Arndt's career-defining drive lifts Bobcats

It was a night to remember for Texas State football and while it wasn't pretty, the Bobcats got their second straight season-opening road win Saturday night, 22-15 against Southern Mississippi.

Texas State forced 6 turnovers tonight, the most in the new Franchione era and while the offense struggled for most of the night, they found their way.

On 4th and 19 from their own 16, down 15-14, Arndt connected with wide receiver Andy Erickson who got just enough to move the chains. Arndt completed five straight passes on the drive and then on 1st and 10 from the Golden Eagle 17, Arndt kept it himself on the read option for the first time all night, scampering in for a 17-yard touchdown. Arndt's two-point conversion to wide receiver Bradley Miller was successful to put the Bobcats up 7.

Before that drive, Arndt was just 8/14 for 40 yards passing. Arndt outplayed Jordan Moore on the ground and through the air. Moore was 1/3, 23 yards passing with a passing touchdown and had 25 yards on 9 carries compared to Arndt's 4 carries and 23 yards (1 TD).

The defense put Arndt and the rest of the offense in a position, however, turning in their most impressive performance since moving up to the FBS level. They held the Golden Eagles to one touchdown on four red zone attempts.

Craig Mager stripped the football from wide receiver Tyre'oune Holmes on the second defensive possession, returning it 44 yards for the first points of the season. It was Mager's first defensive touchdown as a Bobcat. Southern Miss fumbled on their first possession as well, four times overall.

Linebacker David Mayo ended up with Texas State's two interceptions, including one inside a minute to go on the last breath of Southern Mississippi. Mayo finished with 6 tackles to go along with his 2 INT's. He also had one of the Bobcats 3 sacks. Mager finished with 4 tackles, 1 for a loss.

Michael Odiari, a quiet name this off-season had 6 tackles and a sack tonight, constantly disrupting the Golden Eagles gameplan.

Texas State's 40 carries were spread amongst five guys, three running backs. Chris Nutall had 37 yards on 10 carries, Robert Lowe had 15 yards on 7 carries and Terrance Franks had 8 yards on 7 carries. Tim Gay and C.J. Best saw time, but never got the touches.

The night was far from perfect though for Texas State. Before the final drive, Texas State had 138 yards of offense and were forced to punt 10 times. Will Johnson missed two field goals, one that was blocked and one that sailed wide right. Texas State fumbled once and had 6 penalties accounting for 73 yards.

Want more upside? Zach Robinson did average 45.1 yards per punt and five times pinned the Golden Eagles inside their own 20. The re-tooled offensive line gave up 0 sacks.

Despite being outgained offensively 400-215, Texas State found a way to win with their new-look defense and plenty of rising stars.

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