The Birth of a Very Texas Rivalry: I35 Showdown

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Once again I was graciously given the opportunity by Texas State to report a game from the luxury of their press box. Needless to say, I am becoming a pretty big deal in the sports community. I even take my own photos. If the Bobcats think they can buy my journalistic integrity with free coke and cookies however, they are absolutely right. I love Texas State, I love San Marcos and I fully endorse the Bobcats. That being said, it’s getting hard to spin Texas State football in a positive light. So instead, I will explain how awesome their revived I35 Showdown is.

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 After a long awaited revived rivalry, the UTSA Roadrunners defeated the Texas State Bobcats 44-14 in San Marcos on Sept. 23.

Since the Roadrunner’s began their football program back in 2012, forming a rivalry with fellow WAC school Texas State seemed obvious as they are only 50 miles away from each other. Oddly enough, the very next year the WAC disbanded, leaving all of its members left to find a new home. With only one year of experience, UTSA managed to jump up to the C-USA, leaving Texas State to survive in the Sun Belt. After three years of a very short-lived rivalry, the two schools brought it back in a big way. With the sponsorship of HEB, the most Texas grocery story imaginable, the I-35 Showdown was given birth as a perfectly Texas matchup.

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It may appear irrelevant to the rest of the college football nation but this rivalry has what any good rivalry needs, hatred. I’m not really sure why, but Texas State and UTSA seem to talk a lot of shit about each other (#nUTSAck, lol). Maybe it’s because they are both G5 schools with little fan support, surrounded by huge national brands, leaving this rivalry as the deciding factor for who is the littlest brother. Or maybe it’s because neither school is truly acknowledged by the other Texas big boys and really just want someone to rip on. Most likely, it’s a way for either students to say “yeah but at least I don’t go to that school”. Regardless of the reasoning, the Roadrunners hate the Bobcats and vice versa, which is all that really matters.

As C-USA contenders, UTSA was heavily favored in their matchup with the notoriously disappointing Bobcats. In the first quarter, the Roadrunners managed to kick a field goal and score on a recovered fumble. Texas State was able to stay alive from a 94-yard march that led to a two-yard rushing touchdown by QB Damion Williams, ending the first quarter with a surprisingly close 10-7 score.

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Entering an exciting second quarter, the Roadrunners completed a 67-yard run for their second touchdown of the game. A few minutes later the Bobcats responded with a touchdown pass from Williams to tighten up the score to a close field goal lead once again. Before half time however, UTSA scored on a 5-yard run by RB Tyrell Clay and a successful field goal. The score was 27-14 at half.

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With a third quarter field goal and two touchdowns in the fourth by the Runners, the final score was 44-14. Although Texas State appeared impressive by maintaining a close first half, UTSA proved to be the superior team by not allowing a single score in the second. The Roadrunners performed about as well as we all expected, setting a school record of 569 yards while holding the Bobcats to a mere 198.

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As UTSA continues their 2-0 all-time record against Texas State, this rivalry is already beginning to appear very one sided. Which is odd considering the Bobcats have had a football program for108 years longer. Regardless of the outcome, Bobcat Stadium reached its third largest all-time capacity of roughly 31,000. Fans showed up on both sides to show how much they hate each other and get drunk in the process. No matter how competitive the HEB I-35 Showdown will be each year, it appears to have everything a good rivalry needs.

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