QB is­sues cre­ate trou­ble for Bob­cats in 25-21 loss at UTSA

Austin American-Statesman - - SPORTS - By Keff Ciardello Amer­i­can-Statesman Cor­re­spon­dent

SAN AN­TO­NIO — Texas State quar­ter­back Wil­lie Jones III was knocked out of the game on the Bob­cats’ sec­ond drive, and UTSA took home the “I-35 Show­down” for the third time with a 25-21 win Sat­ur­day night.

The Bob­cats (1-3) used three quar­ter­backs in all. Af­ter Jones left with a shoul­der in­jury, backup Jaylen Gip­son played for two se­ries be­fore then be­ing re­placed by Tyler Vitt, a fresh­man.

“You go from a quar­ter­back that’s played some snaps in 2017 to a quar­ter­back that’s only played a hand­ful of snaps in 2018, so you have to think about what you play-call,” Bob­cats coach Everett Withers said.

UTSA (1-3) line­backer Josiah Tauaefa stripped Jones on the third play of the game, al­low­ing de­fen­sive end Lorenzo Dant­zler to scoop it up and re­turn it for a 27-yard touch­down.

The Road­run­ners, lead­ing 7-0, took a 14-0 lead on their sec­ond drive af­ter a 10-play, 58-yard drive.

Vitt, tak­ing over for Gip­son, took the Bob­cats 64 yards on a six-play drive, scor­ing on a 1-yard run to cut the UTSA lead to 14-7. Dur­ing the drive, wide re­ceiver Hutch White com­pleted a pass to Vitt for 26 yards. White has com­pleted all three of his ca­reer pass at­tempts for 83 yards and two touch­downs.

A 40-yard field goal just be­fore half­time gave the Road­run­ners a 17-7 ad­van­tage.

The Bob­cats nar­rowed the lead in the third quar­ter af­ter a 10-play, 82-yard drive ended on 21-yard touch­down pass from Vitt to Kee­nen Brown, mak­ing it 17-14.

Brown, a grad­u­ate trans­fer from Ok­la­homa State, fin­ished the game with nine catches for 124 yards and a touch­down.

“It feels great to come on this team,” Brown said. “I’m just get­ting into the game plan and do­ing ev­ery­thing right to make sure I’m do­ing what­ever it takes for me to make a play to help this team win.”

An­other 40-yard field goal by UTSA ex­tended its lead to 20-14 at the be­gin­ning of the fourth quar­ter.

The Road­run­ners got the ball back at mid­field when they sur­prised the Bob­cats with an on­side kick.

The re­cov­ery led to a 45-yard field goal for UTSA, giv­ing the Road­run­ners a 23-14 lead with 10 min­utes left.

Vitt was then stopped in the end zone on a de­signed run, es­sen­tially seal­ing the game by giv­ing the Road­run­ners a safety and pos­ses­sion with 1:49 left in the game.

Vitt com­pleted 15 of 22 passes for 192 yards, two touch­downs and two picks. He also rushed for 11 yards and a touch­down.

Fresh­man kicker Clay­ton Ste­wart, play­ing in place of se­nior James Sher­man, missed his only field goal at­tempt from 34 yards out. He made all three of his ex­tra­points.

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