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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

Bobcats erase 17-point deficit to earn best start in a decade

Texas+State+redshirt+junior+quarterback+Malik+Hornsby+%284%29+scores+a+touchdown+against+Nevada%2C+Friday%2C+Sept.+24%2C+2023%2C+at+Bobcat+Stadium.++
Kobe Arriaga
Texas State redshirt junior quarterback Malik Hornsby (4) scores a touchdown against Nevada, Friday, Sept. 24, 2023, at Bobcat Stadium.

It was a tale of two halves as Texas State football (3-1) struggled in the first two quarters with costly turnovers to put them down 17-0 but mounted a comeback in the second half to secure the 35-24 win against the University of Nevada (0-4) Saturday night at Bobcat Stadium.

Texas State redshirt sophomore quarterback T.J. Finley threw a 98-yard pick-six to redshirt freshman defensive back K.K. Meier in the first quarter to give the Wolf Pack a 10-0 lead. The Nevada defense also came up with two fourth-down stops in the second quarter to keep Texas State off the board in the first half.

The Bobcats returned to the field and scored 35 unanswered points in the second half, presenting the program’s largest comeback in FBS history. A 25-yard touchdown pass from Finley to junior wide receiver Joey Hobert started the run.

“He [T.J. Finley] had some bad things go down, and he was able to bounce back and put the ball where it needed to be,” Texas State head coach G.J. Kinne said. “I think he showed a lot of maturity tonight.”

Finley finished the game with 295 passing yards and two touchdown passes.

Sophomore running back Ismail Mahdi had his best performance in a Bobcat uniform, rushing for 216 yards on 21 carries with two touchdowns. Madhi averaged 10.3 yards per carry.

“Huge props to the offensive line [for] making holes for me,” Mahdi said. “All I had to do was hit them and run fast.”

Texas State struggled to contain Nevada redshirt sophomore quarterback Brendon Lewis. Lewis led the Wolf Pack in rushing with 89 yards. He also went 21-32 for 151 passing yards with no touchdowns and an interception.

Saturday’s victory marks Texas State’s first ever win against Nevada and makes Kinne the first Texas State head coach to achieve a 3-1 record to start a season since Dennis Franchione in 2013.

Texas State will now go on the road to begin conference play in its first out-of-state game against the University of Southern Mississippi (1-3), where it will aim to continue its winning streak.

Kickoff between Texas State and Southern Mississippi is scheduled for 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 30, at M.M. Roberts Stadium in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. The game will be available to stream on ESPN+.

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