Texas State football fell four points short Sept. 22 against the University of Texas at San Antonio Road Runners during the H-E-B I-35 rivalry game at the Alamodome.
A punt from UTSA’s Yanni Routsas pinned Texas State down to its own two-yard line late in the fourth. Texas State’s decision to run true freshman quarterback Tyler Vitt in this instance ultimately hammered the final nail in the coffin for the game, which brings the Bobcats to 1-3 overall and 0-1 in conference play.
Starting quarterback Willie Jones III was taken out of the game during his second drive early in the first quarter and was replaced by redshirt freshman Jaylen Gipson. The coaching staff did not clarify why Jones was taken out. Gipson was only in for a drive and was then replaced by true freshman Tyler Vitt, who finished the game and completed 68 percent of his passes and threw for 192 yards on the night with two scores in the air and one on the ground.
Head Coach Everett Withers said the decision to put Vitt in was prompted by his experience.
“We just felt like we wanted to go with a guy that maybe had played a few more snaps and Tyler had played a few more snaps than Jaylen and so we felt like Tyler had the best opportunity for us to move the ball and win the game,” Withers said.
Withers also had punter Clayton Stewart attempt a field goal during the game when two weeks previous kicker James Sherman tied a program record for field goals converted with five total field goals. When asked about the personnel decision Withers said the decision was prompted after the performance and low kicks.
“Because he (Sherman) has kicked a number of kicks low when we’ve gone for field goals, we were looking for somebody who could get the ball up,” Withers said.
Oklahoma State graduate transfer Keenan Brown said the team will remember the game, but not for long, as the focus moves to the next opponents, which will be the Louisiana Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns on Oct. 6.
“Well, we have to have this 24-hour rule, so we have this feeling for the next 24 hours and next thing you know we have to focus on them,” Brown said.
Junior linebacker Bryan London II said he took this loss personally because UTSA is just down the road.
“When we’re 40 minutes (apart), I take it personally,” London said. “It’s football, you want to win.”
Overall, Withers said he believed the team battled and is close to being able to pull away from teams.
“(The) kids played hard,” Withers said. “(I’m) really proud of the way, after South Alabama last week and not getting home until about 6 in the morning and struggling early during the week, these kids fought their asses off.”
Withers said he and the team will use the current bye week to correct what went wrong and polish what they do right.
“You can take the things that we did well and enhance them and the things we didn’t do well and try to fix them,” Withers said. “We’re (at) week four in the season now and we have a bye week. We’re kind of at that quarter pole of the season, so now let’s try and fix some of those things. Last two weeks, no-one has beaten us, we’ve beaten ourselves.”