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On senior day at Georgia State Stadium the scene couldn’t have looked more dreary. A wet day made for an even wetter field and sloppy play was to be expected. The Panthers were looking to finish the season strong after two straight losses.
The team was also seeking their seventh win of the season, which would tie the single season record for most wins in school history. Head coach Shawn Elliot’s plan was simple and it has been for all season: give the ball to Tra Barnett.
Barnett rushed for 128 yards and one touchdown in the Panthers 28-15 victory over the South Alabama Jaguars. Barnett got better as the game went on, rushing for 87 of those yards and his lone touchdown in the second half.
The team has played great overall but Barnett has been a work horse of historic proportion for the Panthers. Barnett came into the game with 1,208 rushing yards, averaging 6.2 yards per carry on the season.
He has gone over 100 yards rushing seven times this season, which has broken Donald Russell’s school record of six. Barnett is the first Panthers player to rush for over 1,000 yards and have 10 rushing touchdowns in a single season. He has also now become the first player in school history to eclipse the 2,000 rushing yard mark for a career.
The records don’t stop there either. Barnett’s 18 rushing touchdowns give him the edge over former teammate Kyle Neal. He is third in the program’s history with 19 touchdowns overall and he could be as high as number two by season’s end (Penny Hart had 20 and Albert Wilson 26).
Barnett is carving out all these records and Georgia State’s season is not even over yet. They play at conference rival Georgia Southern to finish out the regular season and the team is already eligible for a bowl game.
The Panthers are having a great season and they could really pad their historic statistics in their final games. You can probably bet the game plan has something to do with handing the ball off to Barnett.
19 seniors were honored on Saturday for their final game at Georgia State Stadium.
This marks the second time in Shawn Elliot’s three seasons that the team has been eligible for a bowl game. They won the Autonation Cure Bowl over Western Kentucky in 2017.
The Panthers final game is on the road versus Georgia Southern at 6:00 p.m. this Saturday. The team will be going for a regular-season record eighth win.