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Georgia State Looks the Part

By BJ Bennett
SouthernPigskin.com
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On a rainy Saturday night in Atlanta, Georgia State proved clutch and resilient versus recent power Army, making plays down the stretch against a program known for its poise.

Georgia State didn't just move to 5-2, the Panthers, winning with a deliberate, determined effort, did so against one of the most physical teams in the country. On a rainy Saturday night in Atlanta, Georgia State proved clutch and resilient versus recent power Army, making plays down the stretch against a program known for its poise. It was a statement performance from the Panthers, especially when it mattered most.

Facing a dominant Army offense that entered the weekend leading the nation with 327 yards rushing per game, Georgia State held the Black Knights to 278, over 40 yards less than their normal mark. The Panthers were at their best late in the contest, forcing a punt and intercepting a pass on Army's final two offensive drives. When the game was on the line, Georgia State was confident and clutch on both sides of the ball. In the fourth quarter, the Panthers defense stood tall. 

Quavian White's 4th-down pick inside the redzone was the play of the game -- and preserved the win.  

Notably, Georgia State beat an accomplished Army team at its own game. In addition to slowing down the Golden Knights' famed rushing attack, forcing Army into numerous passing attempts in the fourth quarter, the Panthers did some ground work of their own. Georgia State rushed for 147 yards, with Tra Barnett leading all rushers with 108 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries.

Versatile quarterback Dan Ellington calmly threw a late game-winning touchdown pass to Aubry Payne, setting the table for the dramatic finish. Ellington finished 20-of-28 passing with three touchdowns, adding 39 yards rushing. He was proficient in leading Georgia State down the field, helping the Panthers to 6-of-10 on third down tries. With Ellington setting the tone, Georgia State was effective down the stretch.

The triumph over Army in Atlanta stands as one of the notable wins on the Panthers' historic resume. Along with an earlier win at Tennessee, the victory is part of what is shaping up to be a special season for Georgia State. With five wins, the Panthers are on the verge of bowl eligibility and have emerged as a major player in the Sun Belt Conference. Saturday, against a storied program, was a major step.

On a big night against a big name, Georgia State looked and played the part.

BJ Bennett - B.J. Bennett is SouthernPigskin.com's founder and publisher. He is the co-host of "Three & Out" with Kevin Thomas and Ben Troupe on the "Southern Pigskin Radio Network". Email: bj@espncoastal.com / Twitter: @BJBennettSports