Football recap: Georgia State vs. West Virginia

Georgia State dropped their first road game of the season against West Virginia Mountaineers on Saturday by a score of 41-7 putting the Panthers record down to 0-3.

The Panthers defense kept the game closer than the score reflects as the Mountainers led by two possessions for most of the game.

However, a lack of offensive production by the Panthers offense, followed by mistakes and penalties late in the game gave the Mountaineers the push they needed to solidify their victory.

Ronnie Bell completed five passes on 13 attempts in the game for 63 yards.

West Virginia’s freshman quarterback Ford Childress made his first collegiate start in the game.

On the Mountaineers first play of the game, receiver Mario Alford ran down the field to the Georgia State’s 29-yard-line on a sweep play. Following the big play, the Panthers defense was able to limit rusher Charles Sims to four-yards on two plays, followed by an incomplete pass from Childress.

Nevertheless, the Mountaineers had to settle for a 42-yard field goal by Josh Lambert to give them an early three-point lead.

On their next drive, West Virginia started on their own seven-yard-line. The Mountaineers slowly made their way to midfield, but a 21-yard pass to Ivan McCartney put the Mountaineers just outside the Panthers red zone.

Childress went to Dakiel Shorts for the 21-yard touchdown pass. Childress’s first touchdown pass in his career extended the lead to ten.

Childress was able to find receiver Ivan McCartney late in the second quarter on a deep 41-yard pass to put the Mountaineers up 17-0 at the half.

Notably, the running game has been a struggling component of the Panthers offense so far this season.

However, On the Panthers first offensive play, running back Travis Evans found a gap to run for a 15-yard gain.

Unfortunately, the offense became stagnant following the run and was forced to punt.

The offense continued to struggle throughout the game totaling 220 yards against West Virginia’s 604 yards.

The Panthers rushed for 69-yards in the first half — more than twice the amount the Panthers rushed in the entire game against Chattanooga.

Ronnie Bell completed three out of nine attempted passes in the first half for 52 yards.

Bell’s longest pass of the game came near the end of the first quarter when he threw down field to Robert Davis who jumped up over all three of the Mountaineers secondary for a 31-yard gain on third down. The offense was unable to capitalize on the big gain forcing a punt.

However, The Panthers defense battled to make up for the lack of offense on the next drive.

Following a 43-yard completion to Ronald Carswell putting the Mountaineers near the red zone, cornerback Brent McClendon intercepted Childress’s third-down pass and ran for seven yards after the interception.

Also, the defense proved strong on several plays as linebackers Robert Ferguson and Jarrell Robinson came up with their first sacks of the season.

Ferguson’s sack forced a turnover-on-downs for the Mountaineers and set up the Panthers for their only scoring play of the game.

On the first play of the drive, Bell handed the ball off to Evans who ran down the left sideline for a 65-yard touchdown- the longest run in Georgia State history.

Evans finished the game with 118 yards on 12 carries.

However, the Mountaineers went on to score 24 unanswered points from three touchdowns and a 23-yard field goal.

Running backs of Dreamius Smith and Charles Smith each were able to score touchdown runs in the fourth quarter. Daikiel Shorts came up with his second touchdown reception of the game in the fourth quarter.

The Panthers are back at home next Saturday as they take on the Jacksonville State Gamecocks at 2 p.m.