Panthers Rue Missed Opportunities, Drop Road Battle to ULM
Georgia State (6-3, 3-2 in Sun Belt) could not close out late, giving up the last 14 points of the game to lose 45-31 to the ULM Warhawks (4-5, 3-2 in Sun Belt). In defeat, the Panthers had another banner day on the ground, breaking the single-game rushing record again with 414 yards. Tra Barnett led the Panthers rushing attack with 190 yards and two touchdowns. Caleb Evans was a one-man show for the Warhawks, passing for 291 yards and three touchdowns and 110 yards rushing. Josh Johnson also starred for ULM, tallying 168 yards on the ground.
Both offenses scored early and often, with the lead changing seven times over the first two quarters. It was 24-24 – after a ULM field goal on their last drive of the half – when the game turned. Georgia State QB Dan Ellington came up hurt on a slide and had to leave the field. He wouldn’t return and the keys of the offense were turned over to true freshman Cornelious Brown.
ULM struck first in the second half after blocking a Brandon Wright field goal, through Johnson’s second rushing touchdown. The Panthers were able to match the score through Barnett and got a chance to go for the lead after a long ULM drive ended in a missed field goal. However, the Warhawk defense made a stand and their offense put together another extended drive, this one ending with a Markis McCray TD reception to go up 38-31. The Georgia State offense quickly advanced the ball into ULM territory but a costly Barnett fumble gave the ball right back to the Warhawks. The defense got the stop but after the offense sputtered and failed on 4th down from their own 28, ULM made quick work of the short field and put the game away – again through a McCray touchdown.
The Panthers are back in action next Saturday when they host the Appalachian State Mountaineers in a pivotal Sun Belt East showdown. Kickoff is at 7:30pm.