“Frustrated. Disappointed,” Jake Spavital opened his post-game press conference in an emotional state.
It was a night to remember for Texas State, despite the loss, the University had Jim Wacker field packed with plenty of Maroon and Gold in the bleachers.
Moral victories unfortunately aren’t good enough for Head Coach Jake Spavital, as he felt like his team could’ve pulled off the biggest win in decades for the program. In the end, they let the opportunity slip through their fingers.
“I’m proud of our kids. I thought they (Texas State) fought extremely hard,” Spavital said. “We had positions to end up winning this game.”
College Football hit the city of San Marcos for the first time in over a year, as the Texas State Bobcats took on the Baylor Bears for the third time in the schools’ history.
Coming into the contest as 13.5 point underdogs, the Maroon and Gold showed up to play. It was their first matchup against the Bears since 2007, a 34-27 defeat, and this contest began like your favorite ride at Six Flags, a rollercoaster ride for the ages.
The Bobcats started the contest going three and out, gaining three yards on their first drive. After Baylor found themselves in good field position with their first drive ending deep in Texas State territory, it was stopped abruptly by IDL Gjemar Daniels.
Daniels forced a fumble with the home team recovering, stopping the Bears in their tracks. The Cats hoped this would shift the momentum early.
But after the forced fumble, on the very first play of their next drive, QB Brady McBride threw a pick-six that ultimately put the Bears up by seven with just under 12 minutes left in the first frame. Baylor DB JT Woods came up with the first score in San Marcos.
“Brady was in the right read (On the pick-six play), he just had to get it out a bit further,” Spavital said.
After the turnover, McBride led the Bobcats on a 14 play, 72-yard drive that ended in a field goal. An impressive bounce-back performance for McBride and company after a brutal interception, but the Bobcats found themselves down by a score of 7-3 with 6:02 left in the first.
Baylor’s second drive of the game coming off of the Bobcats field goal began with a fourth-down conversion inside their own 40-yard line. As their drive continued, the first frame ended with the Bears up by a score of 7-3.
Continuing in the second quarter, Baylor found themselves deep inside Texas State territory again. This time it was DB Zion Childress who lays the lumber and forced a fumble that the offense recovered, on third down. The Bears found themselves attempting a near 40-yard field goal and ended up missing it wide, giving the Cats the ball inside their own 25, down by four points.
Coming from deep in their own territory wasn’t too difficult of a task for the Maroon and Gold offense, as they ended up with seven after an 11 play drive that shredded nearly six minutes off the clock. Ending with a strike to WR Marcell Barbee from QB Brady McBride, the Bobcats found themselves up 10-7 with just under seven minutes left in the second quarter.
Brady McBride (@_bradymcbride_) and Marcell Barbee (@MarcellBarbee18) pick up right where they left off last year, connecting on a 12-yard TD. Extra point is good and the Bobcats take the lead#TXST 10#Baylor 7
6:41 left int he 2nd@smdrsports pic.twitter.com/PE4OMLdV4K
— Drew King (@drewking0222) September 5, 2021
The Bears answered with a long, 13 play, 75-yard drive that ended in a touchdown by RB Abram Smith. The drive drained nearly seven minutes, leaving the Bobcats with only 36 seconds left in the half.
After a quick three-and-out, the Bobcats punted the ball to the Bears, as Baylor kneeled the clock out to end the first half. After one half of football, Texas State found themselves down by a score of 14-10.
The QB battle between Brady McBride and Baylor’s Gerry Bohanon had McBride ahead of him from a statistics standpoint, though Bohanon was the more efficient passer. McBride was 9-17 for 98 yards, one touchdown, and one interception, while Bohanon was 8-12 for 84 yards.
The second half began with a three and out from the Baylor offense, with Texas State’s crowd causing the Bears to use an early timeout just 56 seconds into the third quarter. Their first drive of the second half ended with a punt that gave the Cats the football at their own 36-yard line.
San Marcos’s home team sputtered offensively, after landing in favorable field position, Texas State commits a three and out of their own. After a holding penalty brought back what would’ve been a significant gain on 2nd down, they gave Baylor the ball just outside of their own 40-yard line after failing to convert on third down.
