Georgia State Panthers got it in on a day of rain and lightning delays across the country. Uconn was looking for a bit of support. Perhaps a delay would have broken the momentum or plugged a few holes in the middle of their defensive line. As they gaped open, Darren Grainger found them. The game’s first big play came on a direct snap from the shotgun position. He stepped one foot to the side and dashed up the middle for 65 yards to pay dirt. That was the tone-setter for the night.
The red-shirt senior averaged 15 yards per carry by halftime, amassing 121 yards. Most importantly, he took what the defense gave and made them pay. As they say, the passing game is not far behind when the run game is working. The Panthers started to assert their intentions with a back shoulder throw at the pylon; it was perfectly executed with timing and precision. There was nothing the defender could do except watch the celebration.
One more score up the middle by M Carroll gave the Panthers a commanding lead. 21-0 at the half. It was pretty much all over except the crying. Officially, the UConn Huskies were overmatched.
At the 4:07 mark of the third quarter, the band started to play more excitedly when Marcus Carroll barreled up the middle for a three-yard touchdown. It was getting ugly. The Panthers were up by 28 points. The MVP for the Uconn Huskies had to be big-foot punter George Porter, who nailed three for more than 50 yards, forcing the Panthers to start inside the 20-yard buffer.
The Huskies finally wobbled across the goal line midway in the fourth quarter, but the damage was done. Running back Marcus Carroll answered with a 39-yard burst to make the loud sound of the train echo throughout the stadium as he crossed the goal line and the 100-yard measuring stick.
His game-winning contribution was 107 yards on 24 carries. The man of the night was Grainger, who connected on 15 of 26 passes for 144 yards for the game. 121 yards were collected at halftime. The 142 rushing yards were the most critical, making him the ideal dural threat as he ran for as many yards as he passed.
Last but not least, I have to give credit where credit is due, the game’s heroes will go unnoticed. The offensive line for Georgia State was dominant. They won the war in the trenches, which delivered victory for the Georgia State Panthers. As the clock struck zero, the rain started.
Key facts of the game
- Uconn won the time of possession 32 to 27 to prove that it doesn’t matter how long you have the ball. All that matters is what you do with it.
- Ga State won the game in the first half by dominating the ground game 141 yards to 25 yards.
- Total Yards Georgia State 394 Uconn 326
- Total Plays Georgia State 71 Uconn 70