Colorado Springs, Colo. -- Georgia State fell at Air Force 48-14 Saturday at Falcon Stadium.
Georgia State (0-2) got off to a strong start with a touchdown on its opening drive, and the Panthers trailed 20-14 late in the second quarter, but Air Force (2-0) scored on its final possession of the first half and first two of the second half to take a 41-14 lead midway through the third quarter.
While the Panthers struggled offensively, Air Force rushed for 464 yards, led by quarterback Nate Romine with 124 yards, to win its 14th consecutive home game.
On Georgia State's first possession, quarterback Conner Manning moved the Panthers down the field with a 34-yard completion to Robert Davis and a 17-yard third-down conversion to Glenn Smith before hitting Ari Werts with a 22-yard scoring pass. Werts' first career touchdown gave the Panthers a 7-0 lead three minutes into the game.
But Air Force answered immediately as Tim McVey returned the ensuing kickoff 100 yards for the tying touchdown.
The Falcons put together two time-consuming drives, but both times the Georgia State defense forced Air Force to settle for field goals, the second one giving the Falcons a 13-7 lead early in the second quarter.
After Air Force converted a short field into a touchdown to take a 20-7 lead, Glenn Smith delivered an 88-yard kickoff return to set up the Panthers. Smith bounced off a tackler on the right side of the field, cut back to his left and raced down the sideline before he was finally brought down at the 6-yard line. With Aaron Winchester at quarterback, GSU needed just two plays to get into the end zone with Kendrick Dorn taking it in from the 2 for his first career touchdown. That brought the Panthers within 20-14 with nine minutes to play in the first half.
After an exchange of punts, Air Force quarterback Nate Romine completed consecutive passes of 14 and 32 yards to set up the Falcons' final score of the first half, a 10-yard run by Tyler Williams that put the Falcons ahead 27-14.
Late in the half, Manning hit Davis for 40 yards down to the Air Force 28, but after three straight incompletions, GSU missed a 45-yard field goal attempt.
After Air Force scored on the first possession of the second half, the Falcons executed an onsides kick to regain possession at the 50-yard line to set up another touchdown and a 41-14 advantage with nine minutes to play in the third quarter.
"We couldn't keep our offense on the field .We've got to find our who we are and find a way to run the ball because we just can't keep leaving our defense out there," head coach Trent Miles said. "We've got a lot of things we've got to fix. Our kicking game is struggling right now, and we've got to do a better job of coaching it and executing it.
"We had some opportunities that we couldn't take advantage of. Instead go three-and-out and put the defense back on the field, and they wear you down. Give credit to Air Force; we got beat by a better football team today."
Davis finished with three catches for 79 yards, and the GSU senior is now nine receptions behind the Panthers' career record of 175 by Albert Wilson (2010-13). Davis also topped the 2,500 mark for receiving yards.
Sophomore linebacker Chase Middleton made 15 tackles, equalling the fourth-highest single-game total in school history and just two fewer than the GSU record.
Georgia State plays the second of three road games next week at Wisconsin with kickoff at 12 p.m. on the Big Ten Network.