Playing in the school’s first nationally-televised game on ESPN, the Texas State’s comeback bid for a victory came up short when the Bobcats suffered a hard-fought 31-24 loss to the SMU Mustangs on Saturday at Bobcat Stadium.
Sophomore quarterback Brady McBride threw for 227 yards and two touchdowns in his first start as a Bobcat, completing 21 of 39 passes and having touchdown passes of 3 yards and 19 yards.
Calvin Hill added 100 yards on 13 carries, and Brock Sturges ran for 95 yards and another TD in his Texas State debut as the Bobcats rushed for 189 yards.
Chandler Speights caught four passes for 52 yards and a touchdown, and Jeremiah Haydelcaught four passes for 37 yards and had an early candidate for “Catch of the Year” with a one-handed grab falling out of the corner of the end zone on a touchdown reception.
Trevis Graham, Jr. had three receptions for 59 yards, and Jah’Marae Sheread caught four passes for 42 yards.
Jarron Morris led the Texas State defense with eight tackles and a forced fumble. Grid Isidoreand Kordell Rodgers each had interceptions, and Nico Ezidore and Brayden Stringercombined on a sack.
Following a scoreless first quarter, both teams scored a pair of touchdowns in the second quarter. Ulysses Bentley IV opened the scoring when he put SMU (1-0) on the scoreboard with a 6-yard run to cap a 5-play, 55-yard drive with 10:56 remaining in the first half.
Sturges tied the game at 7-7 when he raced 4 yards around the left side for Texas State (0-1).
Bentley pushed the Mustangs back in front with a 12-yard run three minutes later.
But McBride connected with Jeremiah Haydel for a remarkable acrobatic one-handed grab for a touchdown to send the two teams into halftime tied at 14-14.
The two teams opened the second half just like the first half ended as they traded scores in the third quarter. TJ McDaniel recorded SMU’s third rushing touchdown of the game when he found the end zone from nine yards out with 12:12 left in the third quarter.
The Mustangs seemed to gain control when Rodgers intercepted a pass from SMU quarterback Shane Buechele at Texas State’s 25-yard line. Rodgers returned the interception 30 yards to SMU’s 45-yard line.
The Bobcats took advantage as McBride threw a 19-yard touchdown pass to Chandler Speights with just over six minutes left in the quarter. It was the first touchdown catch of Speights’ career.
However, Buechele came right back to throw a 51-yard touchdown pass to Reggie Roberson, Jr. to give SMU a 28-21 lead with 3:26 left to play in the third quarter.
The Mustangs extended their lead to 10 with 2:20 left in the game with a 32-yard field goal by Chris Naggar.
With just over two minutes to play, Texas State attempted a late comeback as the Bobcats moved the ball down the field with three first downs on the first five plays before SMU called a timeout with 1:06 remaining in the game.
After McBride was sacked for a 14-yard loss on SMU’s 30-yard line, Alan Orona kicked his first career field goal as a Bobcat from 47 yards to make the score 31-24 with 45 seconds remaining in the game.
The Mustangs sealed the victory when Kylen Granson recovered an on-side kick attempt by Jacob Bates.
Buechele finished 26 of 36 for 367 yards and a touchdown. McDaniel rushed for 130 yards and a score, and Bentley IV ran for 49 yards and two touchdowns. Roberson, Jr. caught six passes for 99 yards and a touchdown, and Rashee Rice added five catches for 101 yards for the Mustangs.
Texas State returns to Bobcat Stadium next Saturday, Sept. 12, when the Bobcats host I-35 rival UTSA beginning at 2:30 p.m. The game will be broadcast on ESPN2.
This article was generated using a press release and media from the Texas State Sports Information Department. For more news, sports and entertainment, follow the Midwest Sports Network on Twitter @MWSNsports or like the MWSN page on Facebook.