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The University Star




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The University Star

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Bobcats unable to overcome turnovers, lose homecoming showdown to Trojans

Texas+State+sophomore+running+back+Ismail+Mahdi+%2821%29+carries+the+ball+down+the+field%2C+Saturday%2C+Oct.+28%2C+at+Bobcat+Stadium.+
Meg Boles
Texas State sophomore running back Ismail Mahdi (21) carries the ball down the field, Saturday, Oct. 28, at Bobcat Stadium.

Two interceptions and two fumbles were the downfall for Texas State (5-3, 2-2 Sun Belt Conference) in its defeat against Troy University (6-2, 3-1 Sun Belt Conference) 31-13. This game marks the Bobcats’ first home loss of the season.

Texas State led the game in total yards of offense at 437 and is the first team to allow the Trojans more than 400 yards of offense this season. The Bobcat defense slowed down junior running back Kimani Vida, who is third in the nation in rushing yards. The Trojans only had 28 rushing yards, the lowest number of rush yards the Bobcats have allowed this season.

Troy senior quarterback Gunnar Watson took matters into his own hands by throwing for 392 yards with three passing touchdowns and one on the ground. Junior wide receiver Jabre Barber was his favorite target on the night, as he finished with 10 receptions for 160 yards and one touchdown.

“Sometimes when you have to stop the run, the passing game will be more vulnerable, and I thought we were there for the most part,” Texas State Head Coach G.J. Kinne said. “I thought when the ball was in the air at times, ‘We just have to finish better.’”

Texas State redshirt sophomore quarterback T.J. Finley threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to junior wide receiver Ashtyn Hawkins on the game’s opening drive, but the Bobcats could not find the end zone for the remainder of the night. Finley finished with 262 passing yards with one touchdown and two interceptions, along with a fumble.

Sophomore running back Ismail Mahdi finished with 20 carries for 128 yards. He is now sixth in the country in yards per carry, averaging 7.24. Saturday’s game is also the third time this season Mahdi has had over 100 yards rushing.

“You can’t move the ball that well and not score points from it,” Kinne said. “We got to continue to work on those areas and put these guys in a better position.”

The Bobcats will turn their attention to Georgia Southern (6-2, 3-1 Sun Belt Conference) as they continue to seek a bowl-eligibility win.

Kickoff between Texas State and Georgia Southern is scheduled for 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 4, 2023, at Bobcat Stadium. The game will be available to stream on ESPN+.

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