SAN MARCOS (AP) – A week after shocking Houston 30-13, any dreams that the Texas State Bobcats had of an upset were crushed by Big 12 opponent Texas Tech.
Tech scored a pair of touchdowns in a 51-second span of the opening four and a half minutes of the game, and the Red Raiders coasted to a 58-10 victory over Texas State on Saturday night.
“It was hard to get behind so quickly, but really Texas Tech was just a lot better than us tonight, I don’t know if the quick deficit really made that big a difference,” said Texas State coach Dennis Franchione.
After shocking Conference USA foe Houston, Texas State’s hopes of upsetting a Big 12 opponent were dashed when Cody Davis returned an interception 88 yards for a touchdown less than four minutes into the game. The Red Raiders recovered the ensuing kickoff and staged a three-play drive with Seth Moegle completing a 23-yard touchdown pass to Darrin Moore for a 14-0 lead with 4:06 gone in the first quarter.
Attendance at Bobcat Stadium was a record 33,006 fans, breaking the previous record of 16,600 set in a 1981 game against Texas A&M Kingsville.
‘It was a great atmosphere, the fans were great. We just didn’t play as well as we had hoped and did not give them the game they deserved,” Franchione said.
Seth Doege passed for 319 yards and a career-tying five touchdowns by completing 25 of 32 for Tech (2-0) in less than three quarters of work. He threw two TDs in the first quarter, his first coming less than a minute after the Tech defense opened the scoring on Cody Davis’ 88-yard interception return.
Texas State fell behind 28-0 and didn’t score until starting quarterback Shaun Rutherford was pulled and backup Tyler Arndt threw a 25-yard TD pass to Terrence Franks with just less than 11 minutes left in the first half.
Arndt, who did not play in the week one win over Houston, had a strong second quarter completing seven of 11 passes for 88 yards and a touchdown. Arndt finished with 12 of 22 for 130 yards after taking over from starter Shaun Rutherford who was 1 for 9 with 11 yards and the interception.
“Tyler did some really good things out there tonight, it was good to get him in, there really is not a lot of difference between Tyler and Shaun, we have an off week and will look at the quarterback position then,” Franchione said.
The home opener in front of a packed house was not exactly what Tech planned when they scheduled the game.
“We put ourselves behind the 8-ball to come play down here and open their new stadium,” Red Raiders coach Tommy Tuberville said. “A lot of people said ‘You have to be crazy.'”
Texas State’s win over Houston “kind of nixed all chances of them beating us by surprise,” Tuberville said.
“If they were going to beat us they were going to beat us the right way. We weren’t going to be running in neutral,” he said.
The Red Raiders fell just short of 600 total yards — 591 yards with 405 from Tech’s quarterbacks without an interception while picking off the Bobcats twice. They doubled Texas State in first downs.
“We had a lot more opportunities this week and we took advantage of them,” said Doege, who had his 10th career 300-yard passing game. “We started rolling, and I thought I threw the ball pretty well tonight.”
Doege took charge early. His first two scoring passes of 23 yards and 4 yards were completed to Darrin Moore. His third came on a drive that ended the first quarter and opened the second, a 99-yard march that took all of six plays and less than three minutes. It finished when Doege found Alex Torres over the middle of the field for a 23-yard TD.
At that point, Doege had completed 11 of 14 for 142 yards and three TDs. Texas State had zero passing yards, with Rutherford 0 for 7 plus the interception that was returned for a touchdown.
It’s the sort of work that might fare well as the Bobcats play this season in the Western Athletic Conference after spending their first season in the Football Bowl Subdivision as an independent a year ago.
But it wasn’t enough against the Big 12’s Tech.
“There’s a difference between being beaten and being exposed, and we were exposed,” Franchione said. “We couldn’t force Tech to punt. We blitzed. We rushed. We couldn’t get a stop.”
Doege answered Arndt’s score a minute and a half later with a 19-yard pass to Jace Amaro. Texas State cut it to 35-10 with a 38-yard kick by Will Johnson with 3:25 to go in the half, but Tech answered that with a field goal, as the first-half horn sounded.
Doege directed two more scoring drives before he was done for the night. He hit Javon Bell for an 8-yard scoring pass and finished up after Kenny Williams ran in from 16 yards to give Tech a 52-10 advantage with 4:59 to go in the third quarter.
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