Football falls to Georgia State, fourth in East

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(PHOTO/ Troy Athletics)

Junior receiver Reggie Todd breaks through the Georgia State secondary during Saturday’s 52-33 loss. Todd brought down three catches for 33 yards. 

 

Scott Shelton

Staff Writer

The Georgia State Panthers defeated the Troy Trojans 45-33 on last Saturday night at Georgia State Stadium in Atlanta. 

With the loss, the Trojans fell to 1-2 in Sun Belt Conference play and 3-4 overall. The Trojans are now fourth place in the East division of the Sun Belt Conference.

 “I appreciate their effort,” Head Coach Lindsey said. “We played hard, but we didn’t play great.

“We played a good team, and they were better than us tonight, and we have to give them a lot of credit.”

The Panthers struck first with an opening drive of 10 plays and 75 yards capped by a 19-yard touchdown run by quarterback Dan Ellington. 

The Trojans tied the game in the second quarter with a long drive of their own of nine plays and 83 yards capped by a touchdown run by redshirt freshman D.K. Billingsley to tie the game. 

Georgia State went on a 28-7 run to end the second quarter and begin the third quarter, and the Trojans couldn’t recover.

The closest the Trojans got was in the fourth quarter when Billingsley’s second touchdown run of the night pulled Troy within 11 points, but the Panthers’ offense was too much. 

The Panthers put up 579 yards of offense, including 390 yards on the ground. 

The rushing total is the most the Trojans have ever allowed since entering the FBS in 2001.

Tra Barnett put up 242 of those rushing yards on 34 attempts along with two touchdowns.

Seth Paige tacked on 110 yards and a touchdown on nine carries.

The Trojans previously ranked 11th in the FBS in rush defense, but after Saturday’s game, the team dropped to 39th nationally. 

The defense after seven games is now allowing 135.7 rushing yards per game,

The Trojans put up great offensive numbers, too, but it was not enough. 

Senior quarterback Kaleb Barker led the FBS in passing this week with 421 yards. 

Barker completed 34 of 45 passes for two touchdowns, and he rushed nine times for 29 yards. 

Saturday marked the third time that Barker threw for at least 350 yards. 

Barker now ranks eighth nationally in passing yards per game at 298.7 per game. 

The senior is just a few yards behind Oklahoma’s Jalen Hurts and Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa, both of who are among the leaders in the Heisman Trophy race this season.

Eleven different receivers caught different passes by Barker. Khalil McClain led the group with eight receptions for 128 yards and a touchdown. 

Tray Eafford caught three passes for 90 yards, including a 64-yard catch, which was Troy’s longest play from scrimmage in the game. 

A.J. Lewis had one reception and a touchdown on Saturday night. This season, Lewis has caught two passes, both of which have been touchdowns. 

Billingsley led the Trojans in rushing with 81 yards on nine carries. 

Defensively, sophomore linebacker Carlton Martial led the Trojans with 12 total tackles, half a sack and 1.5 tackles for loss. 

Craig Slocum, T.J. Harris, K.J. Robertson and Jarvis Hayes had seven tackles each. 

Saturday, the Trojans travel to Conway, South Carolina, to take on the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers.  

The Trojans have played the Chanticleers twice in the program’s history and have won both meetings. 

The game will be pivotal for both teams as they try to keep pace with Appalachian State in the East division.

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