GSU comes close but falls to James Madison

Note: I didn’t cover Georgia State’s game at James Madison. This is a re-written version of Georgia State’s press release, supplemented with information gathered throughout the year.

Georgia State’s game against James Madison started in what is becoming a typical Panther fashion: a lost fumble … on the game’s first play.

Before Dave Cohen’s voice was warmed up, Georgia State trailed 7-0.

But then a funny thing happened.

Instead of one mistake turning into more and more — something that’s happened frequently this year — the Panthers fought and fought, scoring two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, before finally falling to the No. 9 Dukes 28-21.

It was another loss, the eighth this season, but it was a performance to build on.

“That’s a really painful loss against an outstanding football team because we had chances in all three phases—offense, defense and special teams—to win the game,” coach Bill Curry said in a statement sent to the media. “We needed to do a better job executing the little things to finish the job.”

Tight end Emmanuel Ogbuehi, who is having a strong past few games, caught a 5-yard touchdown pass from running back Rosevelt Watson with 10:47 left to cut the Panthers’ deficit to 28-14.

Curry then rolled the dice again and Ogbuehi ran 54 yards on a fake punt to set up the next touchdown, a 10-yard pass from Ben McLane to Parris Lee.

Of course, the Panthers trailed 28-7 because of their own mistakes.

In addition to Travis Evans’ fumble on the game’s first play (he made up for it with a career-high 98 yards), the Panthers also had a punt blocked and returned for a touchdown early in the fourth quarter.

But they didn’t fold at the first sign of adversity, something Curry said he hoped he’d see earlier this week.

The Panthers tied the game at seven with an eight-play, 81-yard drive, featuring a 45-yard run by Evans and a 2-yard touchdown run by Watson.

Ogbuehi, a senior, finished with a career-high six catches and 71 rushing yards. Watson, a senior, added 30 rushing yards. McLane completed 22 of 37 passes for 170 yards and a touchdown.

Georgia State outgained JMU 348-340.

JMU honored Curry, who is retiring from coaching after the season, before the game by making him an honorary letterman.

“On a personal note, I can’t remember anybody doing anything nicer for me,” Curry said. “To be made an honorary letterman at a proud institution like this is a tremendous honor, and I am extremely grateful.”

Other sports

Georgia State has its first Sun Belt Conference championship.

Led by Katharine Showalter’s first-place finish, the women’s cross-country team won the conference title on Saturday in Bowling Green, Ky.

Showalter finished the 5k course in 17 minutes, 41.1 seconds. She was one of five Panthers to earn all-conference honors. Chris England was named the conference’s women’s coach of the year.

– Doug Roberson, AJC. Please follow me on twitter @ajcgsu

– Doug Roberson, AJC. Please follow me on twitter @ajcgsu

25 comments Add your comment

HJ23

October 27th, 2012
10:50 pm

GSU’s last two games just went from hopeless to possible.

Dudley Dawson

October 27th, 2012
11:02 pm

Glad to see the defense improve this week. Good effort throughout the game against a strong opponent. Go Panthers!

Secret Admirer

October 28th, 2012
12:39 am

Ben, are you there? I want attention and I want it from you!!!

I live in Statesboro and I am STD free…please contact me!

XOXO

Nostalgem

October 28th, 2012
6:25 am

Alright alright…ready for a big upset over ODU…can you say Halelujah!! I’ll be stopping in Atlanta just for this victory. I can feel it.

We’ll give Bill Curry and nice send off. Hey, you can only work with what you got, right?

Cheryl’s new 5 year contract quite lucrative. Now go out there and turn this football program around, girl friend!!

RidgeRunner

October 28th, 2012
8:10 am

Great effort to overcome errors. This gives Panther fans hope for the last two games.

Alum

October 28th, 2012
9:16 am

Great job Panthers!! Came up short but keeping it competitive was a win for me.

GODAWGS

October 28th, 2012
11:41 am

You know your team is garbage when your fans congratulate you for a loss because it wasn’t “as bad as the rest of them”

Go Panthers!!

October 28th, 2012
12:15 pm

I still suspect ODU will annihilate us this coming weekend.
But now I’m wondering about that game against Maine.

Maybe we send Curry off with a victory.

But forget all that.

I just want to know when we will have an announcement in a new coach. I’m guessing between championship weekend and the start of bowl season.

GODWAGS

October 28th, 2012
1:03 pm

I am still bitter that SC bent us over the shoved it in repeatedly and need to take it out on GSU…forgive me.

GODAWGS

October 28th, 2012
2:01 pm

Aw man we got blown out for one game! That really sucks! You should know all about it seeing as you’ve been blown out in 8 games this year.

HJ23

October 28th, 2012
3:24 pm

@ GODAWGS

The Panthers came within a touchdown against an FCS #10 team on their field for their Homecoming.

If it makes you feel better, UGA can take it out against Fake-GSU on Nov 17.

GODAWGS

October 28th, 2012
3:58 pm

Take it out on the fake GSU? I didn’t know we scheduled Georgia State for this season. Wouldn’t that be something.

I’m really not sure why you guys always try to drag Georgia Southern into this. Even if you both play div2, they’re still better than you’ll ever be.

GODAWGS

October 28th, 2012
5:16 pm

To make up for our inferiority to Alabama, I come on here to make fun of a 3rd year FCS/FBS transition team. You bringing up Georgia Southern is about as relevant as to me making comments on a Georgia State blog, it just doesn’t make sense.

Passion of the Panther

October 28th, 2012
8:47 pm

It’s a sad state of affairs when the beat writer has to cover the game from his car listening to WRAS … free Doug Roberson

HJ23

October 28th, 2012
9:22 pm

@GODAWGS

So why are you (an alleged Bulldog fan) making comments on a Georgia State blog, and then complaining about my mentioning Fake GSU? Besides the Real GSU plays the Fake ones in basketball December 29 so they’ll come up again.

GODAWGS

October 28th, 2012
10:02 pm

Cool, basketball. Whatever gets you off big guy. We’ll be enjoying the SEC championship game while you’re reveling in your 1-10 football season and you mediocre basketball team that plays high school teams.

HJ23

October 28th, 2012
10:08 pm

Actually, GSU starts their basketball season against Duke.

GSU freshman

October 28th, 2012
10:22 pm

Proud of State performance against Madison.
keep it up!!

Steve Nash's Pick and Roll

October 28th, 2012
11:31 pm

Hey mutt, our mediocre basketball team would absolutely maul Mark Fox’s sad excuse for a program.

GODAWGS

October 29th, 2012
12:31 am

Whatever you say buddy. Sec>Div 2. You enjoy those Gulf South conference slugfests

Steve Nash's Pick and Roll

October 29th, 2012
8:56 am

Hey mutt, you do know FCS football is Division I right? And you do know we will be in the Sun Belt next year right? The same conference that has beaten numerous SEC teams this year? Our basketball program is light years ahead of yours.

GaStateBen

October 29th, 2012
9:07 am

Leverik’s new contract is already paying off, she just got her first bonus.

urinal and constipation reader

October 29th, 2012
11:14 am

Wow, impressive turn around. Didn’t expect such a close game. Great job!

[...] Melvin King and C.J. Stephens and tackle Joe Lockley didn’t play in last week’s 28-21 loss at James Madison. As a result, Curry said they were forced to play tight ends and outside linebackers at defensive [...]

[...] Georgia State running back Travis Evans fumbled on the first play from scrimmage in last week’s lo… [...]