October 21, 2017 - Atlanta, Ga: Georgia State Panthers head coach Shawn Elliott watches from the sideline in the first quarter of their game against the Troy Trojans at GSU Stadium Saturday, October 21, 2017, in Atlanta.. PHOTO / JASON GETZ
Photo: Jason Getz
Photo: Jason Getz

Five things to know about Georgia State’s loss to Texas State

Georgia State lost to Texas State 40-31 on Saturday,giving the Panthers their fourth consecutive loss. 

Here are five things to know about the game:

1. Panthers’ offense run-heavy in first half

Georgia State collected 153 yards on the ground in the first half. Quarterback Dan Ellington led the team with 84 yards in 11 carries. Running back Tra Barnett was the second-leading rusher, with 57 yards and a touchdown, Georgia State’s only touchdown in the first half. 

Georgia State rushed for 221 yards. Ellington was the team’s leading rusher with 89 yards in 13 carries. 

2.Georgia State defense allows costly, big plays in first half

The Panthers’ defense gave up costly plays in the first half, resulting in back-to-back touchdown drive for Texas State. Bobcats quarterback Willie Jones found a hole in the Panthers’ defense and ran for a 48-yard touchdown in the first quarter. 

Jones completed two passes for 31 yards in the first two plays of the Bobcats’ next drive. Texas State capitalized off of the early momentum to take a six-point lead. 

The big plays continued in the second half when Jones connected with Texas State wide receiver Jeremiah Haydel for a 93-yard touchdown. 

“The game itself really got out of hand there in the second half,” Georgia State coach Shawn Elliott said. “That first and second series of the second half, the ability to strike with big plays, and to pull away right there.” 

3. Penny Hart fumbles punt setting up another Texas State touchdown

Punt returner Penny Hart fumbled a Texas State punt, and the Bobcats’ Mason Hays recovered the fumble. Hart’s fumble set up another touchdown drive for the Bobcats. 

Texas State extended its lead to 10 after recovering the fumbled punt. Georgia State lost two fumbles to the Bobcats on Saturday. 

4. Bobcats outscore Panthers 20-0 in third quarter 

Texas State outscored Georgia State 20-0 in the third quarter, scoring on three consecutive drives. The Bobcats had a 23-point lead over the Panthers at the end of the third quarter. 

“Mainly it was just miscommunication,” left tackle Hunter Atkinson said. “We weren’t seeing anything we weren’t used to. We got all the looks we knew we were going to get, but we were just not communicating.” 

Georgia State finally found the end zone early in the fourth quarter, cutting the Bobcats’ lead to 16. 

5. Panthers’ starting QB exits game

Georgia State starting quarterback Dan Ellington headed into the locker room late in the third quarter after taking a targeting hit from Texas State linebacker Bryan London. London was ejected from the game for targeting. Ellington did not return, and backup quarterback Aaron Winchester finished the game. 

“He took a helmet to the head right there,” Elliott said. “He went in, had a headache, so it’s probably in concussion protocol more than likely. I haven’t got that, but more than likely that’s what it is.” 

Winchester passed for 112 yards and one touchdown and gathered 37 yards on the ground.

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