MOBILE, ALA. -- Gavin Patterson's 30-yard field goal with two seconds left gave South Alabama a 13-10 victory over Georgia State Saturday at Ladd-Peebles Stadium, spoiling another outstanding performance by the Panthers' defense.
Georgia State (2-6, 1-3 Sun Belt), playing its second straight game without starting quarterback Conner Manning, took a 10-3 lead late in the third quarter, but the Jaguars (4-4, 1-4 Sun Belt) tied the game with six minutes left.
With Manning injured, the GSU defense has been stellar the last two games, allowing just one touchdown and 19 points in the two contests, but the Panthers have struggled to move the ball on offense.
With the score tied at 10-all late in the game, Georgia State took over at its own 9-yard line with 1:28 to play. But after the Panthers managed just one first down and South Alabama used its three timeouts, a poor punt gave the Jaguars possession at the GSU 31 with 44 seconds to play to set up the winning field goal.
The Georgia State defense came up with several big stops in the game.
In a 3-3 game in the third quarter, a fumble gave the Jaguars the ball at the GSU 27-yard line, but the defense held. On third-and-3 at the 20, Shawayne Lawrence tackled the ball carrier for a a 2-yard loss, forcing a field goal attempt. But the snap was bad, and the Panthers took over at the 29-yard line.
That stop allowed Georgia State to take a 10-3 lead with an 11-play, 71-yard drive. Quarterback Aaron Winchester hit Glenn Smith for 22-yard down to the USA 21 found Robert Davis for 20 yards to the 2. Then Demarcus Kirk took it in for the touchdown and a 10-3 Georgia State lead with 2:34 left in the third quarter.
Davis' catch gave him at least one reception in his 45th straight game, tied for the FBS active lead.
The defense turned in another big play on South Alabama's next possession as Bryan Williams caused a fumble and Bobby Baker recovered at the GSU 49. That is the fifth fumble recovery of Baker's career, adding to his GSU record.
Georgia State drove into South Alabama territory but a penalty thwarted the drive and forced a punt. South Alabama drove 92 yards on 14 plays and tied the game on Tyreis Thomas' 2-yard touchdown run. The big play was Dallas Davis' 14-yard completion to Gerald Everett on fourth-and-11 at the GSU 25. That knotted the score at 10-10 with six minutes left.
"The defense did a great job of getting a turnover," head coach Trent Miles said. "We were up seven in their territory and we get no points out of it. We were not good enough on offense, we didn't step up on special teams when we had to, and we let them off the hook,"
"Our kids played really hard. The defense was playing great."
Georgia State took the opening kickoff and moved down the field for Rogier ten Lohuis' 30-yard field goal, giving the Panthers a 3-0 lead five minutes into the game.
For the fifth time in the last six games, the GSU defense did not allow a touchdown in the first half.
Junior cornerback B.J. Clay grabbed his third interception in the last three games, this one coming at the GSU 12-yard on the Jaguars' fake punt attempt.
Winchester, the redshirt freshman, completed 11 of 18 passes for 113 yards and rushed 21 times for a net of 64 yards, but he was sacked four times.
Georgia State will have just a few days to prepare for hosting Arkansas State on Thursday night at 7:30 p.m. in the Georgia Dome. The game will air live on ESPNU.