The Georgia State Panthers won a high-scoring rivalry matchup 41-33 Saturday evening against Georgia Southern. This marks three times in a row that the Panthers have beat the Eagles in this rivalry.
“This game means more to us,” Shawn Elliott said postgame. “All that coach speak about every game’s the same, that’s bull crap.”
The Panthers’ second win of the year was fueled by a highly efficient rushing attack and four interceptions thrown by Eagles’ quarterback Kyle Vantrease. The Panthers also recovered a fumble. Georgia State now has 15 turnovers in their last six games.
“We’re just in the right spots at times to take that ball away from them,” Elliott remarked. “You have to put some pressure on that quarterback and make him uncomfortable. We did that a few times. All in all, we were just right there making the plays today...When you create those turnovers, that’s very nice. It gives you another opportunity to go down and score.”
GSU running backs Jamyest Williams and Tucker Gregg dominated the game. Each eclipsed 100 yards on the ground for the second game in a row. Williams’s game-high 129 yards is a career-best and Gregg’s two scores increased his lead as the Panthers’ all-time rushing score leader.
As is now to be expected by the redefined Georgia Southern offense, the Eagles threw the ball almost 50 times with Vantrease, the former Buffalo signal caller. Vantrease completed 30 of 49 throws for 357 yards to further his lead for most passing yards in the Sun Belt, but four picks tarnished an otherwise impressive game.
Four different Panthers got on the other end of Vantrease’s passes, notably including Quavian White. White’s pick Saturday increased his program-record career interception total.
Late in the game Georgia Southern had an opportunity to piece together a comeback attempt but a second-play Khaleb Hood fumble sealed the deal. Hood caught 11 passes for 120 yards and a score in this game.
The victory is Georgia State’s second in two weeks after losing four straight to begin the season. The Panthers are now 1-1 in Sun Belt play after previously losing to Coastal Carolina. GSU has a bye week before they travel to App State for another in-conference battle.
Southern’s loss is its third of the year and brings the Eagles’ season record to an even .500. They are winless in-conference. This is a trend they will attempt to correct next week against undefeated James Madison.