- By Keff Ciardello American-Statesman Correspondent
Texas State emerged from its home opener victorious Saturday night, beating Texas Southern 36-20.
The Bobcats (1-1) were 33-point favorites, but head coach Everett Withers said he was satisfied with the win.
“I’m always satisfied with winning,” Withers said. “Florida got beat by Kentucky today. Florida State is losing to Samford right now (the Seminoles went on to win, however, 36-26). I’m always satisfied with winning. It is difficult to win at the collegiate level.”
Texas State got on the board with a 36-yard field goal by James Sherman, on the Bobcats’ first drive of the game.
A 30-minute weather delay followed with 7:33 remaining in the first quarter. After the delay, Sherman gave the Bobcats a 6-0 lead with his second field goal — this one from 35 yards.
The offense scored its first touchdown of the season halfway through the second quarter when Willie Jones III found Kennen Brown for a 46-yard scoring pass. It was the first collegiate touchdown for Jones and the second longest pass of his career (he had a 49-yard completion at Louisiana-Lafayette last season). It was also the first collegiate score for Brown, a graduate transfer from Oklahoma State.
Sherman hit a career-long 41-yard field goal with 16 seconds left in the half, giving the Bobcats a 16-0 lead at halftime. He came right back and matched that career-long kick, hitting another 41-yarder on Texas State’s first drive of the second half, giving the Bobcats a 19-0 advantage.
Senior safety A.J. Krawczyk set a school record with an 82-yard fumble return for a touchdown and junior linebacker Bryan London II forced the fumble, his second of the game. He led the Bobcats in tackles for the second week in a row with nine, including 1.5 for a loss.
“It always feels good to win, but we all know that we didn’t do it in the fashion we should have,” London said. “We didn’t execute as good as we wanted to. You appreciate the win but now we need to get back to work.”
Sophomore wide receiver Tren’Davian Dickson caught two touchdowns to get Texas Southern on the board — a 75-yard bomb in the third quarter and an 11-yarder in the fourth — and bring them to within 12 points.
Texas State responded with a score on its next drive — a 1-yard run by Anthony D. Taylor to take a 33-14 lead. A 25-yard pass to Brown, then a 31-yard completion by freshman receiver TJ Graham set up the score for Taylor.
Texas Southern answered with a 16-yard touchdown reception from Chris Long that was set up by a 49-yard catch by Dickson. Dickson finished the game with seven catches for 159 yards and two touchdowns.
Sherman hit his fifth field goal, tying a school record, with three minutes left, cementing the final score.