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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

Arkansas State defeats Texas State for worst loss in program history

Meg Boles
Texas State junior wide receiver Joey Hobert (10) runs with the ball after the catch against Troy, Saturday, Oct. 28, 2023, at Bobcat Stadium.

Texas State football (6-5, 3-4 Sun Belt Conference) was defeated by Arkansas State University (6-5, 4-3 Sun Belt Conference) 77-31 Saturday afternoon at Centennial Bank Stadium in Jonesboro, Arkansas.

“Obviously a disappointing loss. Disappointing the way we played and disappointing the way we coached, which falls on me,” Texas State Head Coach G.J. Kinne said. “Today, we just didn’t play up to our standard on either side of the ball or on special teams.”

Redshirt sophomore running back Ja’Quez Cross led the Red Wolves’ scoring attack with three touchdowns on 13 carries for 139 rushing yards. Redshirt junior running back Zak Wallace and freshman running back Cedric Wallace each added two scores on the ground.

Along with seven rushing touchdowns, the Red Wolves also had three defensive scores and a kickoff return. The 77 points is the most a Texas State team has ever given up in program history. Saturday also marked the first time an opponent has scored on the Bobcats on offense, defense and special teams in a single game since 2017.

“We got to get better as coaches,” Kinne said. “We got to get better doing what you’re coached to do. Injuries are part of it, so [I’m] never going to blame it there. I thought that we did some good things. Just the third down defense is just not where it needs to be.”

Texas State redshirt sophomore quarterback T.J. Finley went 37-55 for 366 yards and three touchdowns. Finley connected with sophomore wide receiver Kole Wilson for two touchdowns and junior wide receiver Joey Hobert for one. Finley also had two interceptions, both of which led to Arkansas State scores.

Junior wide receiver Ashtyn Hawkins led the Bobcats with 165 receiving yards on eight receptions. Sophomore running back Ismail Mahdi carried the ball 17 times for 62 yards and a touchdown. Mahdi’s touchdown on Saturday makes him the single-season record holder for rushing touchdowns in the FBS era for Texas State.

The win gives Arkansas State bowl-game eligibility. Texas State is 0-2 since becoming bowl-eligible. Saturday also marks the first time the Bobcats have lost back-to-back games in the Kinne era.

Texas State will close out the regular season this Saturday against South Alabama at Bobcat Stadium on senior night as it still looks to clinch its first bowl game bid in program history.

“You’re going to look at yourself and see what you could do better. But ultimately, I’m the head coach. I got to do a better job,” Kinne said. “And that’s what I told the team afterward: I have to do a better job, and we got to find a way to come back and play together for these seniors.”

Kickoff between Texas State and South Alabama is scheduled for 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 25, at Bobcat Stadium. The game will be available to stream on ESPN+.

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  • J

    John LNov 20, 2023 at 11:48 am

    You forgot about TJ’s fumble-6, too. And pick-6s don’t “lead” to TDs for the other team.