Led by Darren Grainger’s two touchdown passes and rushing for 247 yards as a team, Georgia State football extended its winning streak to three games with a 37-10 home win over Troy Saturday afternoon at Center Parc Stadium.
It was the Panthers’ (7-5, 6-2 Sun Belt) sixth conference win of the season which is the most in a single campaign in program history.
“What a way to finish our regular season,” Georgia State head coach Shawn Elliott said. “Our guys had a great mindset and played well. We’ve won six our our last seven, what an accomplishment.”
Grainger finished the day with a team-high 287 total yards. Jamyest Williams posted a game-high 108 rushing yards and a touchdown on the ground for Georgia State. The Panthers finished the day with 247 rushing yards.
“Those guys up front, tight ends and perimeter players did a great job,” Elliott said. “Business as usual controlling the line of scrimmage, running the football and handling that defense.”
Gunnar Watson threw for a game-high 287 yards for the Trojans (5-7,3-5 Sun Belt) in the defeat.
Georgia State defense had a strong performance as a unit. It held the Trojans’ offense to only 57 rushing yards, forced four turnovers, posted five sacks and eight tackles for loss.
“What an amazing effort,” Elliott said. “We played everyone on defense and to the very end were lights out. I’m seldom relaxed on the sideline but seeing their effort I knew they would take care of it.”
Georgia State got on the board first with a 13-yard touchdown pass from Grainger to Aubry Payne midway through the first quarter for the 7-0 lead.
Troy got a break later in the quarter when Georgia State returner Quavian White fumbled an attempt to catch a punt which was recover by Trojans’ player Jordan Anthony.
On the very next snap from scrimmage, Watson completed a pass to Tez Johnson but the ball was fumbled on a tackle by Georgia State’s Chris Moore and recovered by Blake Carroll.
Georgia State turned the ball over itself on its next possession when Granger fumbled the ball diving for the end zone on a running play. Troy defender Will Cholah forced the fumble and it was recovered by teammate Javon Solomon in the end zone for a touchback.
Georgia State increased its lead to 14-0 on Grainger’s 26-yard TD pass to Sam Pinckney early in the second quarter. Pinckney was able to catch the fade route pass in the back left corner of the end zone. He finished the game with a team-high 80 receiving yards.
The Panthers got another turnover when Antavious Lane intercepted Watson’s pass late in the second quarter. Georgia State took advantage of the good field position and Noel Ruiz’s 43-yard field goal at the 2:46 mark of the second quarter increased its lead to 17-0.
The Trojans scored their first points of the contest on a 48-yard field goal by Brooks Buce with 34 seconds remaining in the first half.
Georgia State outgained Troy 246-137 in total yards in the first half. The Panthers’ defense held the Trojans to only 8 rushing yards through the first two quarters.
Leading 17-3 to start the second half, the Panthers increased its margin to 20-3 on its first possession of the third quarter on Noel Ruiz’s 45-yard field goal.
Jamil Muhommad’s 72-yard fumble return for a touchdown midway through the third quarter made the score 27-3 in favor of the Panthers. The fumble was forced on a sack of Watson by Carrroll. Muhommad had two sacks total in the contest.
Ruiz’s third field goal of the contest increased the lead to 30-3 at the 1:30 mark of the third quarter.
Williams’ 50-yard touchdown run down the middle early in the fourth quarter made the score 37-3.
Troy’s first touchdown of the contest came with 7:06 left in regulation on B.J. Smith’s two-yard run, making the score 37-10.