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Former Foes: Week 5

Akron and Pitt continue to struggle, but Georgia State snagged a decisive win

NCAA Football: Georgia State at Penn State Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

Our weekly column on checking in on opponents past is back, now that the season is almost a month deep! What’s been going on with the teams that Penn State has already faced? Well...not great stuff.

Akron Zips (1-3)

Lost to Troy 22-17

After losing 41-14 to Iowa State the week before, the Akron Zips looked for another win against the Troy Trojans. After a nearly 30 minute delay to the start of the game due to lightning (lightning … at a Zips game …) the Zips scored first with a field goal, but struggled with penalties (12) and turnovers (3) through the rest of the game. Troy led 16-3 at the half, but the Zips came back after the break, scoring twice to take the lead 17-16 with 3 minutes left. Troy scored again in the last minutes of the game, and the Zips ultimately lost 22-17.

One bright note was Akron running back Warren Ball, who had a career-high 28 carries and the third 100-yard plus rushing performance of his career with 112 yards.

The good news for the Zips is that this weekend they’re taking on the winless Bowling Green Falcons.

Up Next: Bowling Green (0-4)

Pitt Panthers (1-3)

Lost to Georgia Tech 35-17

The Pitt Panthers continue to struggle after two losses to ranked Penn State and Oklahoma State, losing 35-17 last week in their ACC opener to Georgia Tech. Pitt wasn’t able to capitalize and struggled offensively, successful on only 1 of 13 third-down plays.

The Panthers made a change at quarterback, and started Ben DiNucci (12 of 19 for 110 yards) over senior Max Browne. In the last quarter, the Panthers switched to Browne, who completed 10 of 15 for 89 yards. Quarterback controversy, anyone?

The game was tied at 7 in the second quarter, with Georgia Tech scoring for a 14-7 lead. Pitt kept it close with some big plays, including an impressive Quadree Henderson 80-yard punt return for a touchdown, bringing the game to a 14-14 tie. But Georgia Tech scored again to lead at the half 21-17, and racked up 14 unanswered points in the second half, winning 35-17.

Up next for the Pitt Panthers are the Rice Owls, who are also 1-3.

Up Next: Rice (1-3)

Georgia State Panthers (1-2)

Beat Charlotte 28-0

After a close loss to Tennessee State and a brutal beating by Penn State, Georgia State recovered this week, blanking Charlotte 28-0. The game included some firsts for the Panthers: the first win of the season, the first win for new head coach Shawn Elliot, and the first shutout in school history.

Georgia State got their first two scores in the second quarter, leading 14-0 at the half. The Panthers didn’t score again until the fourth quarter, when kicker Brandon Wright’s 25-yard field goal attempt was tipped. A Charlotte player tried to snag the ball but fumbled it, and GSU offensive lineman Shamarious Gilmore recovered it in the end zone for a touchdown and a 21-0 lead. The Panthers scored on a one yard run later in the final quarter to seal the deal 28-0.

Quarterback Conner Manning completed 26 of 37 passes for 250 yards and a touchdown, and Penny Hart tied a school record with 11 receptions for 141 yards.

Georgia State was slated to play Memphis this weekend in Atlanta, but the game was cancelled because of schedule reshuffling related to Hurricane Irma. The Panthers will play again October 7 against the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers.

Up Next: Coastal Carolina (1-2)