ATLANTA, Ga. – Chris Williams hauled in a 54-yard touchdown pass from Corey Robinson with 3:17 left in the game to lift Troy to a 35-28 win over Georgia State at the Georgia Dome on Saturday.
Williams caught four passes for a team-high 152 yards. The touchdown was the first of his career. The touchdown pass was the 76th of Robinson’s career, which ties him with Rusty Smith for the most in Sun Belt Conference history.
“I was prepared mentally. There are those plays that you know you have a chance to make something happen when it’s called, we had one of those plays today,” Williams said. “I knew we would have a chance to win the game in the end, I was just hoping to make a play.”
Sophomore running back Brandon Burks rushed for 113 yards on 23 carries. Freshman Jordan Chunn carried the ball 22 times for 91 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Burks has now topped the 100-yard mark in back-to-back games marking the first Trojan to do so since DuJuan Harris in 2008.
Eric Thomas helped the Trojans take control with 8:55 left in the opening quarter when took a shovel pass and eluded several defenders to gain 37 yards. Two plays later, Robinson found Thomas in the end zone for a 26-yard touchdown. It was the eighth consecutive game Thomas has caught a touchdown pass, the longest active streak in the country. He is now tied for fifth in the Troy record books for touchdown receptions in a season with 10.
Robinson would finish the game 21-for-37 passing for 350 yards and three touchdowns. Thomas caught six passes for 113 yards to top the century mark in receiving yards for the sixth time in his career and in back-to-back games for the first time in his career.
Georgia State (0-6, 0-1 Sun Belt) responded on the ensuing drive with a 9-play, 75-yard drive that was capped by a 7-yard scoring pass from quarterback Ronnie Bell to Kelton Hill.
After the Trojans (4-3, 2-1) scored on a 4-yard pass from Robinson to Bryan Holmes to regain the lead, the Panthers returned the kickoff 65 yards to put themselves in prime position to score. Consecutive sacks by Troy defensive tackle Antonio Gillespie helped kill the drive and hand the ball back to the Trojans offense.
“I knew this would be a tough one. We squeaked one out today, but we’ve got to get better,” Troy head coach Larry Blakeney said. “I’m proud of the win but we know there is plenty of work to be done.”
Burks fumbled as Troy opened the third quarter. Georgia State capitalized to tie the game at 14-all by marching 43 yards in eight plays to score on an 8-yard pass from Bell to Albert Wilson.
After blocking a Troy punt at the 7:15 mark, the Panthers scored on their first play, a 31-yard pass from Bell to Robert Davis. Bell would finish with four passing touchdowns on the day to tie a school record.
The Trojans will take a week off before traveling to Western Kentucky on Oct. 26; kickoff is set for 3 p.m.