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TXST Football: Bobcats fail to bounce back after falling short to Eastern Michigan

Texas State Football

The (1-3) Texas State Bobcats traveled to take on the Eastern Michigan Eagles (3-1) in a game that was supposed to be down to the final possession. In what looked like a bounce-back effort with 10:56 left in the third quarter, the Eagles put up 31 unanswered points to defeat Texas State by a whopping 38 points.

This is another slow start for a football program that hasn’t had much luck throughout recent years. From missing key pieces of their roster over the last two weeks to COVID protocols and issues arising just before kickoff, Texas State has a case of the blues to start the year.

It’s a familiar sense for a program that is desperately trying to turn over a new page and enter new winning ways, but at times they can stay in their own way. This was the first matchup between these programs, with Eastern Michigan breaking through first.

 “Disappointing loss. i give a lot of credit to eastern michigan. that’s a really well coached team,” Spavital later added. “(Eastern michigan is) a team that doesn’t make very many mistakes and has a lot of discipline.”

Texas State Football

Saturday afternoon’s kickoff between Texas State and Eastern Michigan, on paper, should have been a one-possession game. TXST came into the contest as 7.5 point underdogs, who quickly found themselves behind the 8-ball after giving up a quick 28-7 lead through nearly one half.

The scoring barrage from Eastern Michigan began with back-to-back 65+ yard drives, both ending in rushing scores. The first was a score on the ground by running back Samson Evans, a four-yard rush that put EMU up by seven.

The second score was by quarterback Ben Bryant, a 39-yard scamper into the end-zone. It capped off a six-play, 85-yard drive that put the Eagles up by seven.

The Bobcats did answer back, scoring on a five-yard dart from QB Brady McBride to WR Javon Banks, closing the distance to just a seven-point deficit.

Their answer didn’t last long, as the Eagles hit Texas State with 14 unanswered points once again, this time EMU scored through the air. The first was a 12-yard strike from Ben Bryant to WR Dylan Drummond, the second was a bit of trickery.

Drummond, the recipient of Bryant’s first touchdown throw, caught a ball from Bryant who then launched a 13-yard pass to TE Thomas Odukoya, his first score of the season.

As the game began to get out of hand by a score of 28-7 with less than four minutes left in the half, the Bobcats answered with a passing touchdown of their own.

McBride found WR Trevis Graham Jr. from nearly thirty yards out, a big-time answer after being down three possessions early. Graham’s score closed the deficit to 14 points at the half, with Texas State trailing by a score of 28-14.

Texas State Football

With their first possession of the second half, the Maroon and Gold fired back once again. Down by 14 with under 11 minutes left in the third quarter, McBride found WR Javen Banks for a 29 yard missile to push the deficit down to just seven points.

McBride’s third touchdown pass of the night brought the EMU lead down to seven, by a score of 28-21. Unfortunately, this was the closest the Bobcats would get for the remainder of the game, as the Eagles soared back with 31 unanswered points.

“Defensively, we gotta be able to get off the field on third down,” spavital said. “they scored a lot of points right there because i think right now we’re lacking in depth.”

From field goals to touchdown passes, the floodgates had opened for the Eagles. All of Eastern Michigan’s scoring drives that followed the final Texas State score all went for at least five plays, knocking off at least 2:19 off the clock.

Ben Bryant tallied two touchdown passes in the second half to WR’s Latrell Fordham and Hassan Beydoun, while Eastern Michigan’s running backs had a trip to the end zone as well.

Samson Evans reached paydirt for the second time in the game in the second half, with Jawon Hamilton reaching the end-zone for the first time all game immediately following Texas State’s last score.

In the end, the Eastern Michigan Eagles defeated the Texas State Bobcats by a final score of 59-21. The Eagles remain undefeated at home, losing only one game all year which was to the Wisconsin Badgers.

For Texas State, this is their third loss of the year and their second consecutive defeat. Their average margin of defeat prior to Saturday’s contest was just 8.5 points, but this was a defeat that was both statistically and to the eye test, significantly worse than what they’ve seen all year.

The Quarterback duel between Brady McBride and Ben Bryant favors the latter, as Bryant completed 60.6 percent of his throws for 228 yards and three touchdowns.

In the case of Brady McBride, he once again kept the football clean through the air but lost one fumble. His final stat line was 16/25 for 187 yards and three scores. Though he turned the football over once, in what was a nearly 40 point loss, it’s encouraging to see your QB keep the football relatively clean.

“This bye week comes at a good time for us to get back to texas, to get healthy again and kind of get our stinger back,” spavital said.

As mentioned, the Bobcats will now have their bye week following their performance on Saturday afternoon. They’ll look to get healthy and find some needed continuity over this time, as they will take on South Alabama on the Saturday that follows.

Texas State’s game at South Alabama will take place on October 9th, 2021, at Bobcat Stadium. Kickoff time is TBD, with the game’s broadcast available on ESPN+.

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Stephen Michael 26, is a journalist, social media coordinator, host, and entertainment reporter. Michael graduated in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in Communication Arts and earned a Master's Degree in Digital Media in 2020 from the University of the Incarnate Word. He has worked covering the San Antonio Rampage, Stars, and San Antonio Futbol Club. He was the host of the Project Spurs Roundtable on NBC affiliate News 4 San Antonio from 2015-17.


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