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Fighting Peaches: Georgia State football falls at home to Charlotte, 42-41 (9.17.22) — September 17, 2022

Fighting Peaches: Georgia State football falls at home to Charlotte, 42-41 (9.17.22)

Despite outgaining Charlotte in total yardage and holding a lead late in the fourth quarter, the Georgia State football team remained winless for its 2022 campaign with a 42-21 home defeat at Center Parc Stadium in Atlanta Saturday night.
The Panthers (0-3) took the 41-35 lead at the 1:39 mark in the fourth quarter on Darren Grainger’s 32-yard touchdown pass down the middle to Jamari Thrash. Grainger scored the two-point conversion on a quarterback keeper.
Grainger threw for a team-high and career-high 343 yards and four touchdowns in the defeat. Thrash had a game-high and program-high 213 receiving yards on 10 catches.
Charlotte (1-3) got the ball and drove the ball down the field. The 49ers had their drive extended when Jaylon Jones was called for pass interference defending wide receiver Grant DuBose in the end zone. After a ChaVon McEachern one yard run on first down, he was stopped for a one-yard loss on second down on a tackle by Jordan Veneziale and Jontrey Hunter. However, Charlotte able to take a 42-41 lead with 17 seconds remaining on Chris Reynolds’ two-yard touchdown pass down the middle to DuBose.
Reynolds finished with a game-high 401 passing yards and five touchdowns. DuBose caught a team-high nine passes for 85 yards.
Georgia State got one final possession but weren’t able to ge the ball past midfield as time expired.


“It was a poorly executed football game starting right here at the top with myself,” Panthers’ head coach Shawn Elliott said. “It goes down to our assistant coaches, our captains, our seniors, everyone in that locker room. Everybody take a turn from offense to defense to special teams. I’m sick and mad. Its hard to come in here and talk when you experienced what we just experienced.”


The Panthers outgained the 49ers in total yardage 602-501. Georgia State ran 89 plays compared to only 66 for the 49ers.
Charlotte first play from scrimmage in the fourth quarter resulted in a score as Reynolds found Henry Rutledge for a short pass towards the left sideline and behind a group of blockers he took the ball 31 yards into the end zone, making the score 35-27 in favor of the 49ers.
Georgia State responded with a two-yard rushing touchdown by Tucker Gregg with 11:00 left in regulation. The Panthers’ two-point attempt to tie the contest was unsuccessful as Grainger’s pass into the end zone was broken up. Gregg had a game-high 100 rushing yards.
Georgia State was able to stop Charlotte on the road team’s next possession on fourth down when Veneziale broke up a Reynolds pass intended for Dubose.
The Panthers went for it on fourth and four from the Charlotte 38-yard line but were unable to convert due to an incomplete pass by Grainger to Thrash.
Georgia State’s defense was able to hold and forced a punt, giving the Panthers the ball down 35-33 with 4:21 left in regulation.
From the beginning of the contest, both teams were able to advance the ball with ease offensively.
Georgia State jumped out to the 7-0 lead on its first possession of the contest on a nine-yard touchdown pass from Grainger to Kris Byrd.
Charlotte answered on its first offensive possession with Dubose’s seven-yard touchdown catch from Reynolds to tie the score.
On the next possession, Jamyest Williams’ 13-yard run precipitated a 34-yard touchdown pass towards the left side of the end zone over two Charlotte defenders from Grainger to Robert Lewis.
Georgia State got a big stop on fourth down deep in their territory on Charlotte’s next possession when Thomas Gore tackled Shadrick Byrd for a one-yard loss on fourth-and-goal from the three-yard line.
On the first play of the second quarter, Charlotte tied the score at 14-14 when Barutti Mazangu’s sack forced a fumble by Granger which was recovered by Markees Watts and returned 52 yards for the touchdown.
The 49ers forced another turnover when pressure from defensive tackle Jalar Holley forced an errant pass from Grainger intercepted by defensive lineman Amir Saddiq.
The Panthers got the ball back with another interception in the contest. Quavian White intercepted a pass by Reynolds intended for Dubose.
After forcing a punt, Charlotte took a 21-14 lead on two-yard TD pass from Reynolds to Victor Tucker with 9:04 left in the first half.
Georgia State was able to cut the deficit to 21-20 on its next possession when Gregg rushed it down the right side for a two-yard touchdown. The big play of the drive was a 73-yard pass from Grainger to Thrash. Michael Hayes missed the extra point attempt at the 7:29 mark of the second quarter.
The Panthers outgained the 49ers in total yardage in the first half 309-223.
Leading 21-20 at halftime, Charlotte took the opening possession of the third quarter and proceeded to have a five-play, 75-yar scoring drive culminating in a seven-yard touchdown pass from Reynolds to Elijah Spencer.
Georgia State scored on its first possession of the second half as well as Grainger connected with Byrd on a six-yard touchdown pass on the left side, cutting the 49ers lead to 28-27.
The Panthers’ defense stepped up and stopped Charlotte on fourth down deep in its territory when Reynolds’ pass to Spencer in the end zone was broken up by Jaylon Jones late in the third quarter.
Georgia State returns to action on Thursday, September 22 at home against Coastal Carolina in its Sun Belt Conference opener.

