Texas State played on the wrong side of a blowout Saturday, losing to Houston 68-28, as one quarterback broke his school passing record, and another made his team debut.
Texas State’s starter Tim Hawkins, sophomore quarterback, was on a short rope and alternated drives with Tyler Arndt, freshman quarterback, after an ineffective first drive. Coach Brad Wright is still unsure of who his starting quarterback is despite Hawkins not playing in the second half.
“We are going to play both quarterbacks, and that’s what we’re going to do,” Wright said. “For the time being, for what’s going to happen from this point on, I can’t say.”
Hawkins, who was 1-for-9 with two interceptions, was identified as the starter during the offseason. It was little surprise to the fans, however, to see him benched after a shaky start to give the highly-touted freshman a chance. Arndt, 14-for-22 with one passing touchdown and two rushing touchdowns, did little to disappoint on the next drive, leading the Bobcats down the field 80 yards and scored their first touchdown of the season on a 14-yard run.
“Honestly, I don’t even remember how Tim played,” Wright said. “All I can remember is a whole bunch of touchdowns being scored, and they were on offense and defense and special teams — about every way you can possibly score.”
Houston scored on six passes, three runs and one interception return. Houston quarterback Case Keenum, though he only played the first half, had five touchdowns, 274 yards and two interceptions. Keenum broke Houston’s records for passing completion (1,098) and yards (13,179). The Cougars used 10 receivers and six different ball carriers throughout the game.
“We kind of came out a little wide-eyed, a little starry-eyed,” Wright said. “I have not seen that team we showed up with tonight, honestly.”
Keenum passed to receiver James Cleveland for a touchdown with Houston ahead 27-7 in the second quarter. Keenum did so again 11 seconds later to receiver Kierrie Johnson, giving his team a 27-point lead.
“They’re a good football team, and obviously, we couldn’t duplicate the speed that they had, but they’re not that much better than us,” Wright said. “We didn’t tackle anybody. Obviously, that makes it tough.”
Most of the Bobcats’ scoring came late in the third quarter and in the fourth after Houston pulled most of its starters. Arndt and Frank Reddic, sophomore running back, added to the score with rushing touchdowns.
“There were good plays on both sides of the ball, on special teams, and that’s a step in the right direction,” Wright said. “It’s unfortunate that we came out and played the way we did, but there are positives, and we are going to build on the positives.”
DaMarcus Griggs, senior wide receiver, had six catches and 85 yards in the game. Karrington Bush, senior running back, recorded 19 rushes and 91 yards. Brian Lilly, sophomore linebacker, and T.P. Miller, senior safety, both had an interception.