Georgia State University gave up and fourth quarter lead to UL Lafayette and lost 23-21 on Nov. 7 at the Georgia Dome.
The Panthers had a 21-20 lead early in the fourth quarter, but a questionable play call by Georgia State gave UL good field position early in the quarter. On fourth down, on their own 24, the Panthers attempted a fake punt play, rolling out punter Wil Lutz, who threw a pass short of the first down to Tevin Jones, resulting in a turnover on downs.
The failed play gave UL the ball at the 23 yard line, but the Panthers defense stood tall and forced UL to kick a 21-yard field goal, giving the Ragin’ Cajuns a 23-21 lead.
The Panthers tried to make a come back, but the offense failed to put a scoring drive together. UL cornerback Savion Brown picked off quarterback Nick Arbuckle to seal the 23-21 win for the Ragin’ Cajuns.
UL were in sync on offense from the start of the game. The Ragin’ Cajuns put together a nice opening drive with nine plays, but the Panthers defense buckled down and forced UL to kick a field goal. Kicker Stevie Artigue was good from 40 yards to put UL up 3-0.
The Panthers offense got off to a rough start with a three and out. On the punt attempt, Lutz’s punt was blocked and UL’s Montrel Carter recovered the ball in the end zone for a touchdown, extending the Ragin’ Cajuns’ lead to 10-0.
The Panthers responded with a 7-play, 67-yard drive that ended in an 8-yard touchdown pass from Arbuckle to tight end Keith Rucker, cutting the score to 10-7.
UL put together another long drive, which ended in a 4-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Brooks Naack to wide receiver Al Riles, extending the Ragin’ Cajuns’ lead to 17-7 in the first quarter.
The Panthers had a couple of big plays in the second quarter. Running back Demarcus Kirk had back-to-back runs of 13 and 33 yards, respectively, that set up a 3-yard touchdown pass from Arbuckle to Rucker, their second touchdown connection of the game, bringing the Panthers within three points.
Georgia State got its first lead of the game in the third quarter. After a 21-yard pass completion from Arbuckle to wide receiver Penny Hart, Arbuckle found wide receiver Donovan Harden in the end zone for the 3-yard score, giving Georgia State a 21-17 lead.
UL cut the score to 21-20 on Artigue’s 49-yard field goal late in the third quarter. Artigue would later kick 21-yard field goal, which gave UL the 23-21 lead and win.
Arbuckle finished the game 22 of 38 for 313 yards and threw for three touchdowns and had one interception. Rucker had a total of six catches for 51 yards and two touchdowns.
Georgia State will be back in action Nov. 14 at Texas State. Game time is set for 4 p.m.