Can't Climb the Mountain: Georgia State loses to Appalachian State for the 10th consecutive time
By: Mac Cummings, @SSN_GSU
Often in sports do we use analogies and metaphors to describe the considerable amount of attributes within sports. "He's a workhorse back for them", "she's got ice in her veins", and "this game is going to be a shootout" just to name a few. Another popular phrase, especially amongst collegiate sports, is the whole "big brother, little brother" mantra. In most cases this is used to describe one team or school that has either been around much longer, won many more games, or maybe is just the much more prominent team. This popular saying could be used to describe the all-time series between Appalachian State and Georgia State, however, it may not be completely accurate. As a little brother myself, I can tell you we do win, sometimes. That's where this
analogy may not be entirely fair as the Mountaineers have now beaten the Panthers ten times with zero losses. This isn't a big brother, little brother scenario we have here folks. This is more of a big brother who is a body builder with a PhD and little brother who is "still trying to figure some things out" scenario. Big brother flexed his muscles and flaunted his knowledge on little brother yet again this year as the Mountaineers beat the Panthers 42-14. Self-proclaimed "App State guy" Coach Shawn Elliott can't get over the hump of his alma mater for another season and he and his coaching staff now have significantly more questions than answers heading into the last two weeks of the regular season.
When the first quarter was the only part of the game in which it was remotely close, you know it was a long day for your team. When your team goes on a twenty play drive and fumbles inside of the five yard line and the opposing team scores four plays later, you know it was a historically long day for your team. The Panthers would put up only 39 yards of offense and no points for the rest of the first half. It felt as if the wind was taken out of the sails for the Panthers after that Marcus Carroll fumble near the goal line and they were never able to right the ship after. Whether it was unnecessary penalties or a lack of creativity with the offensive play-calling, the Panthers could get nothing going in the first half and this one was all but over at the intermission.
The first play of the third quarter was just like the first play of the second quarter, and the fourth quarter for that matter, a Mountaineer touchdown. With having a three score lead at the break, the Mountaineers were well on their way to winning this game. They gave the Panthers the knockout punch twenty ticks into the second half with a 77-yard bomb from Joey “California” Aguilar, who finished the day with 3 passing touchdowns and 255 yards through the air. Being down 35-0 four seconds into the fourth quarter, the Panthers finally put together a scoring drive in which they took a balanced approach using 46 passing yards and 29 rushing yards. Capping the drive off with a 3-yard toss to Tailique Williams to give the Panther faithful at least something to feel good about as a shutout would have undoubtedly been a bit harsher of a taste than losing by four scores yet again. The result of this game was still about as bitter as brussels sprouts for the Panthers and the Mountaineers gave them seven full servings of that leafy cabbage. The Mountaineers now own a 10-0 record against the Panthers and are the only team in
the Sun Belt the Panthers are winless against. (min. 4 games played)
Head Coach Sean Elliott started this week as the internet’s favorite coach after his fiery,
passionate postgame speech last week following the Panthers beat down by the Dukes out of James Madison. He promised that his football team would not play like that again for the rest of the season as they “showed no fight” according to their leader. Well this week the Panthers looked flat and unmotivated again against a team they’ve never had the pleasure of beating. A team in which Coach Elliott played for during his collegiate career and even went as far as to correct a reporter this week by clarifying that he was, in fact, “an App State guy”. App State guy or Georgia State guy, Coach Elliott has backed him and his team into a corner heading into the last two weeks of the regular season and are running out of winnable games on the schedule fast. A season that started as the best in program history will likely end as rather mediocre season, especially when expectations got as high as they did in October. It’s hard to say that this doesn’t
fall on Coach Elliott and his staff but if they are able to salvage a win against Old Dominion in two weeks and win their bowl game, this rough stretch of three losses should be forgotten. If they are unable, the Panthers could be sitting at the kid’s table with all of the other little brothers for at least one more year of holidays.