Posted: Saturday, September 14th 2013 at 5:09pm
Georgia State falls to West Virginia
By The Associated Press
MORGANTOWN, W.V. -- Georgia State coach Trent Miles wants his football team to get the little things right if the Panthers are going to get out of an early-season lull.
Drive-killing penalties on offense and out-of-position players on defense contributed to an overall poor performance, and Georgia State fell to West Virginia 41-7 on Saturday.
Georgia State (0-3) was limited to 220 total yards on offense and 10 first downs. The Panthers had seven penalties for 43 yards, including several false starts that took away what little momentum they could mount on offense.
"You can't go out and have as many penalties as we did," Miles said. "Little things like holding are going to happen here and there, but it really puts your pace behind and gets you in bad yardage situations.
"We had way too many third-and-longs and second-and-longs. We weren't able to sustain any drives."
Miles also pointed to at least one West Virginia touchdown that was scored because "we didn't have our safety in the middle when he was supposed to be."
Georgia State allowed West Virginia redshirt freshman quarterback Ford Childress to throw for 359 yards and three touchdowns in his college debut.
And Childress delivered in a way that Holgorsen said was more about mental preparation than statistics.
"Pretty good for the first game he's ever played in college football," Holgorsen said. "He's poised. It doesn't matter how I talk to him. He doesn't let emotion get in the middle of that. And I saw that last week on the sideline when it was tight or it was a high-pressure situation."
Childress played the entire game. He completed 25 of 41 passes and appears to have a lock on the starting job for at least another week when West Virginia plays Maryland in Baltimore next Saturday.
Childress said he was nervous before the game started but it quickly went away.
"I was comfortable for the most part," he said. "I've got good enough guys around me where I can just basically hand or toss them the ball and they can make a play for me."
Charles Sims rushed for 116 yards and a touchdown for the Mountaineers (2-1). But West Virginia was far from dominant on both sides of the ball against a team in its first year in the Football Bowl Subdivision and fourth year of existence.
Georgia State pulled within 17-7 after Travis Evans' 65-yard TD run early in the third quarter before West Virginia scored the final 24 points. Evans finished with a career-high 118 yards rushing.
Childress completed passes to nine different receivers and connected on several long passes, including a 45-yard TD toss that Ivan McCartney waited on in the second quarter that put the Mountaineers ahead 17-0.
Childress threw an interception against a blitzing defense inside the Georgia State 30 early in the second quarter to end one scoring threat. Kevin White also dropped two passes, one in the end zone in the third quarter.
Midway through the third quarter, West Virginia linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski forced Jonathan Jean-Bart to fumble and safety Karl Joseph recovered for the Mountaineers at the Georgia State 33. Three plays later, Childress threw a 23-yard pass that Daikiel Shorts caught just off the turf in the end zone for a 34-7 lead. Shorts also had a 21-yard TD catch in the first quarter.
Dreamius Smith scored on a 10-yard run in the closing seconds for the Mountaineers.
"We put our defense on the field for a long period of time," Mile said. "I looked at total plays. They ran 83 plays. We ran 51. Anytime your guys are out there for 83 plays, they're going to get worn down, especially when you step up a level and you play a BCS team."
West Virginia's offense compiled 604 total yards while struggling to move the ball at times. The line had trouble consistently opening adequate holes against a defense that had allowed an average of 253 yards rushing in its first two games against FCS opponents.
After scoring on its first two drives, the Mountaineers failed to put up points in five of their next six possessions, giving Georgia State many chances for a comeback that didn't happen.
Georgia State quarterback Ronnie Bell went 5 of 13 for 63 yards before being replaced in the fourth quarter by Ben McLane.
Led by Evans, Georgia State compiled 136 yards on the ground - more than its first two games combined. Evans' TD run was the longest in the school's brief football history.
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