ATLANTA — As if any defeat is easy to cope with, the loss the Georgia State Panthers suffered to Coastal Carolina was undoubtedly the most gut-wrenching loss of the season thus far. The Panthers (2-6, 1-3) will need a magical month of November to be bowl eligible after the Chanticleers (5-3, 2-2) ruined their homecoming with a 37-34 victory. Kicker Massimo Biscardi scored the game-winning field goal from 23 yards with 2:54 remaining in the game.
There was much optimism that the Panthers would be able to score a late field goal to tie the game, or perhaps score a game-winning touchdown, due to the fact they scored 21 points in the third quarter. Nonetheless, Dan Ellington attempted a deep pass to a wide-open Penny Hart on fourth down with under 30 seconds on the clock. Hart failed to haul in the pass that bounced off his fingertips.
“The disappointment alone is probably the number one lesson that we’re going to learn from this because we see a lot of guys in that locker room that have extreme care for playing this game and playing for this team,” Elliott said to the media following the game. “There’s a lot of hurt in the locker room. There’s a lot of hurt in me sitting right here.”
Hart was unavailable for comments after the game, but Elliott said “I heard a lot of tears” from Hart in the locker room, and rightfully so. “It went off his fingertips today. And you’ve got to lift a young man like that up because he’s putting everything on his shoulders right now thinking that it was all him. And it’s not even close,” Elliott continued.
The loss was the most glaring outcome of the game, but Georgia State had a very efficient day offensively. Ellington continued his stellar play finishing the game 14-of-25 passing for 231 yards and a touchdown. On the ground, running back Tra Barnett had an explosive game, running for 161 yards and two touchdowns. His longest run of the game was for 75 yards. Although he dropped the game-winning touchdown, Hart continued to put the Sun Belt on notice with six catches for 118 yards and a touchdown.
A miraculous winning streak must start next week if the Panthers want to go bowling as they host Texas State at 2 p.m.
All Photos by William Curtis