Georgia State powers past Western Kentucky in LendingTree Bowl
Freshman quarterback Cornelious Brown threw for 226 yards and three touchdowns to lead Georgia State to a 39-21 win over Western Kentucky in the LendingTree Bowl in Mobile, Ala.
Brown, who went 15-of-29 passing and completed at least one pass to eight different receivers, also ran 10 times for 40 yards as the Panthers dominated a Western Kentucky defense that was ranked No. 8 in the nation against the run (170.1 yards). Georgia State rushed for 178 yards in the first half and finished with 227 yards on the ground. Destin Coates rushed for 117 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries, his sixth 100-yard game.
Georgia State’s top receivers were Cornelius McCoy, who caught five passes for 88 yards and one touchdown, and Sam Pinckney, who caught three passes for 62 yards and a touchdown.
The Georgia State defense was led by Jontrey Hunter, who intercepted a pass and recovered a fumble. Antavious Lane recorded his fourth interception of the season, tying a school record.
Noel Ruiz kicked two field goals for Georgia State, giving him a school-record eight straight made kicks.
Western Kentucky quarterback Tyrrell Pigrome was 17-of-33 passing for 180 yards and ran for a 2-yard touchdown. But Pigrome, who entered the game without having thrown an interception all season, was picked off twice in the first half.
After Brown threw an interception in the end zone to end the second possession, he led the team to touchdowns on their next four possessions. Coates scored on an 11-yard run, then Brown threw a 26-yard touchdown pass to Sam Pinckney, a 5-yard touchdown to Jamari Thrash and an 8-yard touchdown to Cornelius McCoy. Georgia State led 27-7 at halftime.
Western Kentucky opened the second half by scoring on a 2-yard run by Gaej Walker.
Georgia State increased its lead to 30-14 when Ruiz kicked a 45-yard field goal. The Panthers stopped the Hilltoppers on a fourth-and-2 at the 3, then drove for a 29-yard field goal by Ruiz, giving the Panthers a 33-14 lead with 11:19 remaining in the game.
The win marked Georgia State’s second postseason victory over Western Kentucky, as the Panthers won the teams’ meeting in the 2017 Cure Bowl.
Georgia State finished the season 6-4 and improved its all-time bowl record to 2-2. Western Kentucky finished the season 5-7 and is 8-5 in bowl games.
–Field Level Media