COLLEGE FOOTBALL RECAP

Manning lifts Georgia State to first bowl win

Sports Xchange

December 16, 2017 at 4:22 pm.

Dec 16, 2017; Orlando, FL, USA; Georgia State Panthers quarterback Conner Manning (7) stiff arms Western Kentucky Hilltoppers defensive back Devon Key (2) during the second quarter in the 2017 Cure Bowl at Camping World Stadium. Photo Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Dec 16, 2017; Orlando, FL, USA; Georgia State Panthers quarterback Conner Manning (7) stiff arms Western Kentucky Hilltoppers defensive back Devon Key (2) during the second quarter in the 2017 Cure Bowl at Camping World Stadium. Photo Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

ORLANDO, Fla. — Conner Manning passed for 276 yards and a touchdown to lead Georgia State to a 27-17 win against Western Kentucky in the AutoNation Cure Bowl on Saturday at Camping World Stadium.

Georgia State (7-5) racked up 419 yards to win the first bowl game in the program’s eight-year history.

Manning threw a 42-yard touchdown pass to tight end Roger Carter to give the Panthers a 20-10 lead in the third quarter. The Panthers put the game out of reach with a 16-play, 74-yard drive that took 9:01 off the clock and ended with a 1-yard touchdown run by Kyler Neal to make the score 27-10 with 5:50 remaining in the game.

Western Kentucky (6-7) made the first big play of the game when quarterback Mike White connected with Deon Yelder for a 54-yard touchdown in the first quarter to give the Hilltoppers a 7-3 lead.

Georgia State quickly answered with a three-play, 85-yard drive to take a 10-7 lead. Manning completed a 49-yard pass to Tamir Jones before Demarcus Kirk finished the drive with a 26-yard touchdown run.

Both teams traded field goals in the second quarter and Georgia State took a 13-10 lead into halftime.

White threw his second touchdown pass to Yelder in the fourth quarter to make the score 27-17 with 2:34 remaining, but the ensuing onside kick was recovered by Panthers defensive back DeAndre Applin.

Manning was 20 of 28 and added 24 yards rushing. Glenn Smith rushed for 73 yards on 23 carries and Carter had four catches for 85 yards for the Panthers.

White was 26 of 38 for 351 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. Yelder had five catches for 112 yards and two touchdowns.

The Panthers sacked White six times and held Western Kentucky to minus-2 yards rushing.

NOTES: Western Kentucky junior starting DT Julien Lewis was ejected for targeting with 10:32 remaining in the second quarter. … Georgia State sophomore WR Penny Hart, who came into the game ranked fourth in career receptions per game (5.96) and fifth in receiving yards per game (87.3), was limited because of an ankle injury. He had one catch for 27 yards in the third quarter. …Georgia State had a 36-yard touchdown pass from Conner Manning to Jonathan Ifedi overturned when review showed Ifedi’s knee down when he caught the pass. … Hall of Fame coach and former Heisman Trophy winner Steve Spurrier served as honorary captain for Western Kentucky. His son, Steve Spurrier Jr., is an assistant coach for the Hilltoppers. … White threw for over 300 yards in his final eight games. … Western Kentucky had its three-game bowl winning streak snapped.