The Sports Inquirer presents Fighting Peaches: Georgia State football falls to North Carolina, 35-28, in home opener (9.10.22) — September 10, 2022

The Sports Inquirer presents Fighting Peaches: Georgia State football falls to North Carolina, 35-28, in home opener (9.10.22)

Despite scoring 18 unanswered points in the third quarter, the Georgia State football team fell short in its home opener against North Carolina 35-28 at Center Parc Stadium Saturday afternoon.


“I never, ever question what we do as a football team does as far as effort,” Panthers’ head coach Shawn Elliott said. “Some of our execution could have been better, but man, what a team that we have. The way we played against the University of South Carolina and the University of North Carolina, we’re going to hold our heads high and come back better next week.”


Trailing 21-10 to start the second half, Georgia State (0-2) cut the deficit on its first possession of the third quarter on Robert Lewis’ 49-yard touchdown catch from Darren Grainger.
Lewis has career highs with 10 receptions for 115 yards along with two touchdowns. Grainger finished the game with a team-high 259 total yards (184 yards passing and 75 yards rushing).
The Panthers’ positive momentum continued when on the very next play from scrimmage, linebacker Jacorey Crawford intercepted North Carolina (3-0) quarterback Drake Maye’s pass. Georgia State took advantage and Michael Hayes’ field goal at the 10:19 mark of the third quarter made the score 21-20 in favor of the Tar Heels.
Georgia State created another turnover on North Carolina’s next offensive possession. Maye completed his pass to Kobe Paysour but a group of Panthers tackled the receiver and forced a fumble recovered by Crawford.
Georgia State took the lead on a 10-play, 98-yard drive that culminated with a 29-yard touchdown pass from Grainger to Lewis with 2:04 left in the third quarter. The Panthers converted a two-point conversion on a catch by Jamari Thrash, making the score 28-21.
North Carolina responded with a 58-yard touchdown run up the middle by Omarion Hampton on its next possession tying up the score at 28-28 going into the fourth quarter. Hampton finished the day with a game-high 110 rushing yards.
The Tar Heels retook the lead early in the fourth quarter on Hampton’s two-yard TD run down the middle, making the score 35-28.
Georgia State created another turnover late in the fourth quarter when Antavious Lane’s tackle of Jones forced a fumble recovered by Jontrey Hunter. However, Panthers were unable to score to tie the contest.


“We had the opportunity to take that game but didn’t make the plays we needed to offensively, defensively and special teams,” Elliott said. “It was a team loss.”


On the first possession of the contest, North Carolina converted a fourth-and-one on a two-yard run by Omarion Hampton. The Tar Heels took advantage of their extra plays and scored the first touchdown of the contest on a 55-yard touchdown pass from Maye to Kamari Morales on an inside slant. Maye had a game-high 284 passing yards and two touchdowns.
Georgia State scored its first points of the contest on a 45-yard field goal by Hayes. The Panthers missed a good opportunity for a touchdown of their own on the previous play when Grainger missed a wide open pass to Kris Byrd. Georgia State also got a break when a Grainger fumble was overturned after review to an illegal forward pass.
North Carolina opened the second quarter with another touchdown courtesy of a seven-yard touchdown run by D.J. Jones.
The Tar Heels continued their fast start, increasing their lea to 21-3 on 28-yard touchdown catch by Paysour with 8:58 remaining in the first half.
Georgia State got its first touchdown of the contest on a six-yard catch by Byrd from Grainger at the 5:32 mark of the second quarter.
North Carolina outgained Georgia State in total yards 467-419.

