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Darren Grainger, Georgia St. rip Utah St. at Idaho Potato Bowl


Darren Grainger threw for three touchdowns and ran for two while Freddie Brock rushed for 276 yards and a score as Georgia State walloped Utah State 45-22 in the Idaho Potato Bowl in Boise, Idaho, on Saturday.

Grainger was 19-for-22 in the air for 257 yards while rushing for 111 yards on 24 carries as the Panthers (7-6) emphatically snapped a five-game losing streak, rolling up 395 yards in the first half and 643 for the game as they did anything they wanted against the Aggies’ leaky defense.

Brock got the start at running back after Marcus Carroll, who rushed for 1,350 yards and 13 touchdowns in the regular season, transferred to Missouri. Carroll was one of four key starters who hit the portal after the regular season, part of the reason why oddsmakers installed Utah State as a two-point favorite.

But Georgia State simply couldn’t be stopped, establishing a 31-14 halftime lead, and then putting the game away in the second half with a pair of touchdown drives that made it 45-14 before the Aggies (6-7) scored in garbage time.

Utah State quarterback Levi Williams, the MVP of this game two years ago when playing at Wyoming, hit on 12 of 21 passes for 131 yards with a touchdown and an interception. He was knocked out of the game late in the third quarter with an apparent leg injury.

But the contest was decided long before then, as the Panthers rattled off 31 straight points to break away from a 14-14 tie. They scored on five of their first six possessions, stopped only by a fumble inside the Aggies 10-yard line.

Grainger started the onslaught with two 1-yard touchdown runs that sandwiched a 35-yard scoring strike from Williams to Jalen Royals. Davon Booth added a 65-yard scoring jaunt for Utah State. Grainger made it 21-14 with 15 seconds left in the first quarter by hitting Tailique Williams for a 27-yard touchdown.

Grainger found Cadarrius Thompson for a 23-yard score with 1:17 left in the first half for the 31-14 lead at the break.

–Field Level Media

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