SAN MARCOS, TEXAS – Texas State kicked a 35-yard field goal in triple overtime to earn a 37-34 win over Georgia State on Saturday night at Bobcat Stadium. It was the first overtime game for the Panthers since 2013 and first-ever triple overtime game.
The winning kick came after Brandon Wright missed a 36-yard field goal attempt on Georgia State’s possession to open the third overtime period. However, it was Wright’s 20-yard kick as time expired in regulation that tied the game and gave the Panthers a chance during the extra periods.
"Certainly a very disappointing, disappointing ballgame," head coach Shawn Elliott said. "What a hard-fought contest. Everyone laid it on the line and gave great effort, but we came up short. Tough situation to be in. A very tough loss for us."
In double-overtime, both kickers just missed field goals from more than 40 yards to send it into the third overtime.
Both teams scored touchdowns in the first overtime period as Dan Ellington hit Sam Pinckney on a 13-yard touchdown pass to give Georgia State a 34-27 lead before the Bobcats responded to tie the game.
Wright’s tying field goal came on the final play of regulation. Ellington drove Panthers down the field and spiked the ball. After a review by the officials, one second was put back on the clock setting up the game-tying field goal.
After winning its first two games, Georgia State dropped its second-straight contest and fell to 2-2 and 0-1 in Sun Belt play heading into next week’s bye. Texas State snapped a 12-game home losing streak in conference games and improved to 1-3 overall and 1-0 in conference play.
"We gave them 10 points on the turnovers, with the fumbled punt and the interception, and then at the end there [of regulation], we mismanaged the clock a little bit,” Elliott said. “We didn't get out of bounds when we should have and that eliminated a play. We were very fortunate to have an opportunity to kick the field goal. On that last drive, we didn't put ourselves in position to win. That's on us."
Ellington finished 23-of-35 for 213 yards and three touchdowns, while Destin Coates led the rushing game with 98 yards on 19 attempts and a touchdown.
Senior Tra Barnett finished with 55 yards on 12 attempts and became the sixth Panther in program history to eclipse 1,000 career rushing yards.
Pinckney led all Panther receivers with seven catches for 95 yards and a touchdown. Cornelius McCoy added six catches for 66 yards and a touchdown.
Trailing 20-17 as the fourth quarter began, the Panthers took the lead with a 13-play, 56-yard drive that ate up 6:48 seconds on the clock with Coates scoring the touchdown on a 7-yard run.
Texas State responded with a seven-play, 75-yard drive capped off by Anthony Taylor’s touchdown to retake the lead 27-24 with 4:56 to play.
Texas State kicked a field goal on its first possession, the Panthers answered with a 75-yard touchdown drive. Ellington hit Pinckney with a 27-yard completion to convert on 3rd-and-15 for a first down at the 18, and two plays later, he hit McCoy for a 17-yard touchdown pass to put GSU ahead 7-3 midway through the first quarter.
After the Bobcats recovered a muffed punt for a touchdown to take a 10-7 lead, Ellington directed a 9-play, 73-yard drive. Three straight runs by Barnett got the Panthers to the 20-yards line, and on 3-and-8, Ellington gained 15 yards on a keeper up the middle, making a great move on the defender for a first down at the 5. On the next play he found tight end Aubry Payne for a 5-yard touchdown to give the Panthers a 14-10 lead with nine minutes to play in the first half.
Payne has caught a touchdown pass in each of the first four games.
After a Texas State touchdown with 3:43 left in the first half, the Panthers tied the game on Brandon Wright’s 38-yard field goal for a 17-17 deadlock at the intermission.
The Panthers return to action on Saturday, Oct. 5, when Arkansas State visits for Homecoming at 3:30 p.m. at Georgia State Stadium. For tickets, visit GeorgiaStateSports.com/tix or call 404-413-4020.