Georgia State earns first win, beats New Mexico State

Georgia State won its first game this season and its first over an FBS team with a 34-32 victory over New Mexico State on Saturday in Las Cruces, N.M.

The win, the second for coach Trent Miles as the Panthers’ coach, was assured when the Aggies’ Parker Davidson pushed his 49-yard field goal attempt wide right. He missed an extra point earlier in the game and had another blocked.

Georgia State improved to 1-1 and 1-0 in the Sun Belt, while New Mexico State dropped to 0-2 and 0-1 in conference play.

Georgia State rolled up a school-record 582 yards. Nick Arbuckle completed 32 of 43 passes for 372 yards, with two touchdowns to freshman wide receiver Penny Hart. Hart had 11 receptions for 150 yards.

The Panthers rushed for 210 yards, but saw their top three running backs leave the game with injuries. Kyler Neal led the team with 17 carries for 76 yards and two touchdowns. He left in the second half with what looked like a cramp. DeMarcus Kirk, the fourth-string running back, finished the game. He had 12 carries for 49 yards.

The Panthers’ defense played well in the first half, including stopping the Aggies on fourth and goal at the 1. Linebacker Alonzo McGee made an amazing play to push New Mexico State running back Larry Rose III out inside the 1-yard line. Aggies quarterback Tyler Rogers threw incomplete on fourth down.

But the Panthers’ Robert Davis fumbled the ball on the next series, and New Mexico State’s Jaden Wright returned it 10 yards for a touchdown.

The defense took a hit when safety Bobby Baker was ejected for targeting in the first half. Baker had five takeaways in last week’s loss to Charlotte.

The teams continued to trade scores until the final drive.

The Panthers thought they had the game won when Bruce Dukes intercepted Rogers on fourth and five at the 36-yard line. But Carnell Hopson was called for a facemask penalty, giving the Aggies another chance that they failed to take advantage of.