ATLANTA (AP) — Jordan McCloud accounted for six touchdowns and No. 23 James Madison pulled away with four touchdowns in the second half for a 42-14 win over Georgia State on Saturday.
“I thought we played an outstanding second half, took it to them,” James Madison coach Curt Cignetti said. “I don’t think they could match our intensity in the second half."
McCloud, a senior quarterback, completed 28 of 36 passes for 307 yards and four touchdowns and rushed 13 times for a career-best 104 yards and two touchdowns to help the Dukes (9-0, 6-0 Sun Belt) extend their winning streak to 12 games, the fifth-longest in the FBS.
It was the third time in his career he threw four touchdown passes in a game.
Ty Son Lawton ran 18 times for 95 yards and caught six passes for 57 yards and a touchdown for the Dukes. Elijah Sarratt caught eight passes for 87 yards and Zach Horton caught six passes for 33 yards and two touchdowns.
Darren Grainger completed 10 of 19 passes for 82 yards and rushed 13 times for 103 yards and two touchdowns for Georgia State (6-3, 3-3). James Madison limited Marcus Carroll, the Sun Belt’s leading rusher, to 33 yards on 13 carries.
“It was pretty obvious that we got our butts kicked today by a pretty good football team,” said Georgia State coach Shawn Elliott. “They get all the credit. They come in here undefeated, with the best doggone defense in the league. You thought we would have showed up for the party today, but we didn’t fight. We fought a little bit, but not for four quarters.”
McCloud threw a 17-yard touchdown pass to Taji Hudson on James Madison’s first possession, but Georgia State tied the game at 7 on a 30-yard keeper by Grainger.
James Madison took a 14-7 lead into halftime on a 15-play, 86-yard drive that ended with a 5-yard touchdown run by McCloud.
“That was huge and that was a great drive, but 17 plays I think I’m sure we took a lot of time,” Cignetti said. “And then we scored on the first drive of the second half I believe."
The Dukes scored on their first possession of third quarter on a 7-yard pass from McCloud to Lawton, who was left open in the right flat when Georgia State sold on the blitz.
James Madison added three more second-half touchdowns, an 11-yard pass from McCloud to Zach Horton, a 1-yard run by McCloud, and a 3-yard pass from McCloud to Horton.
James Madison: The win was the 50th for Cignetti, who is now 50-8 in five seasons at the school. The 9-0 start is the first for a team transitioning from the FCS to the FBS level.
Georgia State: Bryquice Brown’s interception, his first of the season and fifth of his career, was the 13th turnover forced by the Panthers this season. They have come up with 38 turnovers over the last 21 games.
James Madison: Hosts UConn next Saturday.
Georgia State: Hosts Appalachian State next Saturday.
AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-football-poll and https://apnews.com/hub/college-football