Navy stormed out to a commanding lead scoring in their first four possessions, led by reserve Sophomore QB Tago Smith. Starting QB Keenan Reynolds was held out due to injury. Offensively the Bobcats accumulated more yards in the first half, but with so many mental errors the Bobcats were unable to assemble any kind of consistent drive momentum. Texas State had five penalties for 69 yards in the first quarter alone, while ending with 11 total for 124 yards, and proving to be the catalyst for the lack of production early on.Tyler Jones would run it in from the half yard line for the Bobcats first score of the game, near the six minute mark of the 2nd Quarter to make the score 28-7 heading into the locker room. A combination of offensive consistency and penalties served as two of the bigger obstacles for the offense in the 1st stanza.
"We had to adjust to the speed of the offense defensively,and penalties hurt us. We kind of shot our selves in the foot defensively, it should have been a 28-10 or 28-14 game and as you guys heard me say during the week, you can't play these guys and miss opportunities. Its hard to beat them when you do that, but i thought we hung in there and our guys played hard, we kept fighting and gave ourselves some opportunities. We got some points on the board and defensively we had to do it left handed, they had to throw it for touchdowns instead of run it. We did some good things, we just needed to score more points and take advantage of things on offense to be able to beat a team like this tonight," said Head Coach Dennis Franchione.
The second half had some silver lining, as the Bobcats were able to outscore Navy 21-7, but too little too late. The defense was able to get several stops, while the offense was very successful rushing the ball in the second half, amassing 211 yards total. Tyler Jones went 24-36 for 231 yards, and a TD. He also carried the ball for 82 yards and a score. Rob Lowe would tack on 141 all purpose yards of his own (92 rush and 39 receiving).
Even with the loss of LB Michael Orakpo early in the game, the defense was able to rally in the second half and get some stops. Linebackers David Mayo and Trey McGowen made adjustments for the Bobcat "D", holding the Midshipmen to only 7 points in the second half. Mayo had a team high 15 tackles and McGowen chipped in nine of his own in his first ever start. There were plenty of things to build on from this game against Navy, and Coach Fran had some thoughts leading into next weeks game against Illinois.
"It's our first road test and the score I saw today, they were getting handled by Washington, but they are 2 and 1, they throw the ball pretty good I think. This will be a stiff test for us, every bit as hard as this one was, but at least we will play a little more conventional offense this week and we can go back to some of the things that we can work on on a daily basis."In the first quarter, as Texas State was entering the Navy red zone to match their first touchdown, things completely unraveled. Bradley Miller was flagged for an un-necessary roughness penalty, which caused Head Coach Dennis Franchione to become infuriated with the referees. The entire Texas State team was then flagged for sideline interference, in essence, losing 30 yards. The Bobcats would get some yards back, but Jason Dann would hit the upright and come up empty. Coach Fran talked about the call. "I didn't think that Bradley deserved that penalty for what he did, whether its tonight or any night when you coach, and you drive the ball down and all of the sudden you get to the end zone and flags start flying you don't feel very good about things, whether its your kids or whatever it may be." On the season, Texas State falls to 1-1, and now travels to face Big Ten foe, Illinois. Kickoff is set for 3pm from Memorial Stadium.