ATLANTA -- Robert Davis’ 80-yard, third quarter catch-and-run highlighted Georgia State’s final game of the 2013 season as the Panthers fell to South Alabama 38-17 on Saturday at the Georgia Dome.
A freshman from Warner Robins, Ga., Davis snared a short Ronnie Bell pass over the middle, juked his defender and raced across the field and down the sideline to the USA 1-yard line midway through the third period. His dash turned into the longest pass play of the season, the longest non-scoring play and the third-longest play in school history. It set up Bell, who then plunged across from the 1 to cap the 81-yard, three-play drive in 1:06.
The scoring drive was one of the few drives the Panthers could sustain. They finished 0-of-10 on third downs and lost the total offense battle 522-345 on the day.
Bell finished 17-of-34 passing for 321 yards and Davis ended with a season-high 110 receiving yards on four catches. It was Bell's fourth 300-yard game of the season and ends his year with 2,573 yards passing. It was Davis' second 100-yard game.
Star wide receiver Albert Wilson ended the final game of his stellar career with six catches for 101 yards and had 168 all-purpose yards to finish as one of the top performers in the country this season. Wilson was one of 25 seniors honored before the game in Senior Day festivities, the first four-year class to pass through the Panther program. This was Wilson's 13th 100-yard receiving game. He finishes with 175 career catches for 3,190 yards. Wilson finishes among the top 40 in NCAA FBS history with 6,235 all-purpose yards.
"I can't say enough about Albert. I love Albert," GSU head coach Trent Miles said. "People don't know the way Albert is in the locker room. He's had a very difficult life and made something very positive out of it and became a leader. He showed up every day and gave everything he had. He had great effort and great attitude. I love him and I look forward to watching him compete at the next level because he will have the opportunity. I need more Albert Wilsons."
Junior fullback Sean Jeppesen scored the final points of the game with a 1-yard touchdown run to pull Georgia State within 21 points. Jeppesen played both ways in the game, starting at linebacker and making three tackles.
USA running back Jay Jones opened the scoring with two first-half touchdowns, rushing for in from 5 and 17 yards out in the first period as USA jumped to a 14-0 lead. Jones helped South Alabama to 306 yards of offense in the opening two quarters before he finished with 102 yard on 17 carries.
The Panthers got on the board with a Wil Lutz 33-yard field goal early in the second period. GSU enjoyed starting that drive with a short field as well following Wilson's career-long 62-yard punt return.
Metheny added the Jaguars' third score of the day with a 1-yard sneak after South Alabama converted on fourh down inside the 5-yard line. Metheny completed 19-of-28 passes for 280 yards in the game. His favorite target was Shavarez Smith, who had 10 catches for 194 yards and one score. Metheny added 50 yards on the ground.
Aleem Sunanon knocked through a 42-yard field goal with 34 seconds left before halftime to give USA the 21-point cushion at the intermission. Kendall Houston scored USA's final points of the third quarter on a 1-yard run to finish off a 6 minute, 28 second drive, the only scoring drive for either team over four minutes.
Georgia State senior linebacker Robert Ferguson finished his career as the only player to play all 45 games in the first four seasons of the program with a school-best 199 career tackles after his five today.