Texas State played its sixth — and final — ‘What If?’ game of the 2011 season Saturday afternoon.
In the season opener against Texas Tech (a 50-10 loss), the Bobcats had to think “What if junior quarterback Shaun Rutherford didn’t fumble inside the 20-yard line?”
Then the following week against Wyoming (a 45-10 loss), Texas State pondered, “What if we just stayed home instead of not showing up in Laramie?”
The Bobcats rested their weary minds during a five-game win streak, but resumed picking their brains following consecutive losses to Southeastern Louisiana (38-28) and Northwestern State (23-10).
A victory over Prairie View A&M allowed a short respite, then two more losses to Central Arkansas (23-22) and now Sam Houston State crushed Texas State’s spirits.
In each loss, the Bobcats had a chance and Saturday’s 36-14 defeat at the hands of the Bearkats wasn’t any different. Texas State fell behind early (17-0), closed Sam Houston State’s lead to three points (17-14), but couldn’t swing the momentum any further after three second-half miscues (two fumbles, one blocked field goal).
Some felt the 48-yard field goal shouldn’t have been attempted, especially with the Bobcats driving into the wind, trailing by 12. One play earlier, Texas State chose to run a draw on third-and-11, facing eight men in the box despite spreading the field.
It wasn’t the redirected kick that killed the Bobcats, rather a fumble by sophomore quarterback Tyler Arndt following a heads-up interception by sophomore defensive tackle Jamie Clavell-Head. Once Arndt put the ball on the ground, any hope Texas State had to come back evaporated two plays later when Sam Houston State sophomore running back Tim Flanders punched in a 2-yard run.