LAKE CHARLES — Texas State held off McNeese State to grab a 21-14 nonconference football victory at Cowboy Stadium on Saturday night.
Holding a 7-point lead, the Bobcats were forced to punt from deep in their end zone. But punter Ben Follis bobbled the snap, giving the Cowboys the ball on the 13-yard line with 15.6 seconds left.
With a one-play shot to try and win the game, McNeese quarterback Cody Stroud was rushed and flagged for intentionally grounding the ball with the clock running out.
The victory lifted Texas State to 4-2 and left 15th ranked McNeese at 3-2.
The Bobcats, who are playing as an independent this season, have left the Southland Conference and will be moving into the Football Bowl Subdivision as a member of the Western Athletic Conference.
The victory was the fourth in a row for the Bobcats and the third straight over a Southland Conference team.
Quarterback Shaun Rutherford led the Bobcats, scoring on a 22-yard run and hitting Isaiah Battle with an 11-yard touchdown pass late in the fourth quarter. He also connected with David Lewis on a two-point PAT conversion.
The other scores for Texas State came on field goals of 39 and 46 yards by Will Johnson.
Macus Wiltz scored both touchdowns for McNeese, both 9-yard runs. He finished with 64 yards rushing.
Andre Anderson led the Cowboys and the game with 76 yards.
Rutherford led Texas State with 65 yards rushing and 110 yards passing on an eight for 11 attempts.
McNeese’s Stroud was 13 of 27 for 145 yards and also tossed an interception.
The Bobcats had 249 yards compared to the Cowboys 365.