Texas State did a lot of things differently against Tarleton State in its home opener Saturday night.
First, the Bobcats actually scored in the second half. Opponents outscored Texas State 69-0 in the second 30 minutes entering the home opener, but Dennis Franchione‘s team turned the tables in front of 15,800 fans.
While the Bobcats didn’t shut down the Texans in the second half, they outscored Tarleton State by nine points (25-16). Texas State got touchdown runs from redshirt freshman Terrence Franks (2, 31) and junior Tim Hawkins (54) as well as a 37-yard field goal from freshman kicker Will Johnson.
The Bobcats also used junior linebacker Joplo Bartu as a defensive end. Bartu got the opportunity due to a mismatch the coaching staff saw. The junior from Waller forced a fumble, recorded 4 1/2 tackles (4 solo) and brought a Texan down behind the line of scrimmage.
Lastly, Texas State went the full game without rotating quarterbacks. Junior transfer Shaun Rutherford took every snap Saturday night, rushing for 46 yards on 13 carries while completing 11 of his 22 passes for 106 yards.
Why didn’t sophomore Tyler Arndt see playing time? After all, Arndt played in both games prior to the 38-28 win against Tarleton.
“We got into a rhythm with Shaun and before you knew it, it was almost halftime,” Franchione said. “His execution in the last minute [in the first half] was good. I felt like he had rhythm and feel for the game.
“He had three or four passes dropped that should have been catches. Then when you get too late in the game and we were moving the ball, you don’t make a change then. That’s just the way this game turned out.”