Richmond Vs. Georgia State: Panthers Fall To Spiders 35-14

The Panthers have allowed 122 points in three games.

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Richmond vs Georgia State: Post Game Reaction- Bell Could Play More Moving Forward

For the second game in a row Ronnie Bell took a significant amount of snaps at quarterback for Georgia State. Ben McLane, the starting quarterback, injured his left hand in last week’s game against UT- San Antonio. He did not play the entire second half because of numbness in his hand, but started the game today against Richmond. However, Curry said after the game that he continues to have issues with the injury.

But when asked, Coach Bill Curry said it was because of sporadic play and not the injured left hand that caused the coaching staff to pull him in favor of Bell in the fourth quarter.

“No. We had been so sporadic on offense up to that point that we probably should have put him in a lot sooner,” Curry said. “I think he will play more next week.”

Bell has been mildly effective in his limited playing time so far this season. He has shown tremendous arm strength and athletic ability, but also displays poor decision making at times. His confidence is clearly evident every time he steps on the field, but that confidence causes him to overthrow balls or to make poor decisions in the passing game, which have led to three interceptions on the year.

Bell is 12 of 21 on the season for 186 yards and two touchdowns, but the turnovers are something the coaches can’t ignore.

The only word to describe the play of McLane thus far in the season is simply sporadic. He looks very comfortable when the running game is utilized effectively and he can get into a rhythm. But too many times McLane simply looks rattled and starts to force ball in areas they shouldn’t go, or puts the ball way over the head of his receiver. McLane on the season is 47 of 96 passing for 496 yards and 2 touchdowns while throwing three interceptions.

Another disadvantage that McLane faces is his lack of mobility. He has decent pocket awareness and throws the ball well on the run, but Bell’s athleticism allows him to escape pressure and gain positive yards. McLane simply does not have that ability.

So Georgia State continues to search for the quarterback that will lead their program. Will Ronnie Bell seize his opportunity and take the lead in a struggling offense? Or will McLane provide the consistency and accuracy the team desperately needs in a signal caller? The Panthers have been asking similar questions for the last year and a half and unfortunately a positive answer does not appear to be anywhere in sight.

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Richmond Vs. Georgia State: Panthers Fall At Home 35-14

Georgia State will remain winless on the season after falling to the Richmond Spiders 35-14 at home in the Georgia Dome. The game was Georgia State’s first conference game as a member of the Colonial Athletic Association, which the team will be members of for just one season since they will join the Sun Belt Conference in July 2013.

The Spiders wasted no time in welcoming the Panthers for their short stay as they jumped out to a 21-0 lead. After Richmond’s opening drive resulted in a punt, the Spiders would have consecutive scoring drives of 13 and 14 plays respectively as the Panther defense was on the field for 31 of the game’s first 39 plays. That amount of work gassed the Panther defense early and left the Panthers in a 21-0 deficit just six minutes to play before halftime.

Georgia State received a short boost in momentum starting with their next drive as Donald Russell broke off a 52 yard run to take the ball into Spider territory. A pass interference penalty would give GSU a first down in the red zone and the Panthers were able to convert with a 13 yard touchdown pass from Ben McLane to Albert Wilson to make the score 21-7.

The Panther defense seized on the momentum from the offense and forced a quick three and out, leaving GSU 40 seconds to try to score and bring the game within a touchdown before halftime. However, McLane’s first pass would go straight off the hands of tight end Emmanuel Obeughi and straight into the hands of Richmond safety Cooper Taylor, an Atlanta area native.

The Spiders capitalized on the turnover and was able to score on a one yard run to take a 28-7 halftime lead. It appeared the Panthers had held on fourth down from the one as time expired, but an offside penalty would give the Spiders one untimed down in which they scored.

Georgia State was able to move the ball in spurts throughout the game, but continue to be hampered by inconsistency. Backup quarterback Ronnie Bell played the entire fourth quarter and was mildly effective aside from two interceptions on poorly thrown balls. Bell was 7 of 10 for 91 yards and a touchdown, while starter Ben McLane was 16 of 26 for 140 yards and a touchdown. McLane continues to deal with a left hand injury, but the decision to not play him in the fourth quarter was made because of performance and not health.

The Panthers were just 1 of 4 on fourth down attempts during the game. Two of the failed attempts were from less than two yards.

Donald Russell was the lone highlight for the Panthers as he rushed for 119 yards on 24 carries and also had 51 yards on 5 receptions. He would score his first touchdown of the season on a 1 yard carry with less than a minute to go in the game that would make the score 35-14. Georgia State would recover the onside kick, but on the ensuing possession Ronnie Bell threw on an interception to seal the deal.

The Spiders were not overly impressive on offense, but were efficient. They took advantage of a GSU secondary that continues to play a soft zone pass coverage despite giving up nearly 300 yards per game. Richmond seemed to run the same 8-12 yard out route over and over with continued success.

Georgia State also continues to struggle containing mobile quarterbacks as Richmond QB John Laub rushed for 72 yards and three touchdowns. Laub threw for 223 yards and a touchdown on 16 of 25 passing.

A continued problem for this defense is the lack of play making ability. The tackling has improved from a year ago, but is still not good enough. The secondary has taken a giant step back while the front seven looks to be much stronger. Panther defensive backs had their hands on three balls that could have all been interceptions, but were unable to reel them in.

One such play came when Georgia State was down 7-0 and the D’Mario Gunn undercut an out route and looked to have the endzone on his mind. Instead, he dropped the sure interception, and the Spiders would go on to score.

Those type of plays are why the Panthers have yet to be competitive in a game this season. The road will certainly not get any easier for them as they continue in CAA play.

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Richmond Vs. Georgia State Score: Panthers Trail 28-7 At Halftime

Georgia State trails the Richmond Spiders 28-7 at halftime. The game is Georgia State’s first conference game in the Colonial Athletic Association.

The Panther defense was on the field for 14 of the game’s first 16 minutes and was already showing signs of fatigue in the second quarter. After stopping the Spiders on their first drive they allowed three consecutive scoring drives of 50 yards or more.

Georgia State went for fourth down conversions twice trying to get the offense going and were stopped both times.

Late in the second quarter the Panthers were able to score on a 13 yard pass from Ben McLane to Albert Wilson to make the score 21-7. On the ensuing Richmond drive, the Panthers were able to force a punt and retain possession with 40 seconds remaining before halftime.

However, the first play of the drive was a pass that was deflected by GSU tight end Emmanuel Obeughi and went straight into the hands of a Spider defender. Richmond responded with a 32 yards pass which set up a 1 yard touchdown as time expired to make the score 28-7.

Georgia State running back Donald Russell leads all rushers with 80 yards on nine carries.

For more on the Panthers be sure to check out SB Nation Atlanta. For more college football news and notes head over to SB Nation's College Football page.

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