The homecoming atmosphere filled Malone Stadium as the War- hawks welcomed Sun Belt opponent Georgia State.
The Warhawks got behind ear- ly, and a late push at the end of the game wasn’t enough. The Panthers dominated ULM offensively on their way to a 47-37 win. The War- hawks are now 3-3 overall and 3-1 in the Sun Belt.
“I’m disappointed in our ener- gy level,” head coach Matt Viator said. “Special teams looked good for most of the game, but we didn’t have the drive to win this game.”
The opening drive for the War- hawks stalled after coming up short on third and short. Georgia State quickly scored on a six- play, 77- yard drive on a 50-yard touchdown pass. Junior receiver Marcus Green scored on the ensuing kickoff, rum- bling 93-yards for a touchdown.
The Warhawks led 7-6 after one offensive possession. Georgia State’s offense found its groove early by scoring on a 69-yard touchdown pass to put them up 13-7 with nine
minutes to go in the first quarter. The Warhawks started their second offensive drive of the game. ULM got into a fourth down situation that resulted in intentional grounding by the offense, moving the Panthers to midfield.
The Warhawk defense showed some toughness, forcing the Pan- thers into a three and out. The punt put ULM in a tough position to start its third drive on their 1-yard line. After a 13-play, 79-yard drive, the Warhawks capped it off with a Craig Ford field goal, but they still trailed the Panthers 13-10.
In the second quarter, the War- hawks started to fall apart.
The Panthers took over the game by scoring on an eight-play, 78-yard drive running through the War- hawk defense.
Georgia State was making the game look easy as they forced an- other three and out.
Georgia State dominated the game in the first half with a tough showing from its defense. They held the Warhawks to only 10 points and 132 yards of total offense. The Pan- thers closed out the first half with
a field goal to go into the half lead- ing 26-10.
“We need to come out and have the mindset of getting a stop in the first half, but there is no excuse. We have to come out and be ready to give our offense a chance to put
points on the board,” said junior linebacker David Griffith.
In the second half, the Panthers kept their foot on the gas pedal as they scored on a 25-yard touch- down pass to increase their score to 33-10 with six minutes left in the
third quarter. The Warhawks need- ed a spark on offense to get back into the game.
Down by 23, ULM looked to ju- nior quarterback Garrett Smith to lead the offense. On his first posses- sion from scrimmage, Smith threw a pin-point 80-yard touchdown pass to Marcus Green to make the score 33-17.
The Warhawks looked to feed off the momentum produced by the quick touchdown.
Georgia State marched down the field and scored on a 22-yard touch- down pass capping off a four-play, 75-yard drive.
ULM gave a courageous effort to get back into the game, but it was too little too late. The Panthers kept a safe lead throughout the game and closed out on an impressive win.
Up next for the Warhawks is an- other conference matchup on the road against South Alabama. Kick- off is scheduled for 4 p.m. and will be streamed on ESPN 3.