Omar Bayless caught an 8-yard touchdown pass in the corner of the end zone with 9 seconds left and Arkansas State overcame five turnovers to beat Georgia Southern 27-26 on Wednesday night.
Down 26-20 with 2:41 remaining, Arkansas State (1-4, 1-0 Sun Belt) went on a 13-play, 70-yard drive — kept alive by Justice Hansen’s 18-yard scramble on fourth-and 16. Hansen also completed a 29-yard back-shoulder pass to Kendall Sanders with 18 seconds left and connected with Bayless on a fade route for the winner.
Arkansas State, which turned it over seven times in its last two games, fumbled on its first three drives. Georgia Southern (3-2, 2-1) recovered two of them and Joshua Moon intercepted a tipped pass later in the first quarter. In the fourth, Cam Echols-Luper muffed a long punt and Hansen threw his second interception.
Hansen was 16 of 27 for 182 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions for Arkansas State.
Georgia Southern scored on its first two possession of the second half to take a 23-10 lead. Younghoe Koo kicked a 24-yard field goal, and Myles Campbell caught a short pass, broke a tackle and outran the defense for a 63-yard touchdown. But the Eagles were held to just three fourth-quarter points.
It was the first meeting between the teams since Georgia Southern’s victory in the 1986 NCAA Division I-AA national championship game.