ATLANTA – Before a crowd of 20,351 at Georgia State Stadium, the Panthers used a late fourth-quarter stop to hold on for a 48-42 win over Furman on Saturday night.
Celebrating the 10th anniversary of the program this year, Georgia State improved to 2-0 for the first time in program history following the upset win over Tennessee last week in Knoxville.
Senior quarterback Dan Ellington passed for a school-record five touchdowns going 29-of-37 for 362 yards in the air. On the ground, Ellington rushed 15 times for 86 yards. His 448 total yards of offense is the third-most in a single-game in program history.
Georgia State’s 48 points scored were the second-most in program history and only behind the 55 scored against Savannah State during the program’s inaugural year of 2010. The Panthers combined for 566 total yards which is tied for fourth-most in program history.
Trailing 20-17 at the half, Georgia State took the opening kickoff and marched 85 yards on eight plays. Ellington had a 16-yard run down to the Furman 26, and then his 26-yard touchdown pass to Sam Pinckney gave the Panthers their first lead at 24-20 three minutes into the second half.
The GSU defense used a sack by Dontae Wilson and a pass breakup by Remy Lazarus to force a three-and-out, setting up another Panther touchdown. Ellington hit Devin Gentry for a 43-yard completion down to the 5-yard line, and on third down, he found tight Roger Carter for the 2-yard touchdown pass to put the Panthers up 30-20 with seven minutes to play in the third quarter.
Georgia State got off to a slow start both offensively and defensively and fell behind the Paladins 20-3 before scoring two late touchdowns to pull within 20-17 at the intermission.
The Panthers’ first touchdown came on a 16-play, 94-yard drive, capped by Tra Barnett’s 18-yard scoring run. That pulled GSU within 20-10 with 2:47 left in the half.
After the Panthers forced a three-and-out, they took over at their 34 with 1:27 on the clock.
Cornelius McCoy (10 catches, 143 yards), Terrance Dixon (8 catches, 68 yards), Sam Pickney (7 catches, 80 yards) all set career-high for receptions and yards, while Dixon and Pinckney earned their first touchdown catches.
Furman quarterback Darren Grainger went 16-of-25 for 323 yards and four touchdowns, while Devin Wynn led the Paladin ground attack with 13 rushes for 83 yards.