Eagles win bowl eligibility over Texas State, 37-13

Hayden Boudreaux

Paulson Stadium has seen several big games in its history and tonight was no different. The Eagles were fighting for bowl eligibility and wanted to put on a show for the ESPNU national audience. In the end, the fans go the show they were looking for and the Eagles left with the win, (score).

The Eagles were able to jump out to a quick lead, similar to last week, as they drove the ball 72 yards on five plays. The fourth play of the drive saw Ellison keep the ball himself on fourth down and picking up 26 yards to convert, and it was followed by a 37 yard touchdown run from junior running back Matt Breida.

Texas State was unable to answer on their ensuing possession as their drive was cut short by an excellent Eagle defensive effort. Unfortunately, after driving down to the Bobcat 30 yard line Ellison fumbled the ball on a run off the right tackle. The Eagles defense managed to hold the Bobcats to three and out and keep points off the board. Breida made short work of the next drive as he tore through the Bobcat defense again for a 47 yard touchdown run to give the Eagles a 14-0 lead.

With their backs against the wall, Texas State was finally able to respond on their next drive. The Bobcats went on a methodical 11 play, 59 yard drive that ended in a field goal to give them their first points of the night. And after trading possessions again, they were given another shot.

After a fumble from Ellison at his own 8 yard line the Bobcats were primed to put a touchdown on the board. Luckily, the Eagle defense had different plans as they were able to hold the away team to another field goal and didn’t allow one yard on the drive. The Bobcats hoped to head into half time with a 14-6 lead. The Eagles came out firing on the next drive and quickly made it inside the red zone but another fumble from Ellison would allow Texas State to end the half.

The second half opened with a slow but effective drive from the Eagle offense. They worked the ball down the field on 10 plays for 75 yards that ended in a 38 yard touchdown run from freshman Wesley Fields. The Bobcats responded with a long touchdown drive that ended in a 23 yard touchdown pass into the corner of the Eagle end zone. The Eagles had a 21-13 lead with 7:59 remaining in the third quarter.

On the ensuing Eagle possession, they knew they had to put some separation between the two scores. A promising drive down the field was cut short by an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty that forced the Eagles to settle for a field goal. Koo legged it through from 44 yards out to keep his team on top, 24-13.

After holding the Bobcats and forcing a punt, Derek Keaton fielded the kick and weaved through defenders and dashed up the left side line on a 55 yard punt return to the 12 yard line. The offense was unable to find a hole and settled for a 21 yard field goal. They would get on the board again after a 67 yard run from Fields to the seven yard line was capped off by a touchdown from L.A Ramsby. The Eagles led in the fourth 34-13.

Things weren’t done for the Eagles as Breida made his presence felt again on a 44 yard run where he ripped away from four Bobcat defenders. The run placed him over 200 yards on the night for the third time in his career. Fields followed it up with a 25 yard run to set the Eagles up for their fourth field goal of the night courtesy of Koo. The Eagles managed to run out the clock and escape with bowl eligibility.