Williamsburg, Va.--Georgia State fell at William and Mary, 35-3, Saturday night at Zable Stadium as the Panthers were undone by seven turnovers.
Donald Russell had 134 yards rushing and receiving and Ronnie Bell showed play-making ability in his first start at quarterback for Georgia State, but William and Mary scored 28 points off GSU turnovers. Playing their first Colonial Athletic Association road game, the Panthers (0-5) hurt themselves with four interceptions and three lost fumbles.
"We work on ball security over and over and over, but if you turn the ball over that many times, you have no chance," said GSU head coach Bill Curry. "We have individuals who are showing good things, but our team has got to come together and do all the things that it takes to win."
Russell recorded his second straight 100-yard rushing effort and third this season with 107 yards on 21 carries, and he added four catches for 27 yards. Bell completed 13 of 26 passes for 157 yards and helped the Panthers convert eight of 14 third down plays, but the redshirt freshman had four interceptions and a lost fumble on a sack.
Keith McBride led the Tribe (1-4, 1-2 CAA) with 163 yards rushing and two touchdowns, while quarterback Raphael Ortiz also scored twice for the Tribe, who managed 312 yards rushing, including 204 in the second half as the GSU defense wore down.
Georgia State jumped in front first. After forcing William and Mary to punt on its first possession, the Panthers took over and moved 62 yards on 11 plays to set up a 37-yard field goal by freshman Wil Lutz, his first career three-pointer.
The Tribe looked to answer with a field goal attempt of their own, but the 45-yard attempt by Drake Kuhn was wide right. GSU forced the field goal attempt when Robert Ferguson chased W&M quarterback from the pocket and John Kelly tracked him down for the Panthers' first sack of the season.
The GSU defense came up with another big play early in the second quarter with a fourth-down stop of quarterback Raphael Ortiz at the Panther 44-yard line. But the Panthers gave the ball back two plays later on a rare fumble by Donald Russell at the William and Mary 44 yard. The Tribe turned that miscue into a scoring drive, capped by Keith McBride's 11-yard run that put William and Mary ahead, 7-3, with eight minutes remaining in the second quarter.
The Panthers then drove to the William and Mary 33 on their next possession before Bell was intercepted. GSU forced a punt and looked to take over with about 90 seconds left in the first half and trailing just 7-3. But Albert Wilson could not corral a bouncing punt, giving the Tribe possession at the GSU 11, and William and Mary punched it into the end zone on Ortiz's one-yard run for a 14-3 halftime lead.
Still trailing just 14-3 after a William and Mary punt early in the third quarter, Bell drove the Panthers from their own three-yard line all the way to the Tribe 36. On second down, he was sacked, leading to a fumble that the Tribe recovered at midfield and then converted into a touchdown four plays later.
The Panthers had another excellent scoring chance late the third quarter after driving from their own 19 to a first down at the Tribe 16. On first-and-10, backup center Ronald Martin, subbing for the injured Michael Davis, snapped the ball over Bell's head for a 25-yard loss. On third-and-35 at the 41, Bell's pass was intercepted in the end zone.
Georgia State returns home next Saturday to host New Hampshire at 3:30 p.m. at the Georgia Dome.