DALLAS — If a school plays in its first-ever bowl game, might as well mark the historic occasion with some moments to remember. Texas State did just that, then a whole lot more, in capping off their most important football game at the FBS level in grand fashion.
Linebacker Brian Holloway returned two interceptions for touchdowns, and his Texas State defense forced a total of seven turnovers as the Bobcats defeated Rice 45-21 in the SERVPRO First Responder Bowl inside Gerald J. Ford Stadium on Tuesday evening. Running back Jahmyl Jeter took three of his eight carries on the day into the end zone for the Bobcats as Texas State won in its first-ever bowl game as a Football Bowl Subdivision member.
The Bobcats never trailed, with Jeter’s second touchdown run late in the first quarter giving Texas State the lead for good at 14-7. On the ensuing drive, Rice quarterback AJ Padgett threw his first interception to Holloway, who then raced 36 yards for the score to double the Bobcats’ lead.
With the Bobcats up 31-21 midway through the third, Holloway once again picked off Padgett, and again took it to the end zone, from 48 yards out, to give the Bobcats a 38-21 lead. Holloway became the first player in 20 years to have multiple pick-sixes in a bowl game.
The game marked a homecoming of sorts for Holloway, who began his FBS career at SMU and was playing today’s game inside of the Mustangs’ home stadium.
The offensive backfield was also made up of Power Five transfers, as Jeter, whose three touchdowns was a career high, started his career at Oklahoma State. Quarterback TJ Finley, who started his career at Auburn, completed 15 of his 29 passes for 152 yards. Another transfer, former Houston Baptist (now Houston Christian University) running back Ismail Mahdi, paced the Bobcats’ ground attack with 122 yards on 24 carries.
*Editor’s note: Above the byline is the photo gallery from Tuesday evening’s contest, with photos taken by Dallas-area photographer Ross James. After clicking on the first photo to enlarge the picture, make sure to press the left and right arrow buttons to scroll through the rest of the pictures. There are 30 pictures in total.