I have never been a fan of moral victories. Calling for a moral victory is like wearing ducky-floaties in the pool to prevent you from drowning or riding a bicycle with training wheels to keep you from falling. It’s like crying over spilled milk or listening to Creed over Aerosmith.
Moral victories attempt to steal the joy from winning and rid the lessons learned from a loss.
Moral victories are reserved for losers.
Moral victories don’t count.
The Bobcats lost to Louisiana Tech University Saturday night 62-55 in what can and should be described as the most entertaining game in Texas State history. The game produced more than 100 points, 1,200 yards, 170 plays, 11 lead changes—all this in the duration of
Texas State scored three touchdowns more against Tech than the Bobcats’ previous game high in 2012. The team racked up over 200 yards more than its season per game average. The Bobcats converted on third downs 60 percent of the time, had their highest first down total of the season (31) and did not turn the ball over for only the second time this year.
They were about as balanced as possible: passing for 281 yards and rushing for 296, giving them a 49/51 pass/rush ratio. All of which came against an 8-1 team, who was ranked as high as 18th in the country. They had Texas A&M University on the ropes until the bitter end and the Aggies just beat the No. 1 team in the country on the road.
Maybe they can count this one as a moral victory (just this once).
Maybe Texas State did not lose the game as much as Louisiana Tech just flat out won it.
The Bobcats can take off the floaties and turn up Aerosmith because on Saturday night Texas State looked more like FBS material than ever before. Yes, they beat the University of Houston and hung around for a couple of quarters with the likes of University of Nevada-Reno and San Jose State University.
But they played a full 60 minutes of action against one of the top non-BCS college football programs in the United States of America. They were just a couple of missed opportunities away from the biggest and most electrifying win (cough…upset…cough) in school history.
Before turning it to “Dream On,” let’s go ahead and take a glass-half-full approach here. Never have I seen a Bobcat team compete, scrap and claw its way back into a game in the second half like Saturday. Never have I seen a Texas State team cause the opposing coach to say the word “worry” in his post game press conference.
Normally a program who has dropped three straight games in a row and five of its last six would be suffering from heart and organ failure. However, with an impressive showing against the WAC favorite, the EKG Machine is beeping more vibrantly.
Broken for the Bobcats in matchups against Nevada, San Jose State and New Mexico were the concepts of finishing games, playing all 60 minutes and making momentum-swinging plays in major conference contests. All of these were accomplished against the Bulldogs, proving the Bobcats have made significant strides in their first (and last) season in the WAC.
Now, there is still much work to be done. Three games remain for the Bobcats but all of them are very winnable. Ending the season on a three-game win streak would mean many positive things for the Bobcats but specifically it would don them a 6-6 record, which would make them bowl eligible.
Who knows if Texas State would be selected for the post-season. Certainly, taking down Louisiana Tech sure would have helped its extremely slight cause. Houston is not as big of a victory as it was in the early weeks of the season. But at least they are playing a schedule that qualifies them for a bowl, unlike the Bobcat’s neighbors down south I-35.
Texas State officially qualifies for a moral victory, mainly because its loss could have an impact on the future of the Bobcats. The loss could ignite a strong finish and get the momentum rolling into 2013. This past game could help draw more than 17,000 “reported” fans in future home games.
It could be that Nov. 10, 2012 will go down as the day Texas State earned its greatest loss ever.
Take it or leave it. However weird that sounds, it is a game worth remembering, one that will leave “Sweet Emotions” to the fans who were there to witness.
Twitter: @ jbrewer32