The Sports Inquirer presents Fighting Peaches: Georgia Tech football fall to Clemson, 41-10, at Chick-Fil-A Kickoff Game (9.6.22) — September 6, 2022

The Sports Inquirer presents Fighting Peaches: Georgia Tech football fall to Clemson, 41-10, at Chick-Fil-A Kickoff Game (9.6.22)

Offensive struggles and special teams errors, including two blocked punts, doomed Georgia Tech as the Yellow Jackets dropper their season opener at the Chick-Fil-A Kickoff Game to Clemson 41-10 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta September 5.

“We’ve got to clean those things up,” Yellow Jackets head coach Geoff Collins said. “The penalties, the blocked punts, the attitude, the demeanor. As the leader of the program, I take great responsibility getting those things cleaned up and I just told the guys its a five-day week to put this game to bed and work on the next opponent.”

Clemson (1-0, 1-0 ACC) amassed 378 total yards of offense a game-high 229 yards from quarterback DJ Uiagalelei. Will Shipley had a team-high 42 rushing yards and two touchdowns on the ground for the Tigers as well.

Georgia Tech (0-1, 0-1 ACC) only had 238 yards of total offense an converted only two out of 16 third-down attempts stalling multiple drives. Jeff Sims threw for a team-high 163 yads and one touchdown while also having a team-high 42 rushing yards. The Yellow Jackets offensive line committed multiple false start penalties in the loss.

“The biggest thing with the false starts is that Clemson was doing a good job of stemming and moving the defensive front,” Collins said. “You have to play those situations with poise staying focused doing your assignment, listen to the snap count and see the ball snapped, all those kind of things.”

On the first offensive play from scrimmage in the contest, Sims’ pass was intercepted by Clemson safety Andrew Mukuba. The Yellow Jackets’ defense was able to hold strong and forced a Tigers’ punt.

Georgia Tech’s defense created the first turnover of the contest early in the first quarter when Ayinde Eley forced and recovered a fumble on a run by Uiagalelei.

On the subsequent possession, Georgia Tech converted a fourth and one in its own territory on a quarterback sneak by Sims for two yards. The drive ended with a punt.

Clemson had the first big play of the game on special teams. Carson Donnelly blocked Yellow Jackets’ punter David Shanahan’s attempt which was recovered by Brannon Spector and returned to the five-yard line. The Tigers were able to convert a fourth-and-one for their first score of the game with a one-yard touchdown run by Shipley.

Georgia Tech placekicker Jude Kelly missed a 50-yard field goal attempt on the team’s next possession.

Clemson increased its lead to 14-0 on a six-yard touchdown pass from Uiagalelei to Beaux Collins with 3:52 left in the first half.

Georgia Tech got on the board with 1:15 remaining in the first half on Kelly’s 45-yard field goal.

Clemson outgained Georgia Tech 145-130 in total yards in the first half. The Yellow Jackets had trouble on third downs only converting on one of eight attempts.

The Yellow Jackets’ defense forced a three-and-out on the Tigers’ first possession of the second half. One of those plays was a sack of Uiagalelei forcing an intentional grounding.

Georgia Tech converted a fourth-and-six on its next possession on Malik Rutherford’s 10-yard catch from Sims. The drive was completed with a 14-yard touchdown pass from Sims to EJ Jenkins at the 9:47 mark of the third quarter, cutting Clemson’s lead to 14-10.

BT Potter’s 29-yard field goal with 5:41 left in the third quarter increased the Tigers’ lead to 17-10.

After forcing the Yellow Jackets to punt, Clemson began to take control on its next possession culminating with a nine-yard quarterback keeper by Uiagalelei at the 1:18 mark of the third quarter, making the score 24-10. Potter’s 32-yard field goal midway through the fourth quarter gave the Tigers the 27-10 lead.

Clemson blocked a punt of its own which led to a touchdown run by Shipley, his second of the night, making the score 34-10 at the 6:27 left in the fourth quarter.

