Orangeburg, S.C.-Georgia State fell on the road at South Carolina State, 23-13, despite a school-record 244 yards rushing Saturday at Oliver C. Dawson Stadium.
The Panthers dropped their fifth straight to fall to 1-5 on the season, while South Carolina State improved to 4-3.
Georgia State played without starting quarterback Drew Little due to injury, so the Panthers relied on their ground attack while playing Bo Schlechter and Kelton Hill under center.
Hill rushed for 94 yards on 16 carries, missing his own school mark by just one yard. Running back Donald Russell added a season-high 85 yards and a touchdown.
"We've got to learn to finish the job," said GSU head coach Bill Curry. "But we took another step forward, and we've got to look at it that way. We were in position to give ourselves a chance to win.
"It seems like every time we get something going, we lose the person who was the spark plug," Curry continued. "Today we had to play without Drew Little, so we relied on our other quarterbacks and tried to go with what they do well. But we're not going to use injuries as an excuse."
Georgia State took a 13-10 lead on Russell's nine-yard touchdown run with six minutes left in the third quarter. That was Russell's team-leading seventh score of the season, and the junior transfer from Kentucky has reached the end zone in every game he has played for GSU.
South Carolina State answered with a 34-yard field goal by Blake Erickson, tying the score at 13-all with an eight-play, 52-yard drive.
The Panthers were looking to regain the lead on their next possession with a first down at the SCSU 33.. But a false start penalty on third-and-one stalled the drive, and freshman Christian Benvenuto, who booted two first half field goals, was forced to try a 46-yarder into a stiff wind. From there, the Bulldogs drove for another field goal to take a 16-13 lead they would not relinquish.
Georgia State continued to move the ball on the ground, gaining a first down at the SCSU 42. But Hill was sacked on third-and-eight and the Panthers were forced to punt.
South Carolina State took over at its own 20 with 6:43 to play and began its game-clinching drive that covered 80 yards and 16 plays and ate up more than five minutes, culminating with quarterback Richard Cue's one-yard touchdown run.
Cue finished 16-for-30 for 213 yards passing, plus 45 yards rushing and two scores for SCSU. Asheton Jordon gained 74 yards on the ground.
GSU's 244 yards rushing included a combined total of 241 yards from the trio of Hill (94 yards), Russell (85) and Travis Evans (62) as the Panthers bettered their previous high of 232 yards on the ground, set last season against Savannah State.
However, with top passer Little sidelined, GSU managed just 76 yards in the air, going 6-for-20 with three interceptions.
The Panthers took a 6-3 lead into the locker room on a pair of field goals by Benvenuto, who connected from 23 and 40 yards.
Georgia State returns home next Saturday to host South Alabama for Homecoming at the 3 p.m. at the Georgia Dome.