Chaotic third quarter dooms Bobcats in loss


Kate Connors

Sophomore quarterback Tyler Vitt, (11), pushes his way through Warhawk defenders during the fourth quarter Oct. 10 against Louisiana-Monroe at Bobcat Stadium.

Colton McWilliams, Sports Reporter

In a turn of events that has become routine for many Bobcat fans, the Texas State offense failed to show up and battle in a 31-3 loss to Louisiana-Lafayette in Lafayette on Saturday.

Despite trailing 10-3 at halftime, the Cajuns scored 21 unanswered points in the second half while the Texas State offense managed just 157 yards of offense and two interceptions en route to the 31-3 blowout loss.

The game drops the Bobcats’ record to 2-6 and 1-3 in conference play.

Head coach Jake Spavital said that he is most frustrated with the offense’s lack of recovery and failure to learn from their repeat mistakes.

“(The offense) see the mistakes that they are making,” Spavital said. “I’m going to talk to these kids right now and it’s really nothing new that they haven’t heard, but (in) the third quarter you can’t give up 21 points like that and be able to stop momentum swings.”

He said that swings in momentum for the opposing team are the most important thing to tackle right now if they are to fight for bowl eligibility and another conference win.

The first quarter was a defensive slugfest between the two teams. Both defenses refused to give an inch to the opposing team and both offenses didn’t gain more than 36 yards on each of their drives.

The Cajuns finally broke through late in the second quarter as Lafayette running back Elijah Mitchell ran 39 yards for the first touchdown of the game to put the Cajuns up 7-0.

The Bobcat offense responded to the Cajun touchdown with a drive of their own as Texas State drove deep into Lafayette territory to the 15-yard line. However, the Cajun defense held firm and forced the Bobcats to kick a 33-yard field goal by Justin Rowland and leave the score at 7-3.

Just before halftime, the Cajuns were able to put together a successful drive into Bobcat territory. Before the clock expired, Louisiana kicked a 46-yard field goal by Stevie Artigue to extend the lead to 10-3.

After receiving the kickoff to start the second half, the Cajuns scored after Levi Lewis found Nick Ralston for the 24-yard touchdown pass to extend the lead to 17-3.

The Bobcats responded to the Cajun touchdown with a successful drive that saw Texas State near a second half touchdown. However, an interception off of a pass from sophomore quarterback Tyler Vitt ended any hope of any Bobcat touchdown.

The turnover proved costly as the Cajuns turned the interception into 7 points with a 24-yard touchdown from Lafayette running back Chris Smith to put Lafayette up 24-3.

After the Bobcats were forced to punt on the very next drive, Lewis hit Raymond Calasis for a 34-yard touchdown to put the score at 31-3 and solidify the win for Louisiana-Lafayette.

Texas State finished the game with 264 yards of offense. Vitt threw for 206 yards on 36 attempts with no touchdowns and two interceptions. The running game failed to reach over 100 yards rushing as the Bobcats ran for just 58 yards of offense with Vitt running for 38 yards.

Despite giving up 21 points in the third quarter, the defense played another exceptional game, holding the Cajuns to just 10 points through three quarters.

“I still think the defense is playing well,” Spavital said. “That’s a good team that we just played, one of the better rushing teams in the country. I’m still pleased on how the defense played. Those kids play till there are zeroes on the clock.”

Texas State returns home for a final chance at bowl eligibility in a matchup against South Alabama for Homecoming on Saturday.

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