Texas State set a school record Saturday night with 697 total yards in the 65-0 victory against the Arkansas-Pine Bluff Golden Lions.
Coach Dennis Franchione is 5-1 all-time in season openers with the Bobcats.
The Bobcats scored on the team’s first eight possessions of the game, with seven touchdowns.
"I was proud of our guys,” Franchione said. “I asked them for four quarters of effort, intensity, focus and physical play. I felt like we got that.”
Arkansas-Pine Bluff players said they would hold Texas State to 14 points or fewer in their media day session. Rob Lowe, junior running back, had a different plan in mind.
“Coach Franchione said to talk with our actions,” Lowe said. “We didn’t want to stoop to their level. We just didn’t want to go down to that level. We play with class all the time.”
Lowe accounted for 150 of the Bobcats’ 378 total rushing yards. Lowe scored the team’s fourth touchdown, while adding a 51-yard run that set up a four-yard touchdown from Terrance Franks, senior running back.
Jafus Gaines, junior wide receiver, set career-highs in receiving yards (119) and touchdowns (2) in the victory.
Gaines played seven games last season before breaking his foot. He redshirted his freshman year and spent time as receiver and kick returning specialist his second year.
“I didn’t get discouraged,” Gaines said. “I stayed positive, because I knew one day my time would come and I guess today was that day. Those were my first two touchdowns, ever, in college football so it was very exciting.”
Gaines bobbled his first collegiate touchdown, nearly dropping the ball in the end zone.
“I saw the ball,” Gaines said. “I knew [Tyler] Jones was coming to me because we made eye contact, and the only thing I could think of was ‘if I drop this ball, I’m gonna be in trouble,’ so I didn’t want to disappoint anybody. I concentrated hard, I made sure I made the catch all the way through.”
The transition to the Bobcats’ up-tempo offense was a natural one for Gaines, who played a spread offense in high school.
David Mayo, senior linebacker, forced an Arkansas-Pine Bluff fumble in the second quarter, setting up Gaines’ second touchdown with 13 seconds left in the first half. Mayo led the team in tackles with 8.5.
Coach Dennis Franchione targeted 70-80 plays per game in the preseason. The offense held the ball for 27 minutes, accumulating 697 total yards on 80 plays.
Tyler Jones, sophomore quarterback, finished with 278 passing yards and four passing touchdowns, both career-highs. He was replaced by Connor White, freshman quarterback, in the third quarter, when the Bobcats held a 51-point lead.
“We just tried to come together as a team and run this offense,” Jones said. “It was a lot of first time for a lot of first guys, a lot of new guys going out there and playing and I thought we looked pretty good for the most part. I think this was definitely a statement.”
Texas State’s next opponent is Navy on Sept. 13, following their bye week.