ATLANTA – Georgia State had its three-game winning streak snapped with a 34-10 loss to Troy in Saturday’s Homecoming game at Georgia State Stadium.
Playing their first home game in 51 days, the Panthers (3-3, 2-1 Sun Belt Belt) struggled to move the ball against the top defense in the Sun Belt. Conner Manning passed for 255 yards, including a touchdown pass to Penny Hart, but the GSU quarterback was sacked four times and the Panthers managed on 52 yards rushing.
Georgia State couldn’t capitalize on the opportunities it did have with two missed field goals, a fourth down stop and an interception in the red zone.
“It was a very, very disappointing game for us, after playing pretty well the last three weeks,” head coach Shawn Elliott said. “A lot had to do with a good Troy team. They came out and played exceptionally well. They controlled the line of scrimmage on both sides.
“Our message to our team was that you have to bring everything you’ve got every single week,” Elliott continued. “This is going to be a very valuable lesson for that our football team will learn about how we prepare after having some type of success. We’ve got to play to the best of our ability each and every week to have a chance to compete, and today we certainly didn’t do that.”
Glenn Smith led the Panthers with eight catches for 70 yards, while freshman Tamir Jones finished with 75 yards on five catches. Hart, among the top receivers in the country, caught a 3-yard touchdown, but was held to just five catches for 32 yards and a touchdown.
Georgia State got off to a good start as senior Bryan Williams intercepted Troy quarterback Brandon Silvers on the third play of the game, giving the Panthers the ball at the Troy 39-yard line, Brandon Williams booted a 30-yard field goal for a 3-0 lead. Williams’ interception is his team-leading third of the season.
But Troy (5-2, 2-1 Sun Belt) answered quickly with Silver’s 49-yard touchdown pass to John Johnson. The Trojans added two more touchdowns on back-to-back possessions early in the second half to move ahead 21-3.
The Panthers missed opportunities to pull closer. After a missed field goal, Manning drove the GSU to a first-and-goal at the Troy 5 in the final two minutes of the half, but the Panthers could not punch it in as Manning’s fourth-down pass from the 4 was incomplete.
Silvers led Troy (5-2, 2-1 Sun Belt) with 335 yards and two touchdowns through the air on 25-of-35 passing.
Georgia State now faces a quick turnaround as the Panthers host a Thursday night game against South Alabama at 7:30 p.m. on ESPNU from Georgia State Stadium.