AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Texas State Bobcats are bowl-eligible for the first time since 2014 after a 45-24 win Saturday over Georgia Southern at Bobcat Stadium.
Buoyed by 24 second-quarter points, the Bobcats pulled away from the Eagles to move to 6-3 overall and 3-2 in the Sun Belt Conference. Quarterback TJ Finley accounted for five touchdowns, three passing and two rushing, and finished with 301 yards on 25 of 31 passing.
Wide receiver Joey Hobert went off on Georgia Southern, hauling in 13 passes for 141 yards with a touchdown, and running back Ismail Mahdi rushed for 99 yards on 20 carries.
“That was a big-time win for us (against) a really good opponent,” Bobcats coach GJ Kinne said. “To be at this point and to have six wins is obviously one of the goals we had and (I’m) really happy for those guys and a bunch of really excited kids and coaches.”
The Bobcats trailed 10-7 after the first quarter, but then their offense went bonkers. Finley threw two of his scoring passes in the frame and ran for another while Mason Shipley booted a 31-yard field goal. Finley’s rushing score in the quarter came with 0:42 seconds left on a 16-yard run.
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Texas State went 7-5 in 2014 but wasn’t selected for a bowl game. They were also eligible the year before with a 6-6 record but were passed up. The seven wins in 2014 are the most in the program’s FBS history.
The Bobcats can tie their FBS wins record next week at 2:30 p.m. against Coastal Carolina in Conway, S.C. The Chanticleers topped Old Dominion 28-24 to move to 6-3 overall and 4-2 in the Sun Belt East Division.