Panthers Get Shut Out by Coastal Carolina in Historic Home Loss
Photo: Jordan Crawford for THERSdayNight.com
Georgia State (2-3, 1-3 in Sun Belt) fell behind early and never recovered, being thoroughly outclassed on the day by No. 20 Coastal Carolina (5-0, 4-0 in Sun Belt) 51-0. The 51-point margin of defeat marked the worst home defeat in program history and the worst offensive output since being shut out at Penn State 56-0 in 2017. This was also the first ever home shutout for the program and the first shutout in the tenure of offensive coordinator Brad Glenn. Georgia State freshman QB Quad Brown’s 30 passing yards was his season-low and the rushing attack for the Panthers was held under 100 yards rushing for the first time since their season-ending loss to Georgia Southern in 2018. On the other side, Coastal Carolina flourished on offense, tallying 530 yards on the day with over 250 yards in each category. Redshirt freshman QB Grayson McCall continued his star season, going 18-24 with 254 yards passing and 5 total touchdowns.
Georgia State coach Shawn Elliott expressed disappointment with his team’s performance, stating, “For whatever reason, on all three phases – offense, defense and special teams – we weren’t ready to go out there and compete. It’s going to take some searching to figure out exactly where it went wrong.” With the mandatory NCAA offday for Election Day coming up on Tuesday, Coach Elliott noted that that searching was going to have to happen fast in order to be ready for next weekend’s home game against ULM, saying, “This thing’s got to get through us and out of us, I think, easily by Monday morning. It’s got to be gone and wiped away.”
The game started off promising enough for Georgia State. After receiving the ball to start, they utilized tempo to quickly move the ball into Chanticleer territory before stalling out at the 30-yard-line. But then, in what was perhaps a bad omen for the rest of the afternoon, Noel Ruiz’s 47-yard field goal attempt clanged off the right upright and the Panthers came up empty on their opening drive. Coastal quickly followed suit with a fast drive into Georgia State territory. After a 29-yard Jaivon Heiligh touchdown run on fourth-and-1 was negated by a holding penalty, McCall found Heiligh through the air on the resulting fourth-and-7 for a 35-yard TD reception to open the scoring with 8:14 in the 1st quarter. Despite the Georgia State defense stepping up for the rest of the quarter and keeping Coastal off the scoreboard, the Panther offense sputtered and went three-and-out on back-to-back drives and couldn’t take the opportunity to grab a footing in the game.
In a drive spanning between the quarters, Coastal took a two-score lead when McCall hit RB CJ Marable wide open from 18 yards and turnover woes soon afflicted the Georgia State offense. Down 14-0, WR Sam Pinckney coughed it up fighting for extra yards and Brayden Matts jumped on the loose ball for Coastal on the GSU 26. Two 13-yard runs later – Reese White finding the end zone on the second one – and Coastal were up 20-0 in a flash. Just when the Panthers needed to stop the bleeding, it got worse the following drive. Facing a first-and-10 from the 46, Quad Brown was hit as he threw, sending the pass intended for Matlin Marshall right into the arms of a diving Silas Kelly for a Chanticleer interception and setting up the now-rolling Coastal Carolina offense in good field position. After McCall found Sam Denmark for a 27-yard gain to set up the Chants in the Georgia State red zone, he hit Heiligh for his second score of the afternoon and the game continued to spiral for the Panthers. Following another Georgia State three-and-out, Coastal squeezed one more scoring drive out of the first half, with McCall calling his own number and punching it in from 2 yards out and making it a 34-0 halftime lead for the Chanticleers.
The story didn’t change out of the break. The Coastal offense worked more methodically and ran clock in the second half, but the results were the same and they rattled off touchdown drives on each of their first two drives of the 3rd quarter. For its part, the Georgia State offense continued to struggle getting anything going. The Chanticleers were only slowed down when Grayson McCall’s day ended after his fourth touchdown pass of the day – this one to Kameron Brown – made the score 48-0 with 3:33 in the 3rd quarter. Backup QB Fred Payton, rumored to be the starter for most of the week until McCall was cleared to play, still led the Chants on a drive into the end zone with his first action of the day. On this occasion, however, they were held to a 24-yard Massimo Biscardi field goal and the backups finished the game for both sides from that point.
Georgia State remains at home next Saturday and hosts the Warhawks of ULM. Kickoff from Center Parc Stadium is at noon and the game is available to watch on ESPN3.