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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 secures bowl game eligibility in win against Georgia Southern

Kobe Arriaga
Texas State junior tight end Konner Fox celebrates in the end zone after scoring a touchdown versus Georgia Southern, Saturday, Nov. 4, 2023, at Bobcat Stadium.

Redshirt sophomore quarterback T.J. Finley accounted for five touchdowns to help Texas State (6-3, 3-2 Sun Belt Conference) secure a 45-24 bowl game eligibility win against Georgia Southern University (6-3, 3-2 Sun Belt Conference) Saturday at Bobcat Stadium.

The Bobcats got off to a slow start with a fumble that led to an Eagles touchdown, putting Texas State down 10-7 at the end of the first quarter. However, they rebounded from the early miscue by going on a scoring tear in the second quarter.

Finley first threw a short touchdown to redshirt junior tight end Konner Fox to give the Bobcats a 14-10 lead. With 3:41 left in the quarter, Finley found sophomore wide receiver Kole Wilson on an eight-yard touchdown pass. With 2:04 left, redshirt sophomore kicker Mason Shipley kicked a 31-yard field goal, and to finish the half, Finley ran in a touchdown with 42 seconds remaining to increase the lead to 31-10.

“I thought T.J. played extremely well tonight,” Texas State Head Coach G.J. Kinne said. “When he plays like that, he can take over a game. Really fortunate to have him here.”

The Bobcat defense also had an outstanding performance as they got two crucial fourth-down stops and an interception by redshirt senior linebacker Brian Holloway. They also set a new FBS school record with 73 tackles for loss on the season.

The defense’s only misfortune was allowing Georgia Southern senior running back Jalen White to rush for 159 yards on 17 carries and two touchdowns.

“That’s a dynamic offense. That run game; those receivers, those are some of the best in the league,” Kinne said. “We got after the quarterback affected him, turned the ball over and that’s what we were trying to do.”

Texas State junior wide receiver Joey Hobert finished with 141 receiving yards on 13 receptions and one touchdown pass. He is now tied with junior wide receiver Ashtyn Hawkins for the most receptions in a single game in program history.

The win gives Texas State bowl game eligibility for the first time since 2014. Since moving up to Division I, the Bobcats have never been selected to play in a bowl game.

“That’s why they hired me; that’s why I had this job circled,” Kinne said. “I know what this place can be. Just really proud of everyone involved and thankful for the opportunity.”

Texas State will turn its focus on back-to-back road games, beginning with Coastal Carolina University (6-3, 4-2 Sun Belt Conference).

Kickoff between Texas State and Coastal Carolina is scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 11, 2023, at Brooks Stadium in Conway, South Carolina. The game will be available to stream on ESPN+.

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