Texas State Set To Pummel the Other Aggies
Yes, Eric Guajardo — who would have me “fired” as a blogger for failing to expect a win by a UTSA team with what has been deemed the weakest schedule in all of FBS (Big-Time Football!) — I was wrong ["Postmarks," Nov. 26]. Well, not really. I was correct.
The Roadrunners, as their coach Larry Coker said, now have healthy “self-esteem” after jumping on Texas State early last Saturday and hanging on for a 38-31 win. Yes, Eric and his orange-clad brethren, your team finished 8-4. Enjoy. I hope that it leads to solid recruiting and thanks for reading my prattle and taking it way too seriously.
But the UTSA win was more about the Bobcats’ defensive ineptitude, special-teams errors, and bipolar offense than the Roadrunners’ gridiron prowess. Give Coker’s boys credit — they attacked early and kept at it. UTSA’s Kenny Harrison dazzled with a 79-yard punt return for a touchdown that put the Guys in Overly Bright Orange up 10-0 in the first. Then Eric Soza — the heart and the soul of the UTSA squad and a former Texas State player — ground out another solid touchdown drive for a 17-0 lead to end the first quarter. The Bobcats responded with three good drives resulting in two touchdowns and a missed field goal, but Soza responded to make it 24-14 at the half.
That’s when the Bobcats decided to lose the game. Bobcat QB Shaun Rutherford fumbled on the second offensive play of the second half, and the hole Texas State dug itself became too large to crawl out of. But they tried. Down 31-14, the Bobcats intercepted Soza on each of the Roadrunners' next drives and slowly chipped away at the lead. The Roadrunners scored once more in the fourth to seal the deal.
UTSA came into the game giddy and excited. The Bobcats were flat and played like a team that could lose to New Mexico State, which the Bleacher Report deems the fourth worst football team of all time (http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1188460-the-25-worst-college-football-programs-ever/page/23). The 1-10 Aggies will be in Bobcat Stadium this Saturday to be pummeled, spanked, scorned, and ridiculed. Bobcat coach Dennis Franchione will hail the Bobcats’ season-ending victory as a sign of good things to come for the 4-8 Texas State squad. Oddly, he’ll be right.
The Bobcats’ single year in the WAC had them playing a brutal schedule. Next year they leap to the Sun Belt where competition will include fellow newcomers 1-10 Georgia State and 2-10 South Alabama, two slacker teams UTSA beat this year. The returning Sun Belt teams are Florida Atlantic, Troy, Louisiana-Lafayette, Western Kentucky, Arkansas State, Louisiana-Monroe, and Middle Tennessee. Not shabby, but the Bobcats have a hope of being competitive enough for a winning record as they settle into FBS reality. The conference schedule hasn’t been set, but we can expect the Bobcats to lose back-to-back to Texas Tech and Wyoming in nonconference games next September. The bad news? FAU and Middle Tennessee just announced they are leaving for Conference USA in one year, so the Sun Belt may prove to be another football graveyard that Texas State wandered into. Did I mention the Texas State vs. New Mexico State game is the last WAC football game — ever? I did now.
UTSA in 2013? Look for them to be 0-4 by the start of Conference USA play with losses to New Mexico, Oklahoma State, Arizona, and the University of Houston. What a difference scheduling makes.