It isn’t often that the Georgia State Panthers football program takes to a (somewhat) national stage, but that was the case when they headed to Morgantown, West Virginia on Saturday. Unfortunately, the result wasn’t overly positive for the Panthers.
GSU fell at the hands of the Mountaineers by a 41-7 score, but the game was semi-competitive until the 4th quarter. After 3 quarters, the score was just 20-7, and Georgia State actually outscored WVU by a 7-3 margin in the 3rd.
On the positive side for the Panthers, they committed only 1 turnover against a bigger, more physical defense. Ronnie Ball and Ben McLane combined to throw for just 84 yards through the air, however, and if it wasn’t for a decent ground effort, the offense would’ve been borderline embarrassing.
Travis Evans put GSU on the board for their only scoring of the game, as he broke away from the West Virginia defense on a 65-yard touchdown run. Evans was the lone highlight offensively for the Panthers, as he finished with 12 carries for 118 yards and the aforementioned touchdown. When he crossed the goal line to cut the lead to 17-7 early in the 3rd quarter, it briefly looked as if GSU would compete long-term, but that feeling was short lived.
Despite the final result, I would maintain that this was a positive showing for Georgia State. They “beat” the Las Vegas line in the game (the folks in the desert had installed GSU as a 40-point underdog), and really competed for 3 quarters. Defensively, things were a bit of a mess as the team allowed over 600 yards of total offense, but there is no real shame in doing that against a quality Big 12 offense, and getting dominated at the point of attack isn’t surprising.
For the time being, this program will be measured by “small wins” on this type of stage, but hopefully sooner rather than later, we’ll be discussing wins and losses in more definite terms.
Georgia State returns home next Saturday to host the Jacksonville State Gamecocks (2:00 pm ET), and they’ll look to break out of an 0-3 early season slump.