The conference matchup between Georgia State and Old Dominion kicked off under a gloomy sky at Center Parc stadium. Coming off a heartbreaking loss to the red-hot Appalachian State Mountaineers, Georgia State looks to right the ship and get back to .500 in Sun-Belt conference play. In contrast, Old Dominion looks to keep the ball rolling after a 49-21 shellacking of Coastal Carolina.
The offensive play calling was extremely aggressive out of the gates. Both defenses had the answers with consecutive 4th down stops. Old Dominion drew first blood with a 61-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Hayden Wolff to wide receiver Javon Harvey. The Old Dominion offense started the game looking to push the ball down the field and test the Panther’s secondary.
The Panther’s offense struggled to get going early after turning the ball over on downs and punting. The woes did not last long for the offensive unit. The story of the game was Georgia State’s ability to run the ball and move Old Dominion’s front seven off the line of scrimmage. The Panther’s offense rushed for 223 yards and three touchdowns.
Darren Grainger (109), Tucker Gregg (50), Jaymest Williams (42) and Marcus Carroll (22) combined for that incredible total and three touchdowns in their victory over Old Dominion. When the Panthers play their brand of smash-mouth football, it is virtually impossible to stop. The Panther’s offense executed a 17-play, 80-yard scoring drive in which 14 of the 17 plays were runs.
Tucker Gregg became Georgia State’s all-time leading rusher (2,165) in today’s matchup, surpassing Tra Barnett (2,156). “It is great to have an offensive line to run behind. It is a great record to have, but it is as much their record as it is mine,” Tucker Gregg said. The humility needed for a former walk-on turned all-time program rushing leader to give credit to the big men up front shows how selfless a football player Tucker Gregg is.
The offensive line had one of their most dominant outings as the backfield of Georgia State ran through wide-open holes throughout most of the second half. The Panthers handily won the trenches on both sides of the ball.
Old Dominion struggled mightily to move the ball on the stingy Panther’s defense. Georgia State recorded six sacks, including a strip sack which the Panthers recovered and an interception on the day. The six sacks on the day are more than they have tallied on the season. Georgia State’s front seven was able to dominate and put pressure on the face of Hayden Wolff all day long.
Georgia State is now 2-2 in interconference play after their convincing win over Old Dominion. The Panthers will turn the page to another conference foe, the 5-3 Southern Miss Golden Eagles. If the Panthers want to salvage the season and dig themselves out of their 3-5 hole, another conference win will do wonders for the team’s morale. If they continue to play their brand of football, it is hard to see a world in which they can’t right the ship.