College Football: Bobcats manhandle Arkansas-Pine Bluff in 65-0 victory
By JOE VOZZELLI
Texas State wore out the PA announcer’s voice in the press box with this popular refrain.
The commentary usually went as follows: “Touchdown, Bobcats...Tyler Jones to name that wide receiver for fill in the blank amount of yards.”
Texas State scored early and often — and looked flawless doing it — as Dennis Franchione’s team routed Arkansas-Pine Bluff 65-0 on Saturday night inside Bobcat Stadium. There wasn’t all that much drama for the 17,813 fans who attended the game and watched the Bobcats rack up a school-record 697 yards.
“We just tried to come together as team to run this offense,” sophomore quarterback Tyler Jones said. “It was a first time for a lot of new guys coming out there and playing. This was definitely a statement that we're not in the FCS anymore. We’re in the FBS.”
The Golden Lions might have realized their ultimate fate for the night when Jafus Gaines hauled in a pass from his back for Texas State’s third touchdown of the first quarter. Gaines stretched out for pass, bobbled the ball for a second, fell to the ground and still had enough time to snag the pigskin before it touched green turf for his first career receiving touchdown.
“I’ve been waiting for this moment for a long time,” said Gaines who caught a pair of touchdowns and totaled 119 yards on the night. “I’ve always been biding my time. Last year, I broke my ankle. I didn’t get discouraged and knew one day my time would come. I guess today (Saturday) was that day.”
If Gaines’ touchdown wasn’t an ominous sign, UAPB might have realized it was in trouble when Jones and company scored at will — and often did so by gashing the visitors’ defense in quick fashion. The Bobcats scored their first two touchdowns of the game — both in the first quarter — in 1:41 seconds or fewer as the up-tempo attack demoralized the Golden Lions early.
Jones looked calm as he pushed Texas State down the field and Franchione’s team moved at a frenetic pace of as few as 12 seconds in between snaps.
The sophomore from Stephenville torched UAPB all night as he went 21 of 25 for 278 yards and four touchdowns in just under 35 minutes of game action.
“I just know these guys and know coverages,” said Jones who notched a career high in passing yards and touchdowns. “I was an 18 year old kid from high school last year. I just had to get a grasp of college and the college lifestyle. This year, I’ve got it all under my belt. I have trust in these guys. I’ve been able to just relax and go out and play.”
Just when the Golden Lions thought it had Jones under control, Texas State showcased its one-two punch of tailbacks in Robert Lowe and Terrence Franks.
Early in the third quarter, Lowe escaped from the backfield and nearly broke off a long touchdown run. The junior tailback, who tallied 150 yards and a touchdown, had to settle for 51-yard scamper. Franks scored two plays later on a four-yard bulldozing run into the end zone. The senior’s touchdown sent the starters to the bench and the Bobcats cruised to an easy victory.
Texas State has a week off before it will face the United States Naval Academy on Sept. 13 inside Bobcat Stadium.