Offensive struggles put Arkansas State in the Sun Belt Basement

Texas State wins lackluster football game

A battle of 3-7 (1-5) teams occurred in misty San Marcos this afternoon, and one team would have to accept a housing assignment into the Sun Belt Basement.

The first half started fast-ish for the Bobcats, who rode a gritty Lincoln Pare into field goal range and an early 3-0 lead. After that, neither teams seemed interested offense. The Red Wolves first offensive drive netted -7 rush yards. Layne Hatcher, maybe seeking revenge but also maybe not, threw for only 69 yards in the first half. The proceedings became so desperate that late in second quarter, Butch Jones decided to test Dominic Zvada’s immortality by challenging him to kick a 51 yard field goal in the mist and wind. The ball landed short, and Zvada is perfect no more.

The former Chancellor was there.

But as the half was coming to a close, something weird happened: the Red Wolves executed a competent 2-minute offense, culminating in a nifty touchdown pass from James Blackman to Johnnie Lang. The soggy teams sloshed into the locker rooms with Arkansas State leading 7-3.

Red Wolves opened the second half with the offensive usual – and lightning fast three and out. But a few possessions later, Dominic Zvada, bummed about missing a 51 yarder in the wind, nailed a wind aided 56 yard field goal.

And then the dreaded fourth quarter arrived. Former Red Wolf Lincoln Pare concluded a long Texas State drive with a short TD punch-in within the quarter’s first two minutes. As the quarter lingered, and the Red Wolves offense floundered, the A-State defense began to lose battles. With three minutes left on the clock, the Bobcats poked a 48-yard field goal.

The Red Wolves had a moment when it could have closed out the game. With the clock under two minutes, a 4th-down pass to Jenkins put Arkansas State on the 10 yard line. Three plays later, the ball was still outside of the end zone, and Zvada tied the game with 30 seconds on the clock.

Naturally, one would expect that in an offensively terrible game like this, the certainty of overtime was given. Nope! Layne Hatcher made some big throws, the Bobcats got into chip position, and the game was lost by a field goal.

Welcome back to the Sun Belt basement, Arkansas State.