When the number one rushing offense in the country competes against a team who ranks number 123 in rushing defense, things can get out of hand.
That is how the game went on Thursday night for the Bobcats when they faced off against Georgia Southern.
The Texas State football team allowed the Eagles to rush for 503 yards in the 37-13 loss on the road in Statesboro, Georgia.
Texas State hung around in the first half. The team recovered three fumbles from the Eagles.
However, they could not take advantage of the opportunities given to them, only converting those three turnovers into three points.
“I thought the defense played well,” said senior running back Robert Lowe. “They got us the ball back a couple of times and I wish we were able to take advantage of those opportunities, but I know we didn’t and that is where we need to get better.”
The Bobcats did not execute offensively like they had hoped, but the score was 14-6 going into halftime after Georgia Southern fumbled on Texas State’s four-yard line to prevent another Eagles scoring drive.
Momentum shifted toward Texas State after the turnover and Coach Dennis Franchione said the team did a great job hanging around in the first half.
Georgia Southern received the ball to start the second half. The Eagles drove down the field on a 10-play, 75-yard drive to steal back momentum.
A response was needed by Texas State in order to stay in the game.
The Bobcats started with a seven-yard pass to Ryan Carden, senior tight end, which turned into a 22-yard gain after an unsportsmanlike penalty on the Eagles.
The penalty set the team up on midfield. Six plays later, Tyler Jones, junior quarterback, found Jafus Gaines, senior wide receiver, in the end zone for a 23-yard touchdown. That would be the only touchdown scored by the Bobcats this game.
Jones’ pass kept the game alive as the Bobcats trailed 21-13 with 7:59 remaining in the third quarter. Lowe said the team was very close to taking over at that point and they just needed to take the game one play at a time.
Anything could have happened at that point. But everything happened for Georgia Southern and nothing for Texas State.
After the Bobcats brought it up to eight points, Georgia Southern took over.
The Eagles running game kicked into high-gear and ran the ball 27 times and passed once for the remainder of the game.
Those 27 carries turned into 213 yards rushing.
The Eagles were led by a four-headed rushing attack: their top three running backs and the quarterback.
Matt Breida, Eagles junior running back, led the team in rushing with 205 rushing yards and two touchdowns. He leads the conference in rushing yards with 1,163 this season.
Wesley Fields, Eagles freshman running back, pulled out his career-high performance this game. Fields carried the ball nine times for 158 yards while scoring one touchdown and put Demetrius Woodard, Bobcats’ senior safety, in the dust on a spin move for a 38-yard touchdown.
Fields’ longest run on the night went for 64-yards, a career high.
Texas State will attempt to rebound next Saturday against New Mexico State in the Bobcat Stadium in San Marcos.
New Mexico State is riding a 17-game losing streak dating back to last season.
This game will mark the beginning of three straight home games.
“We definitely got to win our home games,” Lowe said. “That’s on our turf and I feel like we have a good little stretch that we can go on right now, regroup and come back on Sunday and get everything right.”