For the second time this season Georgia State was manhandled on its home field, falling to UT-San Antonio 38-14 in the Georgia Dome. Georgia State was outgained 442-307 on the game and turned the ball over four times.
"We have a gutty bunch, but we are not doing what we need to do," said Coach Bill Curry. "We fight and scratch, but that isn’t enough… we need to eliminate the mistakes that have been plaguing us. The players are giving effort, but that’s not enough. And these are all things I have said repeatedly, but there is nothing left to say."
UTSA converted on seven of their first eight third down attempts which lead to long drives, an overwhelming time of possession advantage, and a gassed Georgia State defense. The roadrunners scored on all four of their first half possessions.
UTSA’s first possession featured a 42 yard run by running back David Glasco II. That 11 play drive went all the way down to the Georgia State nine yard line before the road runners settled for a field goal. The ensuing Georgia State possession lasted only three plays as McLane found Albert Wilson down the sideline for an 85 yard touchdown pass, the longest in Georgia State history.
The 7-3 lead would be the only time the Panthers were ahead the entire game as the Roadrunners then scored 35 unanswered points.
Ben McLane injured his wrist late in the first half and he returned briefly, but was benched for Ohio University transfer Ronnie Bell. McLane finished 6 of 14 for 126 yards, a touchdown, and an interception. Bell was 5 for 11 for 95 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions. He is the fifth quarterback to appear in a game for the Panthers in the last 14 games.
Bell flashed a very strong arm on a number of occasions and showed ability to make plays with his feet by rushing for 22 yards on three carries. He showed poise in the pocket and delivered a number of good balls. But Bell also showed a little bit of over confidence in his ability by forcing two passes that should never have been thrown, resulting in two interceptions. UTSA scored 21 points off of Panther turnovers.
UTSA quarterback Eric Soza was effective throughout the entire game. His mobility proved to be an issue for the Panthers as he ran for 51 yards on nine rushes and Georgia State failed to record a sack for the third straight game. Soza managed the game well, took chances when he could, and was efficient running the option. He finished the game 17 of 24 for 206 yards and two touchdowns.
GSU had no answer for Soza on defense. The secondary was consistently out of position and when they were in position they didn’t make the play. On a 20 yard touchdown pass from Soza to Marcellus Mack that made the scoore 31-7, Jamal Ransby had perfect position to make a play on the ball, and instead of doing so he watched as Mack came across him to catch the touchdown pass.
While the game was already in hand, it is plays like those that have exemplify the Panther’s struggles. The defense simply does not make enough big plays to get teams off the field. Meanwhile, the offense remains stagnant and without identity.
Georgia State’s running back Donald Russell carried the ball just 10 times on the day. He finished with 76 yards and a 7.6 yards per carry average, which brings his total on the season to 266 yards on 37 carries and a 7.1 yards per carry average.
Curry said after the game that they would reassess the quarterback position once they find out the extent of McLane’s injury.