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Georgia State can’t overcome turnovers, loses first game of season to Troy, 28-7

The Trojans win their first SBC game of the year thanks to Grainger’s two interceptions and a fumble

NCAA Football: Georgia St. at Appalachian State Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Georgia State quarterback Darren Grainger committed three turnovers in the Panthers’ 28-7 loss to Troy Saturday night, their first defeat of the season.

Grainger threw an interception on Troy’s 8-yard line on the first drive of the game and fumbled the ball on Troy’s 5-yard line on GSU’s final full drive of the game. He also threw an interception on Georgia State’s 26-yard line in the third quarter.

It was an uncharacteristic performance for the quarterback. Before Saturday Grainger had not thrown a single interception this season.

This game was advertised as the matchup of two of the best running backs in the country, Troy’s Kimani Vidal and GSU’s Marcus Carroll, but neither eclipsed 80 yards. However, Vidal did score the final two touchdowns of the game and Carroll notched the Panthers’ only touchdown.

Vidal and Carroll ranked fourth and fifth in rushing yards across the country heading into Saturday’s game, and Carroll was tied for first in total touchdowns.

The Panthers led 10-3 after one half, but a six-play Troy drive capped with a Damien Taylor touchdown to begin the second half vaulted the Trojans into the lead.

A missed 42-yard field goal from Scott Taylor Renfroe after Grainger’s third quarter interception left optimism for the Panthers, and a converted fake punt rush by lineman Travis Glover kept hope alive for GSU. However, that hope was short-lived as the Panthers were forced to punt after they recovered their own fumble on third down.

Vidal caught his first receiving touchdown on the ensuing Troy drive, extending the lead and putting the Panthers into a dire situation they did not work their way out of.

The Panthers are now 4-1 overall — which is still the best start in program history — and 1-1 against Sun Belt opponents. GSU has a bye next week and its next game is at home against Marshall on October 14.

Reining conference champion Troy is now is now 3-2 overall and 1-0 in Sun Belt action. The Trojans will host Arkansas State next week at 4 pm on Saturday, October 8.