East Carolina scored a defensive touchdown on the game’s first play from scrimmage Saturday afternoon, but Georgia State ran off 28 unanswered points on the way to a 49-29 non-conference victory at Center Parc Stadium.
Cornelious Brown IV led the way for the Panthers throwing for three touchdowns, two of them to Sam Pinckney. Destin Coates rushed for two scores along with 113 yards on 23 carries. The Panthers piled it on early with 303 yards of offense in the first half to be up 35-13 which was a school record for most points in a half.
Brown finished 18-28 for 238 yards which also included two interceptions. However, the team never wavered by getting up to a 42-16 lead early in the fourth quarter. The Panthers were almost perfectly balanced by complimenting Brown with 247 yards on the ground.
The Panthers had their matchup against Charlotte postponed the week after human error resulted in four Panthers testing positive for COVID-19. The team came out focused and united after last week’s complications.
As for the Pirates, they got off to a fast start like last week when Warren Saba had an interception return for a score. After that like the UCF game where they gave 41 unanswered, the Panthers piled it on early with 28 unanswered. The defense is struggling immensely and potentially could be worse this year after two games.
The offense was not much better with Holton Ahlers going 29-50 for 242 yards with no scores and three interceptions. Tyler Snead was a bright spot after a rough first game with 11 catches for 111 yards. A key for this offense is balance and Ahlers throwing 50 times will not do it. The team finished with only 50 rush yards for the game.
The team needs to get back to the drawing board to figure out these struggles and correct them immediately. A majority of this team returned this season and they have played out of sorts with turnovers, penalties and a lack of discipline on their assignments. If this doesn’t get corrected, it could be a rough rest of the season.
Next up for the Pirates is a trip down to South Florida on Saturday, Oct. 10.
Meanwhile, Georgia State gets a bye this week before a matchup at Arkansas State on Thursday, Oct. 15.