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Georgia State football hoped that a week off, several returning starters and a home game would cure what ailed them in their current three game slide. Not so much. The Panthers were gashed by Murray State losing 48-24 at the Georgia Dome.
Georgia State had been plagued by short drives including 22 three downs and out so far this year and Saturday started the game with two such 3 down series leaving many Panther fans shaking their heads. Murray State took a short field and jumped on the scoreboard 7-0. Georgia State answered with an 8 play, 90 yard drive to tie the ball game at 7 capped by a Donald Russell four yard plunge.
The Panther defense forced a punt and Georgia State was able to kick a field goal to take a 10-7 lead at the end of the first quarter. The lead was the first of any kind since their opening game against Division II Clark Atlanta.
Murray State answered the second quarter bell with 21 straight point fueled by forced Panther fumble that was negated by a questionable penalty on the 1 yard line that was never explained by the officiating staff. From there, the roof caved in on the Panthers as they walked into the halftime locker room down 28-10.
Panther fans witnessed the opening drive of the second half push Murray State's lead to 35-10 after a 12 play, 97 yard drive. Coach Bill Curry has stressed that his team will never quit and he was right. The quarterback combination of Drew Little and Kelton Hill combined for 4/7 for 93 yards and a touchdown to trim the lead to 35-24 at the end of three quarters.
Georgia State's defense forced a short drive out of the Racer offense and the Panther offense was able to roll down the field beating up the Murray State defense before stalling on the 14 yard line. Freshman Christian Benvenuto missed a 33 yard field goal and the air was out of the balloon.
Georgia State heads back on the road next Saturday facing South Carolina State at 1:30pm ET.