Panthers Fall in Shootout to Arkansas State, Lose 59-52

WR Sam Pinckney III scores in the 2019 contest versus Arkansas State. He had a banner performance in this year’s installment with 6 catches for 146 yards and 3 TDs. Photo: Jordan Crawford for THERSdayNight.com

The Georgia State Panthers (1-2, 0-2 in Sun Belt) couldn’t keep pace with the Arkansas State Red Wolves (3-2, 1-1 in Sun Belt) and dropped their second Sun Belt game in a row, eventually falling 59-52. The game was an offensive slugfest, as both teams combined for 111 points and 1192 yards. Freshman QB Quad Brown played well in defeat, going 18 for 35 and throwing for a career-high 314 yards, becoming the first-ever Georgia State freshman quarterback to throw for 300 yards. He also added 83 yards on the ground. Sam Pinckney was Brown’s favorite target, scoring three receiving touchdowns and breaking his career high in yardage in back-to-back games with 146.

The Panthers were without starting RB Destin Coates, who was a pregame late scratch, but Tucker Gregg picked up the slack and rushed for a career-high 142 yards on his 21st birthday. Seth Paige saw his first action of the season and ran for a modest 13 yards, but the big surprise was Jam Williams. Making his GSU debut, the South Carolina transfer had 6 carries for 44 yards. Arkansas State QBs Layne Hatcher and Logan Bonner combined for 39 completions on 56 attempts and 529 yards through the air. WRs Dahu Green and Jonathan Adams Jr played a big part in the Red Wolves’ offensive explosion, combining for 349 receiving yards and four scores.

The game was a largely back-and-forth affair, with neither team really separating themselves at any point. The Panthers and Red Wolves mostly traded blows throughout the first half, and the score at halftime was 28-28. The second half was more of the same as each team only punted twice in the entire half of play. After a Blake Grupe field goal put the Red Wolves up 45-42, the Panthers answered with Sam Pinckney’s third and final touchdown to go up 49-45 on the first play of the 4th quarter. But the defense couldn’t stop the Red Wolves, who would then retake the lead on a Hatcher-to-Adams connection, 52-49. The two teams would trade three-and-outs and the Panthers could only muster a game-tying 29-yard Noel Ruiz field goal to tie the score at 52 with 6:55 remaining.

Arkansas State used their next possession to drive 75 yards down the field in 6 plays and found the end zone on a perfectly-timed double-reverse pass from Rashauud Paul to Lincoln Pare that would ultimately be the nail in the coffin for Georgia State. The Panthers would get the ball back with 4:23 remaining, but after 10 plays and 33 yards, the offense came up short when Quad’s 4th-and-5 downfield throw to Pinckney fell incomplete.

The Panthers stay on the road next week as they head to Alabama and face the Troy Trojans (2-1, 1-0 in Sun Belt) next Saturday, October 24th.  Kick off is at 4pm EDT and the game will be broadcast on ESPNU.

David Salmon

Contributing Content Manager at THERSday Night

David Salmon has 32 posts and counting. See all posts by David Salmon

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