Georgia State 39, WKU 21. The 10 ten things you need to know about the Georgia State win over WKU in the LendingTree Bowl.
Georgia State 39, WKU 21: LendingTree Bowl
10. It doesn’t matter if it’s the LendingTree, the Dollar General, the GoDaddy or the GMAC – this has been a rough bowl watch for a long, long time. With this 18-point Georgia State win, that makes it five years in a row of games decided by double-digits. Some of these have been better than the final score, but ever since the classic Byron Leftwich Marshall 64-61 overtime win over East Carolina, 16 of 19 have been relative blowouts.
9. This got a bit chippy. There weren’t a ton of penalties – 15 in all – but these two started to get into it as the game went on. WKU got hit with the nine penalties – three more than Georgia State – and was more mistake-prone overall. More on that in a moment.
8. The Georgia State offense was a different animal this year when Destin Coates was able to get moving. The junior RB hit the 100-yard mark four times, and all when he got the ball 20 times or more. He ran 23 times for 117 yards and a touchdown. Is scoring dash at the end of the first quarter go it all going for the Panthers.
— GSU Football (@GeorgiaStateFB) December 27, 2020
7. Georgia State’s Cornelious Brown should be one of the Sun Belt’s biggest stars in 2021. The QB had his problems with picks here and there – he threw one against WKU early on when he tried to make something big happen – and he didn’t get going on the ground with just 40 yards, but he threw for 232 yards and three touchdowns. He was in control, he kept the chains moving, and again, the big mistakes weren’t there.
6. Turnovers and mistakes continue to be a killer this bowl season – WKU was -2 in turnover margin. QB Tyrrell Pigrome completed 17-of-33 passes for 180 yards, and he ran for a score. There was one big problem, actually two – his two interceptions. Before this, he threw 264 passes in the regular season with no picks.
5. The WKU pass rush stepped it up late in the season, but it only generated one sack against the Panthers. However, there were plenty of big plays made behind the line – ten tackles for loss – and it wasn’t nearly enough. Third down stops were too much of an issue, and they were a big problem against this Panther offense.
4. Georgia State did a better job at controlling the game. It had the ball ten minutes longer, converted 13-of-21 third down tries, and the style never allowed the Hilltoppers to make much of a push after going on a 27-0 run in the first half.
3. Going into next year, WKU needs more of a running game. It averaged under four yards per carry for the season, and while it got the mark against Georgia State, it only came up with 104 yards. There were three touchdowns, and CJ Jones was able to tear off a big scoring dash, but there wasn’t enough of a push.
2. The lack of a consistent WKU offensive punch turned out to be a big deal once again, coming up with just 284 yards. Blowing up on FIU and Charlotte to close out the regular season was nice, but the programs needs a positive identity and style to move the ball more consistently. When the game was starting to get away, there wasn’t the ability to slow things down or answer. It was the sixth time the Hilltoppers gave up more than 21 points, and they lost all six.
1. It’s a winning season for Georgia State. Don’t dismiss just how big a deal that is to a program, especially in this insane season. It was able to finish 6-4 with this win and close out with four wins in the last five games. The team was consistent, it was occasionally explosive, and now it’s a bowl winner two years in a row for the second time in four seasons.