Waco’s own traveled inside Texas State’s 30-yard line and put three on the board. After a seven-play drive, the Bears scored on a 43-yard field goal by K Isaiah Hankins, who was 1/2 up to that point, putting the Bears up by seven.
McBride and his offense couldn’t find a spark with their second drive of the second half, as they failed to gain more than seven yards with this drive. Two straight drives ended with similar results for a unit that was losing momentum up to this point.
“We tried running the ball, 10 personnel, 11 personnel, 12 personnel, I tried to do multiple things to see what could hit,” Spavital said.
Unlucky for them, the Bears hit Texas State right in the mouth with a five-play drive that ended in seven more points for the Bears. Gashing the Bobcats on the ground, RB Abram Smith put up his second score of the night, a 16-yard rushing touchdown. This gave Baylor a lead of 24-10, with 4:21 left in the third quarter.
It wasn’t all bad for the Cats yet, despite the two-score deficit they answered with a 10-play drive of their own. Going into Bears territory, Brady and company drove down inside the Baylor 30 yard line after two splendid catches from WR Marcell Barbee. Ending in a field goal, Texas State’s ten-play drive cut the Baylor lead to 11 points with 45 seconds left in the third quarter.
After three-quarters of action in the books, the Baylor Bears led the Bobcats by a score of 24-13. Three quarters in, the Bears offensive line has brutally dominated Texas State, as their running backs have been untouched entering the second level while also sure Bohanon stays clean.
After a Baylor three and out, the Bobcats had an opportunity to put points on the board with over twelve minutes left in the ballgame. QB Brady McBride didn’t see Baylor S Jaylen Pitre as he picked off Texas State’s QB1, his second INT of the game.
“The second one (interception), it’s a scramble drill. At that point in the game we are trying to make something of it,” Spavital said. “I thought he did a really good job of extending plays, I saw what he saw, that guy (Pitre) came back and made a good play.”
Baylor was able to put three more points on the board, extending their lead back to 14 points by a score of 27-13. With under ten minutes left in the ball game, the Baylor Bears were the better team since the middle of the second frame.
In one more comeback attempt, McBride led the Bobcats towards one first down before throwing his third interception of the night with 7:44 left in the fourth quarter. The pick came on third and 18, DB Jairon McVea came up with the play.
“The last interception, I told him (Brady) to throw it as far as he can on that one,” Spavital said. “(Knowing it was 3rd & 18) We treated that one like a punt.”
As the minutes ticked off the clock, the Bobcats made one final effort to come back against a brutal Baylor defense.
The Cats scored a touchdown after RB Jahmyl Jeter rushed for a quick score to bring the game within seven points. After a failed onside kick and a failed last-ditch effort by McBride and company, the final seconds hit triple zeros.
— Drew King (@drewking0222) September 5, 2021
The Texas State Bobcats fell to the Baylor Bears by a score of 29-20. The Bobcats remain winless against the Big 12’s Baylor Bears, starting their 2021 season with a record of 0-1.
Quarterback Brady McBride threw for 156 yards and three interceptions, while Baylor’s Gerry Bohanon threw for 148 yards. Offensively, Texas State couldn’t get anything going which led to various second-half punts and an inability to push the ball down the field.
It was Baylor’s rushing attack that thrashed the Bobcats throughout multiple possessions, with two rushers on the Bears running for nearly 120 yards each. The rushing attack offensively, combined with the Bears’ ability to create turnovers led to their nine-point win against the Maroon and Gold.
Though the Bobcats didn’t have the best performance defensively, Spavital places the blame on the offense’s inability to sustain drives, thus placing a worn-out defensive unit on the field more than they need to be.
“It goes back to the offense,” Spavital said. “They (the defense) are worn out.”
Texas State will look to bounce back on both sides of the football against FIU next week. They’ll take on the Golden Panthers at 6 p.m. at Riccardo Silva Stadium. The broadcast will be available on ESPN+.