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The University Star




The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

Bobcat football chokes double-digit lead, winless on road

Texas+State+junior+kicker+Seth+Keller+%286%29+kicks+the+ball+to+score+a+field+goal+during+a+game+against+the+University+of+Louisiana-Monroe%2C+Saturday%2C+Nov.+5%2C+2022%2C+at+Malone+Stadium.+The+Bobcats+lost+31-30.

Texas State junior kicker Seth Keller (6) kicks the ball to score a field goal during a game against the University of Louisiana-Monroe, Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022, at Malone Stadium. The Bobcats lost 31-30.

Bobcat football (3-6, 1-4 Sun Belt Conference) remains winless on the road despite leading by three touchdowns in the first quarter against Louisiana-Monroe (3-6, 2-3 Sun Belt Conference) on Nov. 5. 
The Warhawks retaliated by outscoring the Bobcats 17-3 after trailing, which cut the Texas State lead to seven at halftime.
The Warhawks went on to outscore the Bobcats 14-6 for the remaining two quarters, and after a crucial field goal attempt on the final drive that would have reclaimed the lead for Texas State was missed, ULM walked out of Malone Stadium with a 31-30 comeback victory.
Head coach Jake Spavital said forced turnovers played a large factor in creating the early lead for the Bobcats after converting on 10 points off turnovers for the entire game.
“We get up 21-0, and we were playing some complementary football right there. We capitalized off of turnovers,” Spavital said. “In the first half, we had an opportunity to go in with a pretty good lead and capitalize off of it, but we couldn’t run the ball on third-and-one.”
Texas State started the game out strong both defensively and offensively. The defense was active, forcing sacks and turnovers which led to two touchdown passes from junior quarterback Layne Hatcher and a three-yard rushing touchdown for sophomore running back Lincoln Pare in the first quarter.
The Warhawks began finding a rhythm after the first quarter concluded, making up a 75-yard drive to open up the second quarter which resulted in the first touchdown of the game for ULM.
Each team traded field goals halfway through the quarter, and sophomore quarterback Chandler Rodgers recorded his second touchdown of the game off a 46-yard pass caught by senior wide receiver Tyrone Howell. The pass made it 24-17 at halftime. 
The Bobcats were forced to attempt a field goal again, which was good to extend the lead to 27-17 early in the third quarter.
After an early mistake for the Warhawks resulted in a field goal attempt for the Bobcats, Louisiana-Monroe stayed persistent and forced a turnover on downs during the next defensive possession.
“We get another turnover immediately on a kickoff, and we can’t run it on fourth-and-one,” Spavital said. “That’s the right call right there to go for it [on fourth down], but we probably need to go to another play because we’re not establishing the line of scrimmage.”
Spavital made the decision to go for it on fourth-and-one, resulting in an unsuccessful rush for Pare. This gave the ball back to ULM who managed to convert it into big points after Rodgers connected on a touchdown pass to Howell, making the score 27-24.
After another field goal by the Bobcats increased the lead to 30-24, a 13-play drive by ULM ended in a rushing touchdown by junior running back Malik Jackson. With 10 minutes left in the game, the Warhawks had a 31-30 lead. 
The Bobcats managed to put together a crucial stop with less than two minutes to go in the game after senior inside linebacker Sione Tupou was able to force a fumble that got recovered by Texas State, which appeared to set up the final game-winning drive.
After a series of rushes by Pare, the Bobcats were in prime field position to win the game with a field goal by junior kicker Seth Keller.
After three straight field goal attempts for Keller were made in the game, the fourth, which was a potential game-winning kick, resulted in a wide kick that was no good in the final seconds of the game.
Even though a field goal would’ve won the game for the Bobcats, Spavital defended his kicker.
“We had a chance at the end, and Seth Keller misses a field goal. He’s probably one of the more consistent guys we’ve ever had in this program,” Spavital said. “That game is not lost by him. I want to make that clear.”
Spavital said it was overall a tough loss, but he believes that his players will gather together and pull through to be prepared for the next game.
“That’s the nature of the program we’ve created,” Spavital said. “They will show up and they will keep fighting.”
The loss is the Bobcats’ third straight, and the team has not won a game on the road all season.
Texas State will face South Alabama at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 12, at Hancock Whitney Stadium in Mobile, Alabama.

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