Coach Shawn Elliott of the Georgia State Panthers reacts during their game against the North Carolina State Wolfpack at Carter-Finley Stadium on September 8, 2018 in Raleigh, North Carolina. North Carolina Sate won 41-7. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Photo: Grant Halverson/Getty Images
Photo: Grant Halverson/Getty Images

5 things to know about Georgia State’s loss to Georgia Southern

Georgia State lost to Georgia Southern 35-14 on Saturday, marking the Panthers’ first loss to the Eagles since 2014. 

Here are five things to know about the Panthers’ loss: 

1. Georgia State’s defense held Southern to a scoreless first quarter

The Panthers’ defense was able to hold Georgia Southern in the first quarter, allowing no points in the first quarter for the first time all season. However, Georgia State’s offense failed to score in the first quarter to get a lead over the Eagles. 

Georgia Southern put up the first score of the game with a 39-yard field goal to open the second quarter and scored its first touchdown later in the second quarter, taking a lead it would not give up. 

2. Wide receiver Penny Hart forgoes final season 

Georgia State wide receiver Penny Hart decided to forgo his final season to enter the NFL Draft. 

Hart finished his career with 2,950 yards, ranking fourth in Sun Belt Conference history. The Panthers now have two of the top four all-time receivers in conference history, including No. 2 Robert Davis with 3,391 yards. 

“I’ve been able to make something of my opportunity,” Hart said. “This being my only offer, this is a place that will always be in my heart. They gave me a chance to be able to say that I could move on and have an opportunity to play professionally. That’s something I will take on, the memories, the opportunity that I was given. Forever I will be indebted to this university.” 

3. Twelve Georgia State seniors play final game

Georgia State honored 12 seniors before the rivalry game. 

They were DE Marterious Allen, S DeAndre Applin, LS Seth-Patrick Holman, TE Lucas Johnson, RB DeMarcus Kirk, LB Warren McWilliams, LB Chase Middleton, OG Gabe Mobley, C Jamal Paxton, QB Jaquez Parks, LB Michael Shaw and WR Penny Hart.

Allen, Mobley, Holman, Shaw, Middleton, and Hart all started against Georgia Southern. With Hart’s decision to forgo his final season, he was among the seniors honored. 

“I really just appreciate what they have done,” Georgia State coach Shawn Elliott said. “They have laid a great foundation that they can’t even see right now.”

4. Georgia State avoids shutout

The Panthers were shutout for three quarters Saturday. Finally, Georgia State found the end zone in the fourth quarter, when quarterback Dan Ellington found wide receiver Devin Gentry for a 7-yard touchdown. 

“Hats off to Georgia Southern,” Elliott said. “I thought they played well defensively, but we didn’t have all our cards in the deck.”

Georgia State avoided its first shutout of the season and the first shutout of the rivalry series. 

5. Panthers finish their season 

Georgia State finished its season 2-10, 1-7. However, the 2018 team set several school records, including most rushing yards in a single season (2,057) and rushing touchdowns in a season (21). 

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