Shane Buechele threw for 367 yards and a touchdown and SMU held on despite two second-half turnovers to win its first game at Texas State, 31-24 on Saturday in the season opener for both teams.
Buechele threw a 51-yard touchdown pass to Reggie Roberson Jr. in the third quarter that gave the Mustangs the lead for good, 24-21 late in the third quarter.
TJ McDaniel ran for 130 yards and a 9-yard touchdown early in the third quarter for the Mustangs. Ulysses Bentley IV had two touchdown runs from 6 and 12 yards in the second quarter and finished with 49 yards rushing.
Roberson finished with six catches for 99 yards. Rashee Rice added five catches for 101 yards for the Mustangs.
Brady McBride was 21-of-39 passing for 227 yards and two touchdowns in his first start at Texas State. McBride tossed a 3-yard TD pass Jeremiah Haydel, who made a spectacular one-handed diving catch in the corner of the end zone in the second quarter.
The Bobcats played without tight ends due to quarantine restrictions and had offensive linemen fill the position. Calvin Hill ran for 100 yards and Brock Sturges added 95 yards rushing and a 4-yard touchdown run for Texas State.
Kordell Rodgers intercepted a Buechele pass and McBride answered with a 19-yard touchdown pass to Chandler Speights five plays later that tied the game 21-21 midway through the third quarter. McDaniel fumbled the ball to the Bobcats early in the fourth but Texas State turned it back over two plays later with a fumble.
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Seating was limited to 7,500 at 30,000-seat Bobcat Stadium. Masks were mandated upon entry and encouraged while seated but not required. There was no general-admission seating.
It was the third meeting between the teams. SMU won last season and in 2008, both at home.
TCU was scheduled to host SMU next Saturday but the game was postponed due to positive COVID-19 tests among student-athletes and support staff in the TCU football program.