For the first time this season, Georgia State didn’t commit the types of mistakes, notably turnovers, which have plagued it in the previous six games this season, and many of last year’s games.
Ben McLane didn’t throw an interception and the team didn’t fumble. It may not seem like a difference-maker but the Panthers had 24 turnovers before defeating the winless Rams. You have to go back to last year’s game against Texas-San Antonio in which the Panthers didn’t give away the ball.
Because they weren’t committing mistakes and didn’t have to try to rally, the team was able to use Donald Russell and he rushed for a team-record 201 yards.
Quarterback Ben McLane wasn’t perfect, but he completed more than 50 percent of his passes (14 of 25) for a career-high 213 yards with two touchdowns.
1 sack for Theo Agnew, his second in as many games in his third game at defensive tackle. He played end in the season’s first four games.
2 touchdowns for Travis Evans.
4 catches for tight end Emmanuel Ogbuehi. Combined with the fourth quarter of the loss to New Hampshire, Ogbuehi has become a go-to receiver for McLane.
4 catches for quarterback-turned-wide receiver Kelton Hill. If he continues his progress, the team will have yet another weapon on the outside, joining Albert Wilson and Danny Williams.
8 times the Panthers failed to convert on third down. They were 1 of 9 on the day, an odd stat considering how many points they scored.
23.1 yards per return for Rhode Island. Return defense continues to be an issue for the Panthers. They are now allowing an average of 25.9 yards per return.
40-yard field goal kicked by Wil Lutz, the longest of his career. This should give the team a confidence boost considering its struggles kicking field goals the past two seasons.
236 all-purpose yards by Russell, a career high.
Georgia State will host Villanova for homecoming.
As well as Georgia State played, Villanova may have played that much better in a 38-14 demolition of previously unbeaten Old Dominion.
Villanova rushed for 376 yards – which isn’t a good sign for a Georgia State defense that’s allowing 212.7 rushing yards per game – and passed for 151.
On defense, Villanova made ODU quarterback Tyler Heinicke look average. He passed for 239 yards with two touchdowns but also threw an interception. The Monarchs had 350 yards.
– Doug Roberson, AJC. Please follow me on twitter @ajcgsu