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Georgia State loses fourth straight

Photo by Brandon Brigman

Photo by Brandon Brigman

ATLANTA — Georgia State was a feel-good story a year ago, posting a winning record under veteran coach Bill Curry in the Panthers' first season of football.

Reality, however, has hit this year.

The Panthers have lost four games in a row after an opening win against NCAA Division II Clark Atlanta and a duplication of last year's 6-5 record is already looking out of reach.

Casey Brockman threw four touchdown passes, two to Walter Powell, and also ran for a score to lead Murray State to a 48-24 victory over Georgia State on Saturday at the Georgia Dome before a crowd that appeared much smaller than the announced 10,963.

The Panthers lost 56-0 in their previous game at Houston and have been outscored 181-62 during the losing streak.

"If I had a rational explanation for what you have seen the last four weeks, I would certainly offer it," Curry said. "I don't."

Brockman completed 35 of 46 passes for 321 yards as the Racers, members of the Ohio Valley Conference, improved to 3-3. Duane Brady caught a 46-yard TD pass and also scored on an 8-yard run. Powell's TD catches were for 1 and 36 yards.

Donald Russell scored on runs of 4 and 9 yards for Georgia State, which plays at South Carolina State next weekend.

Drew Little completed 17 of 38 passes for 228 yards and was intercepted twice. Georgia State, which joins the Colonial Athletic Association for football next season, had just 86 yards on 34 rushing attempts.

"The results have to be displayed on the field," Curry said. "We're not connecting, that's so clear. ... All I know to do is keep working. ... I would give anything if this wasn't happening. ... All we can do is use these situations to teach and somehow get our men to understand what we are doing to ourselves and correct it."

The Panthers took a 10-7 lead on Christian Benvenuto's 45-yard field goal with 15 seconds left in the first quarter. But Brockman ran for a TD and passed for another in the second quarter as Murray State took a 28-10 halftime lead.

Brockman's second TD pass of the game was a 46-yarder to Brady with six seconds left before intermission. The junior quarterback was 20 of 29 for 198 yards in the first half. He was intercepted twice.

Brockman hit Powell from a yard out to open the scoring, but Georgia State countered with a 4-yard run by Russell to cap a 90-yard drive before going ahead on Benvenuto's kick.

The second quarter, though, was dominated by Murray State, which gained 182 yards in the period while holding the Panthers to minus-2. Brockman scored from a yard out and Brady had an 8-yard TD run.

Murray State drove 97 yards on its first possession of the third quarter and went up 35-10 on a 12-yard run by Dexter Durrante. But Georgia State cut the Racers' lead to 11 points by the end of the quarter on a 43-yard pass from Kelton Hill to Danny Williams and a 9-yard run by Russell. Williams had nine catches for 151 yards.

After Benvenuto missed a 31-yard field goal attempt, Murray State put the game out of reach on a 36-yard TD pass from Brockman to Powell. The Racers added a late score on Brockman's a 7-yard pass to Hannibal Beauford.

Notes: Senior center Ben Jacoby from Buford returned to the lineup for Georgia State after missing two games with a sprained right knee, but twice had to limp off the field. ... Starting left guard Joseph Gilbert was suspended for the game. ... Tight end Emmanuel Ogbuehi of Mill Creek had two catches for 41 yards. ... Peachtree Ridge grad Sidney Haynes caught one pass for 10 yards.