First-and-goal from the 1-yard line.
Four chances to score.
It shouldn’t take much effort to punch the ball across the plane.
Best-case scenario: six points. Worst-case scenario: three points.
Then there was what happened to the Texas State Bobcats last Saturday in a 33-7 loss to the Texas Tech Red Raiders. Texas State reached Texas Tech’s 1-yard line twice with four downs to score and came away with zero points each time.
On the first play of the first drive, the Bobcats ran a draw with senior quarterback Tyler Arndt that was stopped for a two-yard loss. Arndt went for a hole created by sophomore tackle Adrian Bellard and junior tight end Bradley Miller, but no one got to the second level and the Red Raider linebackers shot the gap.
Then Texas State went with a play-action pass with delayed action to the tight end dragging across the field. Junior tight end David Lewis stood all alone in the corner of the end zone, but pressure because of two missed blocks by Bellard and redshirt freshman guard Ryan Melton forced Arndt to throw off his back foot and the pass was intercepted.
During the second goal-line opportunity, the Bobcats ran the ball three consecutive times with three different running backs (Terrence Franks, Chris Nutall and Tim Gay). Nutall made up the yards Franks lost and Gay never stood a chance after Pete Robertson and Will Smith shot right through the line.
Then instead of kicking a 20-yard field goal (basically an extra-point), Texas State went for broke on fourth-and-goal from the 3-yard line. A blitz left Arndt in trouble again and his back-foot pass sailed out of sophomore wide receiver Brandon Smith’s reach. A running back also either missed a chip block or was too slow on his route out of the backfield.
If the Bobcats scored on the first sequence, it would have given them a 7-3 lead early in the first quarter and at least temporarily silenced the sold-out crowd inside Jones AT&T Stadium.
If Texas State converted the second sequence, it would be 10-7 or at worst, 10-3.
Once again, however, the Bobcats were left to think ‘What could have been,’ as they left Lubbock.
“I feel like we could have won the football game tonight,” Texas State head coach Dennis Franchione said. “You know, that might be a little bit of a stretch for some people to say that, but when you have first-and-goal at the 1-yard line twice and don’t score … we just couldn’t get it done. You know, we weren’t good enough to beat a Top 25 team at home and make the mistakes that we made.”