutes left in the third quarter.
The third quarter came to a close with the same score, 17-10. It ended with Jake Bentley dialing up a 43-yard strike that lead the Jags inside Texas State’s red zone.
Entering the fourth frame, the Jaguars strike on the ground from five yards out. The five-yard rushing score put South Alabama up by a score of 24-10.
After a Texas State three and out, Samuel Obiang picks off Jake Bentley’s flea-flicker attempt at the line of scrimmage, giving the Bobcats the football inside the USA 45 yard line.
The Cats roared back, cashing in on the Jaguars turnover. Brady McBride scrambled and made a play happen as he found Marcell Barbee in the end-zone to narrow USA’s lead by a score of 24-17. With 7:17 left in the 4th, Texas State was on the doorstep of a major comeback.
And they did just that. Jahmyl Jeter barreled the pigskin into the end-zone to tie this ball-game up by a score of 24-24 with 17 seconds left in the 4th quarter.
The ball-game headed into overtime, this was Texas State’s first OT period of the year. A major comeback attempt was in the works after a huge second half by this unit collectively.
Texas State and South Alabama traded touchdown blows in the first overtime, as this game was tied 31-all headed into the second OT.
In the third overtime period, both USA and Texas State failed to put points on the board. But in the 4th OT, QB Brady McBride willed his way into the end-zone to put the Cats up by two, 33-31.
On the following play, South Alabama attempted their own two-point conversion through the air, as Texas State’s defense broke it up and ultimately ended the contest with a victory for the good guys.
Texas State’s PBU came at the biggest moment of game #5, a huge victory for the Maroon and Gold gives them their first of the year at Bobcat Stadium.
Now, just one game below .500, Texas State will welcome in-conference rival, Troy, next week Saturday for another big-time game.
“We had a celebration back there, we had our moment. But now it’s on to Troy,” Spavital said.
The Bobcats concluded Saturday’s game with a second-half display that showcased how good this team can be when they stay out of their own way. Zero turnovers in the second half, they created two turnovers defensively in that half and ultimately stuck to their game plan for the victory.
The win for the Bobcats puts them at (2-3, 1-0 CONF) while the loss puts the Jaguars at (3-2, 0-2 CONF). USA will take on Georgia Southern next Thursday at home.
For Texas State, it’s back at home to face Troy University. The Trojans gave the Bobcats some trouble last year, and the Spavital led bunch will look to rebound after a questionable 2020 performance back at the Wack.