Daniels led LSU to touchdowns on each of its five first-half possessions, which it led 35-14. That carried over to the second half, when he engineered three more scores before he was removed from the game, despite begging coach Brian Kelly for one more turn.
Georgia State (6-5) has lost four consecutive games and finishes the season on Saturday at Old Dominion.
Georgia State gamely hung with the Tigers for much of the first half, and the score was tied 14-14 after the Panthers scored on two of its first three possessions, a 6-yard pass from Darren Grainger to Tailique Williams that capped an eight-play 75-yard drive and a 44-yard run by Marcus Carroll.
“Despite only having 14 points, I felt like we moved the ball pretty well,” Grainger said.
The momentum-changing sequence came after Georgia State turned the ball over on downs at the LSU 30. The Panthers went for it on fourth-and-7, and Grainger’s pass was incomplete. LSU scored on the next play, a 70-yard pass from Williams to Brian Thomas.
“You come out with a loss like this, but we were right there with four minutes to go in the first half,” Elliott said. “We had done a pretty good job of executing what we wanted to do, and then it slipped away after that explosive play.”
Daniels, who completed 25 of 30 passes for 413 yards and ran 10 times for 96 yards and scored on runs of 14 and 1 yards. Three receivers had 100-yard nights – Malik Nabers with eight catches for 140 yards and two touchdowns, Kyren Lacy with five catches for 101 yards and two touchdowns and Thomas with four receptions for 103 yards and one touchdown.
Georgia State did reach a few milestones in the loss.
Grainger’s touchdown pass was the 52nd of his career, moving him past Nick Arbuckle and into first place on the school’s career list. Grainger completed 23 of 29 passes for 179 yards and ran nine times for 13 yards.
Carroll set a single-season record with his 13th touchdown. He ran 15 times for 87 yards, giving him 2,079 career yards, and caught four passes for 51 yards.
Linebacker Jontrey Hunter set a school record when he forced the seventh fumble of his career. He finished with seven tackles.
Elliott was encouraged by the offense, which has not been in sync since the win at Louisiana-Lafayette.
“I felt like we lost something, and I said we need to find it,” Elliott said. “Honestly, I felt we found it from an offensive standpoint. We were very comfortable in what we were doing. There were some times in the game that dictated us doing something we probably didn’t want to do. But I thought we played with a little more confidence to move the ball. Hopefully that’s something we take out of this game moving forward.”