“Even though it was a very disappointing loss and we’re very upset and hurt, there were things to build on,” Collins said. “We have to find that balance to fix things that have to be fixed and improving upon the things that were good in tonight’s game.”

Georgia Tech returns to action September 10 at home against Western Carolina.

The Sports Inquirer presents Technical State of Georgia Athletics: Grainger, defensive effort leads Georgia State football past Troy 37-10 (11.27.21) — November 27, 2021

The Sports Inquirer presents Technical State of Georgia Athletics: Grainger, defensive effort leads Georgia State football past Troy 37-10 (11.27.21)

Georgia State quarterback Darren Grainger (Photo credit: Georgia State Athletics/Rich Von Biberstein)

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.

The Sports Inquirer presents Gridiron Blitz: NFL Week 7 recap (10.26.21) — October 26, 2021

The Sports Inquirer presents Gridiron Blitz: NFL Week 7 recap (10.26.21)

In this edition of the Gridiron Blitz, we look at the struggles of the Kansas City Chiefs and Patrick Mahomes, the emergence of Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals, the quiet strong play of the Green Bay Packers and Tampa Bucs, Tom Brady’s record-breaking season, Kyle Pitts fitting in well with the Atlanta Falcons, Mac Jones finding his way for the New England Patriots, the surprising dominance of Cooper Kupp for the Los Angeles Rams, the Las Vegas Raiders moving on well from Jon Gruden and more.

The Sports Inquirer presents Technical State of Georgia Athletics: Georgia State football defeats Texas State (10.23.21) — October 23, 2021

The Sports Inquirer presents Technical State of Georgia Athletics: Georgia State football defeats Texas State (10.23.21)

Georgia State football player Darren Grainger (Photo credit: Georgia State Athletics)

The Georgia State football team pushed its winning streak to two contests with a 28-16 home victory over Texas State in Sun Belt Conference play Oct. 28.


The Panthers (3-4, 2-1 Sun Belt) amassed 498 yards of total offense in the victory. Quarterback Darren Grainger had 306 total yards (200 passing, 106 rushing) and two touchdown passes for Georgia State. Tucker Gregg had a game-high 115 rushing yards in the win and surpassed the 1,000-yard rushing mark for his career.

“Great homecoming win and a gutsy performance,” Panthers’ head coach Shawn Elliott said. “In the first half, we had the ball for over 10 minutes and had the lead going in. Our defense was holding them to field goals and felt very comfortable going into halftime. I felt like we were going to pull away in the second half and did a great job.”

The Bobcats (2-5, 1-2 Sun Belt) were led by Brady McBride’s game-high 268 passing yards in the loss.

Leading 14-13 to start the second half, Georgia State increased its margin to 21-13 on its first possession of the third quarter with Jamyest Williams’ 28-yard touchdown run. He finished the day with 77 yards rushing and two touchdowns on the ground.

Seth Keller’s 31-yard field goal on the Bobcats’ subsequent possession made the score 21-16 in favor of the Panthers.
Aubry Payne’s 27-yard touchdown catch on a go-route from a throw by Granger in the first play of the fourth quarter increased Georgia State’s lead to 28-16.

The Panthers’ defense created a turnover on the Bobcats’ next possession as Jaylon Jones intercepted a pass thrown by Brady McBride at the five-yard line.

“These wins are tough,” Elliott said. “We pulled out a good win. Texas State is a gutsy team. We had to play with composure in the second half and it got chippy out there. We’re fortunate to come out with a conference win.”

Texas State took a 6-0 lead early in the first quarter on consecutive field goals from 42 yards by Keller.

The Panthers responded on its next possession with an 18-yard touchdown run by Williams and took a 7-6 lead with 54 seconds left in the first quarter. The touchdown completed a seven-play, 99 yard drive that took 2:30 off the clock and tied the program-record for the longest drive in history.

Georgia State increased its lead when it received the ball back on a 35-yard touchdown catch by Jamari Thrash on an inside post route, making the score 14-6 early in the second quarter.

The Bobcats cut the deficit to 14-13 on an eight-yard quarterback keeper by McBride at the 9:46 mark of the second quarter. He had a team-high 46 rushing yards.