Panthers fall short, remain winless

Johnny Crawford AJC

Georgia State battled, but eventually fell short to Troy 35-28 on Saturday. The first half of the game was a defensive battle that resulted in the teams going 9-for-22 on third down and punting a combined 10 times. The plays that were successful were those through the air, as Troy threw 15 passes for 194 yards and two touchdowns while Georgia State had 200 yards on 12 attempts with one touchdown.

Troy was the first to strike with an impressive 80-yard drive. The drive consisted of eight plays and used 3 minutes of play clock, highlighted by a 37-yard pass from Corey Robinson to Bryan Holmes. Later in the drive, Robinson hooked up with Eric Thomas for a 26-yard touchdown. Thomas is now tied for fifth for Troy in career receiving touchdowns.

Georgia State followed up a disappointing missed field goal on their first drive with an 80-yard, eight play touchdown drive that took only two and a half minutes. The Panthers drive went down field by way of Ronnie Bell’s arm. Bell passed for 54 of the 80 yards, including the 7-yard touchdown to Kelton Hill.

The second quarter was a back and forth battle, with one defensive stop after another. Troy managed to break through the defense and drive down the field capped by a 4-yard touchdown pass from Robinson to Bryan Holmes.

Albert Wilson started the ensuing Georgia State drive with a huge 71-yard kickoff return to the Troy 29 yard line. Following a Georgia State personal foul, the Panthers started the drive on the Trojans 44. Wilson’s miraculous return was erased after a GSU personal foul and a quick three-and-out.

Shortly after the halftime homecoming festivities, Georgia State opened the second half by marching down the field with a drive that was finished off by an 8-yard touchdown pass from Bell to Wilson. They kept their foot on the gas with a lot of help from their defense. The special teams came up with a huge punt block midway through the third and the following play Ronnie Bell hooked up with Robert Davis for a 31-yard touchdown pass.

Troy responded by methodically going downfield on Georgia State. In just six plays the Trojans went 62 yards with an eight yard run from Jordan Chunn scoring the touchdown. Albert Wilson continued to dominate, with his seventh consecutive 200-yard games with 256 yards before the fourth quarter. Ronnie Bell tied a school record when his fourth touchdown pass put the Panthers ahead of the Trojans 28-21.

With 12 minutes left in the game, Troy went down the field by pounding the ball up the middle, with three rushes greater than 10 yards from their commission of running backs. The dagger was a third down pass from Corey Robinson to Eric Thomas down the sideline. Following the catch, Troy continued to rush the ball up the middle with little resistance from the Panthers. Eventually Jordan Chunn found the endzone on a 3-yard rush for his second rushing touchdown of the day.

With 3:30 left, Troy intercepted a Ronnie Bell knuckleball and took over at their own 37. It took 39 seconds and two plays for them to score. Corey Robinson passed it to Chris Williams, and after a few stutter steps they had a 54-yard touchdown.

Troy then stopped the ensuing Georgia State drive and ran the clock out to hand Georgia State their sixth loss of the season. Trent Miles and the Panthers will try to collect their first win when they play at Texas State next week.





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