SAN MARCOS — Texas State head coach Everett Withers cracked open a Sprite as he walked to the podium Saturday night.
It was the only refreshment he had all night.
The Bobcats were out-worked and out-manned, getting dominated in their 44-14 loss to UTSA at home in the second game of the newly dubbed ‘I-35 Showdown’ against the Roadrunners at Bobcat Stadium.
“If you don’t win up front, you can’t win the ballgame and we did not win up front,” Withers said. “I’ve been around football an awful long time. When you get beat on the offensive and defensive lines you don’t win. That’s what happened tonight.”
Texas State was outgained 569-198 by UTSA. The Bobcats only ran for 37 yards and quarterback Damian Williams completed 9-of-24 passes for 156 yards and a touchdown.
The Roadrunners rushed for a school-record 357 yards and Jalen Rhodes led UTSA with 174 yards and two touchdowns. It’s the first time this season the Bobcats allowed more than 100 yards to a single rusher. UTSA scored four touchdowns on the ground.
It was a late arriving crowd, but Bobcat Stadium was full during the first and second quarter until the crowd started to filter out after halftime. The announced attendance of 31,333 was the fourth-most in Bobcat Stadium history.
“Well, it obviously didn’t help,” Withers said. “I was pleased with the crowd. The crowd was good and it was good to see fans from both schools fans come out.”
UTSA got out to a quick 10-0 lead when it kicked a field goal on the opening drive and returned a Texas State fumble for a touchdown on the second drive of the game. Williams’ 2-yard score capped off a nine-play, 98-yard drive to get the Bobcats back in the game.
Rhodes broke a 67-yard run on the first drive of the second quarter, but again the Bobcats answered back when Williams found Jeremiah Haydel for a nine-yard score.
The Roadrunners scored the final 27 points of the game. Freshman kicker Jared Sackett hit a pair of field goals and UTSA ran for touchdowns of 36-yards and 71-yards in the fourth quarter to seal the win.
“I take it personally,” said linebacker Bryan London, who led Texas State with nine tackles. “Anytime a team runs like they did tonight, I’m front and center and I take big pride in that. We’ve just got to go back to the drawing board and just correct mistakes.”
UTSA has a bye this Saturday before beginning Conference USA play at home against Southern Miss on Oct. 7 at 6 p.m. before traveling to face off with North Texas on Oct. 14.
Texas State heads out west to face off with Wyoming Saturday at 3 p.m. The game will be streamed live on Facebook. The Bobcats then return home to continue Sun Belt play against ULM on Oct. 7.
“We have to fix it,” senior tight end Gabe Schrade said. “(Coach Withers is) very honest, upfront, and transparent with us. We got our butts beat tonight. And he knows that and we know that as players. We’re gonna come back out and refuse to let that happen again.”