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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

Texas State unable to overcome late-game miscues suffer first conference loss

Meg Boles
Texas State freshman wide receiver Brandon Treggs (29) scores a touchdown, Saturday, Sept. 16, 2023, at Bobcat Stadium.

With three second-half touchdowns and a blocked punt, Louisiana-Lafayette (4-2, 1-1 Sun Belt Conference) defeated Texas State (4-2, 1-1 Sun Belt Conference) Saturday afternoon at Cajun Field, handing Texas State its first conference loss of the season and second overall.

“All we can do is get back to work, learn from it,” Texas State Head Coach G.J. Kinne said. “We have a good football team, and there is a lot of football ahead of us. We let this one slip away. All we can do is go back to work.”

Louisiana-Lafayette entered the second half trailing the Bobcats 20-14.

Freshman quarterback Zeon Chriss went 13-17 with 205 passing yards and three touchdowns through the air. Chriss also led the rushing attack for Louisiana-Lafayette, racking up 67 yards on 12 carries and scoring the go-ahead touchdown late in the fourth quarter to secure the 34-30 victory.

Chriss threw to three different receivers for touchdowns. Redshirt sophomore wide receiver Robert Williams led the Ragin’ Cajuns with five catches. Chriss found Williams midway through the fourth quarter to make the score 30-28. Louisiana-Lafayette finished with 423 yards of total offense.

The Ragin’ Cajuns special team’s unit blocked a Texas State punt with under five minutes remaining in regulation, setting up the game-winning score.

Texas State finished with 530 yards of offense.

Redshirt sophomore quarterback T.J. Finley was 30-40 with 326 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. The 30-completion game is Finley’s best of the season. He found Texas State’s leading receiver, junior Joey Hobert, eight times, including a second-half touchdown.

“I thought they played really well. T.J. put the ball [on the receivers]. Sean Shaw had some big catches. I thought they executed pretty well,” Kinne said.

Sophomore running back Ismail Mahdi carried the ball a season-high 34 times for 188 yards and scored one touchdown. Mahdi’s touchdown on Saturday extends his season total to eight, leading the Texas State team. Saturday was Mahdi’s second 100-yard rushing game of the season.

“[Mahdi] is a warrior. He got banged up a little bit, and he came back in the game and played well. Really proud of him,” Kinne said.

Texas State redshirt sophomore kicker Mason Shipley was 3-3 on field goals.

“I thought the O-line played well. T.J. played well. The receivers played well. We just got to execute when we get down in the red zone,” Kinne said.

Texas State will look to regroup from the loss as it returns to San Marcos for a three-game homestand beginning with the University of Louisiana-Monroe (2-2, 0-1 Sun Belt Conference).

Kickoff between Texas State and Louisiana-Monroe is scheduled for 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 14, 2023, at Bobcat Stadium. The game will be available to stream on ESPN+.

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