Manning lifts Georgia State to first bowl win


The team closed the regular season last in C-USA in rushing with an average of 66 yards per game. The Ducks had Hebert in the lineup on Saturday, but the OR attack looked nothing like it had under Willie Taggart in Mario Cristobal's head coaching debut.

Georgia State quickly answered with a three-play, 85-yard drive to take a 10-7 lead.

Marcus Marshall broke loose on a pair of long touchdown runs, Jimmy Moreland made three interceptions and defending FCS national champion James Madison returned to the title game with a victory over South Dakota State, which committed 10 turnovers. Western Kentucky has used four running backs this season and none of them are averaging over 4.2 yards per carry. That is the best record in Georgia State history.

After playing at the Georgia Dome since its football team's inception in 2010, Georgia State moved into Turner Field, the former home of the Atlanta Braves, for this season.

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What began as a simple outside handoff turned into a reverse flea-flicker that went 42 yards for a touchdown.

State needed just three plays to get back in front. First, a Statue of Liberty play backfired when Rypien's exchange bounced off Alexander Mattison's face mask and Oregon's Troy Dye picked it up and raced 86 yards for the Ducks' first touchdown with 37 ticks left in the half.

White was 26 of 38 for 351 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. This season the Panthers are only allowing 25.5 points per game and giving up 5.8 yards per play and have 10 interceptions. Manning's statistics might look unimpressive but it is partially due to the ineffective rushing attack that the Panthers possess.

Mike White was able to find Deon Yelder from 4 yards out for a touchdown on the next drive, but the Panthers recovered the ensuing onside kick. WKU finished the year with four losses in their final five games, only emerging victorious in a triple-overtime thriller at home against 6-6 Middle Tennessee.

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Manning, the senior signal-caller, completed 20 of 28 passes for 276 yards and one touchdown while directing a GSU offense that also rushed for 143 yards.

Saturday's game was the Panthers' second bowl appearance. It also gave Boise State its 11th season of 11-plus wins over the last 16 years. Elliott has brought a high-energy approach to his first full-time head coaching gig (Elliott was interim coach at SC after Steve Spurrier's midseason retirement) and the Panthers did a good job rebounding from a tough start to the season after losses to FCS Tennessee State and a 56-0 blowout at the hands of Penn State. That number trails only Ohio State for the most in FBS since 2002. Kyler Neal's 1-yard touchdown pass put the Panthers up 27-10, leaving no time for a comeback by Western Kentucky. Saturday's loss was not without precedent, though.

If Georgia State comes away with a victory, it would be the first time in school history that the program finished with a seven-win season. He coaches at UCLA now.

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