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Georgia State spends Christmas Day at work

Shawn Elliott and the Panthers set a single-season record with their eighth win after Saturday's impressive win over Ball State in the TaxAct Camellia Bowl.
Credit: AP Images

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Darren Grainger passed for 203 yards and three touchdowns and ran for 122 yards and a fourth score to lead Georgia State to a 51-20 victory over Ball State in the TaxAct Camellia Bowl on Saturday. 

Grainger completed 15 of 19 passes and carried 11 times, including 34 yards untouched into the end zone. It was his first 100-yard rushing game of his career. 

For Camden native and former South Carolina offensive line coach Shawn Elliott, his fifth season in charge of the Panther program ends with an 8-5 record, the most wins ever in a single season in the history of Georgia State football.

At one point of the season, Georgia State was 1-4 before winning six of its next seven games to become bowl eligible. The win over Ball State made it seven wins in their final eight games with the only loss during that stretch coming at then 24th-ranked Louisiana by a final score of 21-17. 

One of Georgia State's signature wins came last month in Conway, a 42-40 win over a Coastal Carolina team ranked as high as 21st in the country at the time. That marked Georgia State' first victory over a ranked opponent in the history of the program. A few weeks later on Christmas Day, it was another first for the program with the eight win of the season. It was the second straight bowl victory and third in Elliott's five seasons in Atlanta.

Georgia State's next game will be September 3, 2022 in Columbia against South Carolina. It will mark Elliott's first game at Williams-Brice Stadium since leaving to take over the Georgia State program.