The loss dropped the team to 0-4 this season.
It was played in front of the smallest crowd in program history: 9,476.
As for the Panthers’ performance, the loss felt more like the one at Tennessee, in which the team showed some sparks of progress, rather than the losses at South Carolina State and Texas-San Antonio.
But, as noted in the game story you can click on above, the team simply wasn’t consistent enough to give itself a chance to win, as coach Bill Curry noted in his press conference after the game.
The Panthers’ defense “held” the Spiders to 398, almost 100 less than the defense was allowing.
However, the Spiders converted 7 of their 14 third downs.
The Panthers were 1 of 4 on fourth downs.
The Panthers had 0 sacks, continuing the season-long issue.
The Spiders had 0 sacks in another sign the offensive line is improving.
The Panthers rushed for 159 yards, including 119 by Donald Russell. It was the third time he surpassed 100 yards. He also had a touchdown, his first this season. He scored on a wildcat play, something the Panthers hadn’t practiced much. Interestingly, he said he couldn’t get one of his gloves off to take the snap, so he had one glove on and one off.
Matt Hubbard averaged 39.3 yards per punt.
Russell caught five passes for 51 yards. He led the team.
Not running the ball on any of the plays when Georgia State had first and 10 at the 13-yard line in the second quarter. McLane had four incompletions, at least two of which could have been intercepted.
McLane being stuffed on third and 1 at the 44-yard line in the second quarter, followed by Russell being stuffed.
McLane being intercepted by Cooper Taylor on first and 10 at the 30-yard line with 40 seconds left in the first half. The ball went through Emmanuel Ogbuehi’s hands.
An unknown being called for offsides after the Panthers stuffed the Spiders on fourth and goal at the 1-yard line with no time left in the half.
The Spiders scoring on the next play.
Transcript provided by Georgia State
“When you have a chance to make a first down on fourth-and-one, you have to do it every single time if you want to be a football team. We took some gambles today that were a little bit outside the norm. We made those plays because we were not here for a decent showing, we were here to win the game. There were some of the most encouraging things and some of the most discouraging things of the season. We hurt ourselves in so many ways. We had sure interceptions that simply fell out of our hands. We knocked the ball lose and didn’t fall on it, allowed them to recover their own fumbles. On the other end, there was good blocking at times and excellent pass protection at times. [Quarterback] Ronnie Bell showed well with some exceptions. He runs well in addition to his powerful arm and his leadership. There were some circumstances that were outside our control. The way we’ve been working in practice gave us a chance to compete better. We played some young guys, who ended up doing extremely well. We had some excellent goal line work, but hurt ourselves again by lining up offside and giving them another down. We’re going to keep pushing and working until everyone is on the same page and everyone giving their very best all of the time.”
On running back Donald Russell:
“He had 29 touches and averaged five yards per. It was a Donald Russell day. You just see how valuable he is. We just have to keep giving it to him. He didn’t get banged up today, or not to the extent where he had to come out or where he was unable to carry the load.”
On the defensive preparedness:
“We were obviously better prepared for the speed of the game as the game wore on. In spite of that, we couldn’t get sustained drives and kept putting the defense back out on the field. We still have to play sound football and can’t just give the ball to the opponent over and over and expect the defense to hold up. We played extremely hard, but once again that was not enough.”
On the attendance:
“I knew if we didn’t win and play well that we would have attendance issues. I’ve experienced that before, but I didn’t expect us not to play well. I didn’t sit down and think that we might have attendance problems. But we’re not foolish enough to think that, in this market, if we don’t play well, everyone is going to keep coming. We have to earn their interest, we have to earn their respect and earn our ticket sales. That’s just the job we have to do.”
On playing well in today’s game:
“I tried as much as I could. The line did a tremendous job blocking. It’s frustrating that we couldn’t finish, but it’s just something we have to go back in the film room and just get situated.”
On what it’s going to take to be consistent:
“It’s just practice, practice, practice. We’ve just got to make plays, that’s all. It’s just something we’ve got to keep working on and eventually we’ll be able to do it [consistently].”
On becoming consistent:
“We’ve got to keep doing our jobs. Just keep doing what the coaches say and trying not to coach, but just be players.”
On how the team feels after this loss:
“I feel better. We’re gelling together as a team and starting to come together as a team.”
– Doug Roberson, AJC. Please follow me on twitter @ajcgsu