September 6, 2012
Texas State makes a bid for my heart, while Idaho is slip-sliding away
I have personally made no secret online that I have a place in my heart for Texas-San Antonio football, better known as UTSA. The Roadrunners averaged over 30,000 fans last year as an FCS independent in the first year of the football program. I was impressed by the web presence of @CokerChronicles, @RowdyReport, and @UTSAinsiders. UTSA was a program with great energy around it.
It made me happy, then, that the Runners won their first FBS game against fellow newcomer South Alabama 33-31. But what happened in Houston last week courtesy of another Texas upstart was even more awesome, from a pure sport-loving standpoint. The picture above encapsulates much of that awesomeness.
Not only did Texas State win, it dominated. In its first FBS game, Texas State rolled into Robertson Stadium, a home to which Houston says goodbye after this season, home to a program headed to the Big East -- and dominated.
The 30-13 score seems pretty clear enough. Senior running back Marcus Curry ran for 131 yards and 2 TDs on 14 carries. Quarterback Shaun Rutherford was a smooth 19-25 for 196 yards. Overall, the Bobcats outgained Houston 444-326.
Also, in time of possession (though the stat's value can be debated), Dennis Franchione's squad had the ball for 43 (!) minutes to Houston's 17. The Bobcat defense aided Houston QB David Piland into a terrible game. The QB who started 8 games in 2010 was an awful 17-44.
It was a great debut for Franchione's Bobcats. Add to that a sharp looking set of uniforms and a newly-revamped stadium that now seats 30,000 fans, and I've got another team vying for my interest. They host Texas Tech in that new stadium this Saturday. Here's to an upset!
On the opposite end of the spectrum, we have Idaho. Poor, poor souls. With presumptive QB starter Dominique Blackman benched for unknown reasons, the Idaho offense was outgained by Eastern Washington (future Big Sky preview?) 412-237 en route to a 20-3 loss. Oy. The Vandals gave up 260 passing yards to SMU transfer Kyle Padron even though he completed just 13 passes.
Things could be going dark in Moscow very quickly, and a briefly-compelling program is slipping back into irrelevant whipping boy. The immediate future doesn't look good, either. This week, Idaho travels to Bowling Green. Last year, BG rolled the Vandals 32-15 at the Kibbie Dome, and this year BG is coming off a strong effort against Florida. After that is a trip to LSU.
Its thrilling bowl victory seems like a decade ago, and Idaho football is as uninteresting as ever. I guess it's been nice knowing you, Idaho.