ATLANTA — Darren Grainger threw for a pair of touchdowns and Tucker Gregg ran for two scores and Georgia State held off Georgia Southern 41-33 on Saturday.
The Panthers (2-4, 1-1 Sun Belt Conference) built a pair of 17-point leads at 27-10 and 34-17 before Georgia Southern (3-3, 0-2) closed to within four when Kyle Vantrease threw a 15-yard scoring pass to Khaleb Hood with 7:29 left in the third quarter. Five minutes later, Vantrease threw a 24-yard touchdown to Amare Jones and the extra-point was blocked to reduce the deficit to 34-30.
Vantrease threw for 359 yards and three touchdowns but tossed four interceptions. Jeremy Singleton caught six passes for 101 yards, and Khaleb Hood finished with 11 receptions for 120 yards and a touchdown. Jalen White rushed for 72 yards and a touchdown.
The Eagles play their first home game of the month and first conference home game of the season when they host James Madison next Saturday in Paulson Stadium. Kickoff is set for 4 p.m. on ESPN+.
Trailing 41-33, the Eagles got the ball back with 3:04 to play, but Hood had it stripped trying to pick up extra yards after a completion, and the Panthers recovered the fumble. State drove down to the Southern 25-yard line while the Eagles spent all three timeouts, and the Panthers converted a 4th-and-1 to seal the win.
Gregg ran for 111 yards on 22 carries, and Jamyest Williams totaled 129 yards on 16 carries and a touchdown. With 335 yards rushing, the Panthers have run for 200-plus yards in 12 of the last 14 games.
Grainger has accounted for 34 touchdowns in 16 starts (30 passing, four rushing) since taking over the starting role in the third game last year.
Georgia State has won three in a row over Georgia Southern and holds a 6-3 series lead, which began in 2014.