SAN MARCOS, Texas – The Texas State football team’s late rally fell short on Senior Day as the Bobcats lost to Georgia Southern, 38-30, Saturday at Bobcat Stadium.
Tyler Vitt threw career highs of 29 completions and 46 pass attempts for 276 yards. The Bobcats scored a pair of touchdowns on the ground, with Calvin Hill rushing for 43 yards and a touchdown, and Jahmyl Jeter running for 39 yards and a touchdown.
Ashtyn Hawkins caught nine passes for 66 yards, Javen Banks had five catches for 47 yards, and Marcell Barbee had four receptions for 63 yards. The Bobcats finished the game with a season-high 27 first downs and 354 yards on offense.
But costly mistakes by the Bobcats decided the outcome.
“This was a very frustrating loss,” said head coach Jake Spavital. “If you look at how the game played out, it was one of the more compelling games with how we were playing. But, at the end of the day, the story of this game is that we beat ourselves. You can’t have the two punt issues. There was a missed field goal. There were two targeting penalties, two holding penalties, dropped balls, bad execution on third down. That is hard to overcome.”
Both teams fought back and forth throughout the game. After Georgia Southern jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the first quarter, Texas State answered with a touchdown drive that culminated with Calvin Hill’s 13-yard run up the middle early in the second quarter to take a 7-3 lead.
The Eagles came back to score a touchdown on an option play that led to Jalen White running 19 yards down the left sideline.
Texas State appeared to have answered when Jeter took a pitch around the left side and raced 72 yards for a TD. But the play was called back because of a holding penalty. As a result, the Bobcats had to punt, and the Eagles scored another TD when Justin Tomlin threw a 48-yard TD pass to Derwin Burgess Jr. for a 17-7 advantage.
However, Texas State closed out the first half scoring 10 points to tie the score. First, Seth Keller kicked a 45-yard field goal, and Kenny Haynes blocked a punt and recovered the ball in the end zone to make the halftime score, 17-17.
In the third quarter, Georgia Southern blocked a punt, and Burgess returned the ball 20 yards for a touchdown. Texas State answered when Jeter scored on a one-yard run to tie the score at 24-24.
The Bobcats appeared to make another big play on special teams when Nick McCann blocked a field goal on Georgia Southern’s next possession. But Texas State tried to recover the ball and fumbled. The Eagles recovered and maintained possession with a new set of downs at the Bobcat 25-yard line.
Two plays later, the Eagles took a 31-24 lead when Tomlin threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Beau Johnson with 1:53 remaining in the third.
Seth Keller connected on a 33-yard field goal with 9:15 remaining in the fourth to cut the lead to four, but that would be as close as the Bobcats would get.
Georgia Southern pushed the lead to 11 when White ran five yards for a TD with 5:30 left to play
Seth Keller hit a 34-yard field goal with a minute remaining to cut the lead to eight, but the Eagles recovered the ensuing onside kick and ran out the clock.
Texas State drops to 3-7 and 2-4 in the Sun Belt, with two road games remaining at Coastal Carolina next Saturday and at Arkansas State on Nov. 27.