Texas State faced Georgia State this weekend in Atlanta, Georgia, for their first Sun Belt Conference contest of the 2016 season.
The Bobcats came out strong and scored a pair of first quarter touchdowns to build a 14-0 lead. Within the first nine minutes of the game Tyler Jones had completed 10 of 12 passes for 113 yards, a touchdown completion to Eric Luna, and a rushing touchdown of his own. The defense got stops and forced turnovers; the hard fought lessons learned during non-conference play seemed to come to fruition as Texas State was dominating early in the Georgia Dome.
As time continued to tick off of the clock, and the second quarter progressed, Georgia State first clawed, then slashed, their way back into the game. Georgia State quarterback Conner Manning lead the counter-attack by completing 27 of 40 passes for 340 yards, 2 passing touchdowns and a single rushing touchdown. He was assisted by running back Kyler Neal who tallied a touchdown and 89 yards rushing off of 13 touches, and Robert Davis, their leading receiver, who reeled in 9 receptions for 149 yards and a touchdown.
After the promising start, Texas State allowed 34 unanswered points and struggled to find an offensive rhythm until a late second half effort involving another Jones rushing touchdown followed shortly by a forced fumble and turnover by defense’s Javante O’Roy. O’Roy lead the team with 9 solo and 15 total tackles on the afternoon.
While they showed early potential for an explosive offense, and made big time stops in crucial situations on defense; O’Roy’s impressive production along with Tyler Jones completing 27 of 47 passes for 300 yards even, 2 interceptions and 3 total touchdowns did not give the Bobcats enough momentum to surmount the Georgia State 41-21 advantage.
Texas State now sits at 2-3 overall with a conference record of 0-1. They visit the University of Louisiana-Monroe next Saturday, October 15th, for their second conference game of the season at 6:00pm.