|Aug. 31||at Southern Miss||L, 42-21 vs. MTSU||0-11|
|Sept. 7||Prairie View||W, 43-23 vs. UAPB||6-6|
|Sept. 21||at Texas Tech||L, 63-34 vs. Baylor||Off|
|Sept. 28||Wyoming||W, 59-56 vs. Hawaii||5-6|
|Oct. 5||at Louisiana||Off||8-2|
|Oct. 12||UL-Monroe||L, 36-14 vs. South Ala.||5-6|
|Oct. 19||Georgia State||L, 35-33 at Ark. State||0-11|
|Oct. 26||South Alabama||W, 36-14 vs. ULM||4-6|
|Nov. 2||at Idaho||L, 80-14 at Florida St.||1-10|
|Nov. 16||at Arkansas State||W, 35-33 vs. Ga. St.||7-4|
|Nov. 23||Western Kentucky||W, 38-7 at Texas St.||7-4|
|Nov. 29||at Troy||Off||5-6|
If you had money on the Texas State volleyball team being the first Bobcat bunch to win a title in the Sun Belt Conference, you cashed out tonight.
Texas State continued its late-season roll right through the Sun Belt Conference Tournament held in Troy, Ala. The Bobcats dropped just one set over the course of three matches and swept former-and-current conference rival UT Arlington to claim the tournament title Saturday afternoon.
It was quite the balanced effort from Texas State against the Mavericks, as three different players notched 10 or more kills (led by senior right-side hitter Amari Deardorff’s 17). Deardorff hit an ungodly .680.
The Bobcats became the first newcomer to win the Sun Belt Conference Tournament since Arkansas State did so in 1991. This also marks Texas State’s ninth conference tournament title.
NCAA regional sites will be announced Dec. 1.
We’re here at Bobcat Stadium for the important tilt between Texas State and Western Kentucky. Whichever team wins today will be one step closer to representing the Sun Belt Conference in an at-large bowl.
Be sure to follow Texas State beat writer Tyler Mayforth and Joseph Garcia on Twitter for more updates during the game.
First Quarter: Texas State 0, Western Kentucky 0
Play of the Quarter:
With WKU going for it on fourth-and-1, junior defensive back Colby Targun sprinted into the Hilltopper backfield and tackled running back Antonio Andrews for a two-yard loss, giving the Bobcats the ball back over on downs.
Player of the Quarter:
Targun had two big hits and timely pass breakup during the first quarter to help hold WKU to no points.
Rushing Comparison: Texas State 6-7, Western Kentucky 7-30
The Bobcat defense was put in precarious situations throughout the period with Tyler Arndt throwing two interceptions. Texas State held tough to keep the Hilltoppers off the board.
Second Quarter: Western Kentucky 17, Texas State 7
Play of the Quarter: Western Kentucky running back Antonio Andrews went untouched for a 47-yard touchdown to put the Hilltoppers up 16-0. The point after made it 17-0.
Player of the Quarter: By the end of the half WKU running back Andrews gained 112 yards, scoring two touchdowns in the second quarter.
Turnover Battle: Western Kentucky 0, Texas State 4
Texas State struggled on offense to say the least. With Tyler Arndt throwing three first-half interceptions, injured Tyler Jones (hand) went in and led a drive that finally resulted in a 6-yard TD pass.
Third Quarter: Western Kentucky 17, Texas State 7
Play of the Quarter:
Texas State place kicker Jason Dann missed a 40-yard field goal that would have made the score 17-10. Dann previously made nine-straight field goals.
Player of the Quarter: Texas State tight end Bradley Miller caught four passes from Tyler Jones for 30 yards in the third period.
QB Comparison: WKU – Brandon Doughty 19-30-132-0-0, Texas State – Tyler Jones 12-21-95-1-1.
Texas State drove into Hilltopper territory twice and came away with nothing to show. The Bobcats had their chances to close the gap, but were unable to take advantage of their opportunities.
Fourth Quarter:Western Kentucky 38, Texas State 7
Play of the Quarter: On third-and-3 Andrews ran around the right side of the Hilltoppers, busting out for a 33-yard touchdown.
Player of the Quarter: WKU running back Leon Allen opened the fourth quarter with 15 yards and a touchdown, but Andrews showed why he is one of the nation’s top rushers. He finished the game with 204 yards and three touchdowns.
Total Offense: Western Kentucky 78-473, Texas State 59-130
Opportunities were there for the Bobcats throughout the 38-7 loss to Western Kentucky, but five turnovers and just 130 yards of total offense closed the door shut on Texas State’s quest for win number seven.
Well, it’s all come down to this.
If Texas State wants any shot at making a postseason bowl game, Dennis Franchione’s team needs to beat Western Kentucky tonight inside Bobcat Stadium. Kickoff between the Bobcats and Hilltoppers is scheduled for 6 p.m.
Last week Arkansas State ran all over Texas State. Nothing the Bobcats tried to do to stop the Red Wolves worked, as Michael “Flash” Gorden led a rushing attack that amassed 328 yards.
Ultimately Texas State’s failure to stop the run came down to a porous defensive line. The Bobcats didn’t get enough leverage and were blown off the line of scrimmage by Arkansas State’s offensive line.
“We know what we’re capable of when we play to our ability,” Texas State senior defensive lineman Blake McColloch said. “We didn’t show up last week — plain and simple. We’re taking it upon ourselves to make sure we show up this week.”
Texas State knew its path to a bowl game wouldn’t be easy.
When the Bobcats checked out the last three games of the regular season and saw Arkansas State, Western Kentucky and Troy in consecutive games, they took a deep breath and prepared for a fight.
Texas State’s move to the Football Bowl Subdivision allowed the program to get a lot of newer things: a new head coach, a renovated stadium and some new uniforms. Time to add an alternate helmet to that list.
After Wednesday’s practice, head coach Dennis Franchione unveiled a brand-new maroon helmet to the Bobcats. Texas State will wear them Saturday against Western Kentucky in the home finale.
There might be four bowl-eligible teams in the Sun Belt Conference (Arkansas State, Louisiana-Lafayette, Texas State and Western Kentucky), but there is a clear split between the top and bottom of the conference.
Louisiana-Lafayette is obviously the cream of the crop at the moment, followed by Arkansas State. Somewhere in the middle are both Texas State and Western Kentucky.
We should gain some more clarity this weekend when the Bobcats and Hilltoppers face off inside Bobcat Stadium.
Get ready for this week’s game with the Texas State Sports Podcast.
Texas State beat writer Tyler Mayforth is joined by Western Kentucky beat writer Chad Bishop and they chat about everything from Twitter to Antonio Andrews to the grab bag that’s been this season.
Be sure to subscribe through iTunes, because you can have it first thing when it goes up late Tuesday night/early Wednesday morning.