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Darren Grainger throws for 3 TDs, runs for 2 as Georgia State rolls past Utah State in Potato Bowl

Associated Press

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Darren Grainger threw for 257 yards and three touchdowns and ran for two more, Freddie Brock rushed for 276 yards and a score, and Georgia State rolled past Utah State 45-22 in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl on Saturday.

Georgia State (7-6), which had lost five of six entering the game, scored 31 straight points to break it open.

Utah State (6-7) fell apart after rolling up 161 yards of offense in the first quarter, tallying just 186 yards in the final three periods.

Grainger, a senior who transferred from Furman in 2021, was 19-of-22 passing and rushed for 111 yards, accounting for 368 yards of total offense to earn MVP honors.

Brock, who assumed the starting role at running back after leading rusher Marcus Carroll transferred to Missouri following the regular season, ripped off runs of 31, 43, 58 and 60 yards. Cadarrius Thompson hauled in five passes for 117 yards and two TDs.

Utah State’s Levi Williams, who won the Potato Bowl two years ago as the starting quarterback for Wyoming, was 12-of-21 passing for 131 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Davon Booth rushed for 71 yards and a touchdown for the Aggies.


Georgia State: The Panthers’ performance bodes well for their future after losing four players to the transfer portal — all to Power Five schools — along with two more opt-outs for the game. Replacing Grainger will be difficult, but the returnees at the other skill positions are poised to carry the team, especially Brock, who plans to return.

Utah State: The Aggies’ momentum from the end of the regular season was missing — but so was starting quarterback Cooper Legas due to a late-season injury. Legas has announced he will return in 2024.


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