San Marcos, Texas – Reminiscent of the season-opener against Southern Miss, Texas State found itself deep in its own territory facing a long yardage situation, and found a way to convert. This time it was a 4th-and-25 pass to Ben Ijah, setting up the game winning 43-yard field goal for Jason Dann, as the Bobcats beat South Alabama, 33-31, Saturday night at Bobcat Stadium. With the win, Texas State is 5-3 overall and 2-2 in Sun Belt Conference play.
Texas State appeared to have made a first down at the 50-yard line with over a minute to play, orginally, but the play was called back due to offensive pass interference. After another false start, it made it 4th-and-25 from the Bobcats’ 26 yard line. Quarterback Tyler Jones rolled out and hit Ijah on the right sidelines at the Jaguar 40. Ijah then ran down to the USA 23, setting up the game winning score.
Earlier in the fourth quarter, Justin Iwuji made what was thought to be a game-clinching interception for the second straight week, this time picking off a pass and returning it 29 yards for a touchdown, helping the Texas State football team to a 27-17 lead at the time.
South Alabama, however, had other ideas, scoring two quick touchdowns, the second being a perfectly thrown 43-yard pass over the outside shoulder of receiver Danny Woodson, just past Bobcat cornerback Craig Mager, to take a 31-30 lead with 1:32 to go in regulation.
Ryan Carden made the big impact early on for Texas State, rewarding the coaching staff for giving him his first career start. His 10-yard touchdown catch from Tyler Jones on the opening drive was just his second reception of the year and it was the first of the touchdown variety in his career.
Later in the first half Jones connected with Brandon Smith in the back left corner of the endzone. It was Smith’s first touchdown catch of the season and marked the first game of Jones’ career with multiple touchdown passes in a game. The TD pass, allowed Texas State to take a 14-3 lead into halftime.
Texas State will now head to the road in search of its sixth win of the season, next Saturday at Idaho inside the Kibbie Dome. Game time is set for 4:00 p.m., central.