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Nutall Shines in Texas State Spring Game
Updated: Monday, April 14 2014, 04:18 PM CDT
San Marcos, Texas – A few notable faces as well as a few lesser known quantities stepped up on Saturday in the annual Maroon-Gold game at Bobcat Stadium, Saturday afternoon. With the two teams being drafted by their teammates, the Gold team defeated the Maroon team by a narrow 30-29 margin.
"There were a lot of good things about today," head coach Dennis Franchione said. "We got to see some players in situations on game day such as Fred Nixon. That was good."
Bradley Miller and Chris Nutall were the stars offensively, as each got into the endzone twice. Nutall finished the day with 12 carries for 115 yards while Miller had five catches for 142 yards.
Nutall's highlight run came in the second quarter for the Maroon team as he ran 24 yards down the left sideline before powering through a defender on the goal line for the score.
"Chris is a load to bring down, our guys will tell you that," Franchone said. "He's got strong legs. He's playing the best football he's played since he's been here. We ran the stretch play today and that probably wasn't his strength in the previous year or two and now he's learned patience. A back that matures does that. He understands that play better and he ran it well today."
Miller's highlight of the day was a tipped ball that he caught at midfield and took it to the house for a 78-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter that brought the Gold team to within 29-22. He later had the two-point conversion that put the Gold team ahead 30-29 with 4:37 to go.
"Brad has always been valuable to us because of the flexibility to play him in tight or play him out wide," Franchione said. "He's not the bulkiest tight end and he's not the fastest wide out but he is tall and lanky. He understands how to run routes, he showed that today."
Some of the fresh faces that took center stage on Saturday included Brandon McDowell, Brixx Hawthorne and Zach Velliquette who each made big plays on the defensive side of the ball and Fred Nixon who captained the comeback for the Gold team.
Velliquette was on the receiving end of the first turnover of the day as Nixon fumbled on a read-option play and took it 45 yards down to the Gold 26 yard line. Nutall scored the first of his tow touchdowns on the day a few plays later giving Maroon a 14-9 lead just before halftime.
In the third quarter Hawthorne had the play of the day, intercepting a Tyler Jones pass with one hand and taking it back 84 yards down the left sideline for a score, giving Maroon a 21-9 lead at the time.
McDowell finished the trifecta of highlight defensive plays, intercepting a pass for Gold and taking it down to the Maroon five-yard line, setting up the winning score for Nixon and the Gold team. Nixon then took it in from one yard out and was successful on the two-point conversion to Miller for the 30-29 score.
Nixon finished the day with eight carries for 53 yards and was 7-of-11 through the air for 79 yards and a touchdown.
There was a lot of talk coming into the game about the Bobcats' new no-huddle offense, and Coach Franchione liked what he saw.
"Looking at the stats, we ran 98 plays, and in the past in these 10 minute quarter games, we've probably run about 80, so that's a good reflection of the up-tempo, no huddle scheme."
The Bobcats will now turn their attention to their weight testing that culminates in the Night of Champions later this spring. The fall schedule begins on Aug. 30, when the team hosts Arkansas Pine Bluff at Bobcat Stadium.