Arkansas State football loses on last-second field goal at Texas State
SAN MARCOS, Texas (KAIT) - In what has been a season full of gut punches, Arkansas State suffered another one at Bobcat Stadium, falling 16-13 to Texas State after Seth Keller drilled a 29-yard field goal with six seconds left.
The Bobcats drove 56 yards in 26 seconds on the final drive to set up the winning field goal. A-State transfer Layne Hatcher didn’t turn it over and didn’t score a touchdown, but completed 23 passes and had 196 yards, including two big completions late.
It was a dramatic swing, the Red Wolves had a chance to take the lead, trailing 13-10 with it first and goal under a minute to play. After a failed 3rd and goal pass, A-State had to settle for the field goal to tie it.
The Bobcats hadn’t had a 20-plus yard play all game, they got two on the very last drive to help set up the kick.
“You gotta make critical plays in critical moments in the game and it’s not just in the fourth quarter, it’s a cumulative effect even from the first quarter to the second quarter into the third quarter,” head coach Butch Jones said. “You have a third and goal, we’ve run that play forever, we’ve got to execute that. I thought we had too many dropped passes, we left too many big plays out there and when you don’t make plays, it allows your opponent to hang around and then it becomes a one-possession game and that’s what it came down to but at the end of the game it starts with me and it’s inexcusable.”
The positives for A-State, no turnovers and just two penalties. James Blackman finished with 237 passing yards and a score. The Red Wolves protected well in the passing game, allowing just one sack, and that was a concern against this stout Bobcat pass rush.
The defense also played well for the bulk of the game, holding the Bobcats to 6-of-17 on 3rd down and holding them to 4.5 yards per play. Melique Straker had 14 tackles including two sacks for the Red Wolves.
The run game, however, managed just 54 yards on 23 attempts, good for a little over two yards per carry. To add injury to insult, Brian Snead also left the game early due to a leg injury and is scheduled to have an MRI Monday.
Back to a positive: Dominic Zvada. The true freshman not only had the game-tying field goal, but he tied an FBS-long 56-yard field goal in the 3rd quarter. It was the 3rd-longest in school history and the longest since 2011 (Bobby Zalud’s 56-yarder vs. Memphis).
“He relishes those moments,” Jones said. “He lives for those moments. We practice those moments. And he executes those moments. And those were both very, very difficult kicks under the circumstances. I just can’t say enough about his consistency and how he relishes those moments.”
The Red Wolves hope to close their season on a high note, it will be senior day at Centennial Bank Stadium. Arkansas State will face off against one of the better teams in the Sun Belt West, Troy.
Kickoff is set for 2:00 PM Saturday at Centennial Bank Stadium.
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