GEORGIA STATE (5-3, 4-1) at TEXAS STATE (2-7, 1-4)
Saturday, Nov. 11, 4 p.m. ET, Bobcat Stadium, San Marcos, Texas
TV: ESPN3. Announcers are Don Harris, Chuck Miketinac and Brooke Shoemaker.
RADIO: Georgia State Radio Network, including Atlanta flagship 1340 AM/103.7 FM. Dave Cohen is in his 35th season as the play-by-play voice of Panther athletics. Harper LeBel joins him from the booth. Free audio stream on GeorgiaStateSports.com and GSU mobile app.
Georgia State: Shawn Elliott
Record at GSU: 5-3 (1st year) / Career Record: 6-8 (2nd year)
Texas State: Everett Withers Record at TxSt: 4-17 (2nd year) / Career Record: 29-30 (5th year)
THE KICKOFF: Entering its final road game of the season Saturday at Texas State, Georgia State (5-3, 4-1 Sun Belt) has won five of its last six games and now sits in second place in the Sun Belt, trailing only unbeaten Arkansas State. Four of Georgia State’s five victories have come on the road, including Saturday’s 23-17 come-from-behind victory at Georgia Southern, the Panthers’ third straight win over their in-state rival.
> Penny Hart’s 9-yard touchdown catch from Conner Manning with 2:31 to play capped the comeback for the Panthers, who trailed 17-7 late in the third quarter.
> The winning touchdown was set up by the defense as DeAndre Applin caused a fumble that James Traylor recovered at the Georgia Southern 31-yard line.
> Hart, the Sun Belt’s leading receiver, ranks fifth in the nation in receiving yards (109.5 per game), sixth in receptions (7.6 per game) and 10th in touchdowns (8).
> Manning, the senior quarterback, is averaging 253.8 yards passing per game with 11 touchdowns while completing 64 percent of his passes.
> Sixth-year senior safety Bryan Williams is the Panthers’ top tackler (41) and leads the Sun Belt with four interceptions.
> The Panther defense ranks in the top three in the Sun Belt in scoring defense, total defense and rushing defense.
> Senior cornerback Chandon Sullivan is one of 13 national finalists at all levels for the 2017 William V. Campbell Trophy®, presented by Fidelity Investments® for the National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame. The trophy recognizes the absolute best football scholar-athlete in the nation.
ROAD WARRIORS: In winning five of its last six games, Georgia State has won four straight road contests with victories at Charlotte, Coastal Carolina, ULM and Georgia Southern.
> GSU is the only FBS school this season to play four straight road games and the only one to win three straight road games with no home games in between.
> Due to the Memphis cancellation, the Panthers went 51 days between home games (from Aug. 31 to Oct. 21). Now, after playing two home games in six days, Georgia State has another four weeks away from home before finishing the season with two straight games at Georgia State Stadium.
SERIES VS. TEXAS STATE: Georgia State has won the last two meetings against Texas State to even the series at 2-2.
> Last season at the Georgia Dome, Conner Manning passed for 340 yards and two touchdowns in GSU’s 41-21 victory. Kyler Neal led the rushing attack with a career-high 89 yards and a touchdown. The Panthers fell behind 14-0 before scoring 24 straight points in the second quarter and then the first 10 points of the third quarter to take a 34-14 lead. Jerome Smith and Chandon Sullivan had interceptions.
> In 2015 at Texas State, Nick Arbuckle set the GSU record with 471 yards passing and four touchdowns on just 23 completions as the Panthers rolled up 643 yards of offense in their 41-19 victory. Penny Hart had six catches for 113 yards and a touchdown. That win began a four-game winning streak that earned Georgia State its first bowl berth.
PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS: Sophomore Penny Hart is a member of the Watch List for the Biletnikoff Award, presented to the outstanding receiver in college football.
> The Sun Belt’s leading receiver, Hart ranks fifth in FBS in receiving yards (109.5 per game), sixth in receptions (7.6 per game) and 10th in touchdowns (8).
> He has accounted for 36 percent of the Panthers’ receptions (61) and 41 percent of their receiving yards (876) this season while catching eight of the team’s 12 TD passes.
> After just 23 career games, Hart has amassed 140 receptions for 2,036 yards and 17 touchdowns. He ranks third in school history in all three categories, and the two receivers in front of him, Albert Wilson and Robert Davis, are in the NFL.
> Hart ranks fourth among all active FBS receivers with career averages of 6.07 receptions and 88.5 receiving yards per game.
> The 2015 Sun Belt Freshman of the Year and Freshman All-American played sparingly in just two games before his 2016 season was ended by a broken foot. As a rookie in 2015, Hart led the Sun Belt with 5.5 receptions and 84.5 receiving yards per game, and he set the Sun Belt freshman record for receiving yards (1,099).
TWO BIG PLAYS FOR TRAYLOR: Senior outside linebacker James Traylor had a hand in two game-changing turnovers as Georgia State won for the fifth time in six games with a 21-17 come-from-behind victory at Georgia Southern.
> Traylor’s fourth-quarter fumble recovery set up the Panthers’ winning touchdown. With Georgia State trailing 17-14 in the final six minutes, Traylor recovered a fumble to give the Panthers possession at the Georgia Southern 31-yard line. That set up Penny Hart’s go-ahead touchdown catch with 2:31 to play.
> On the game’s first play from scrimmage, Traylor caused a fumble that teammate Chandon Sullivan scooped up and returned 28 yards for a touchdown and a 7-0 Georgia State lead.