Georgia State football went on the road for only the fifth time in program history facing the No. 16 ranked team in FCS the Jacksonville State Gamecocks. There must be something about games in Alabama.
The Panthers fell 37-21 and were plagued by a critical special teams mistake that swung the momentum in the opponent's favor. For the second consecutive week, a blocked punt was returned for a touchdown. This week, a curious call by the coaching staff placed 2010 starting QB Drew Little in the game on 4th down and 4 on the JSU 49 yard line. Little attempted a quick kick that was blocked and returned 34 yards and the air seemed to be let out of the Panthers' balloon.
Georgia State's defense struggled thus far stopping the run and it got no better on the road giving up 246 yards on 58 carries.The combination of former Georgia running back Washaun Ealey, who ran for 82 yards and a touchdown, and QB Coty Blanchard, who ran for 77 yards and two TDs, were just too much. The Panthers defense made stops late in the game but committed critical personal foul penalties that continued JSU drives. Coach Bill Curry talked about how close this game was without the mental errors:
"If we take the penalties and simply play intelligently, then we are right in the game. But we kept their drives alive with silly mistakes, and we didn't sustain enough offensively. We didn't show poise in the clutch."
Georgia State stays on the road next Saturday playing their lone FBS opponent of the season in the Houston Cougars of Conference USA. The Panthers will try to slow down Senior Case Keenum and the high powered Houston offensive attack.