Morgantown, W.Va. – Georgia State fell at West Virginia 41-7 Saturday at Milan Puskar Stadium.
The Panthers (0-3) trailed just 10-0 late in the second quarter and 17-7 late in the third before West Virginia (2-1) pulled away. Travis Evans rushed for a career high 118 yards for the Panthers, including a 65-yard touchdown run.
Evans’ scoring play is the longest run in Georgia State’s brief history and the Panthers’ fourth-longest play from scrimmage.
West Virginia’s Charles Sims rushed for 116 yards, including a 32-yard touchdown run on the first play of the fourth quarter to put the Mountaineers ahead 27-7. Making his first start, redshirt freshman quarterback Ford Childress passed for 359 yards and three scores, completing 25-of-41 passes.
Trailing 17-0 at the half, Georgia State held the Mountaineers on the opening possession of the third quarter as Jarrell Robinson sacked Childress for a 10-yard loss on 4th-and-3, giving the Panthers the ball at their own 35-yard line. On the first play, Evans ran around the left side and broke loose down the sideline for the touchdown. That pulled GSU within 17-7 with 11:33 to play in the third quarter.
“Obviously it was blocked well, and Travis did a great job and, we’re happy with that,” GSU head coach Trent Miles said. “We need more of those, and we have to be able to find consistent drives.”
Georgia State then forced West Virginia punt and regained possession at their own 16. But three plays netted just three yards, and the Panthers had to punt.
After the Mountaineers drove to a first down at the GSU 11, the Panther defense stiffened, and WVU settled for a 23-yard field goal by Josh Lambert and a 20-7 lead with 4:31 left in the third.
But the GSU offense was unable to sustain a drive after that, and the Mountaineers tacked on three fourth-quarter touchdowns, the last one coming with just 12 seconds left.
“I thought our kids battled, but that should be a given. Obviously we’re very disappointed with the result,” Miles said. “I’m not going to sit here and tell you that we’re happy with the way that we competed because that should be a given in the program. We executed poorly in certain situations, which allowed the game to get a little out of hand.”
Georgia State returns home to host Jacksonville State next Saturday, Sept. 21, at 2 p.m. at the Georgia Dome. For tickets, call 866-GA-STATE.