W. Kentucky, Georgia State chase winning record in Cure Bowl
By The Associated Press
Dec. 15, 2017
Cure Bowl: Georgia State (6-5) vs. Western Kentucky (6-6), Dec. 16, 2:30 p.m. Eastern (CBSSN)
Line: Western Kentucky by 6 1/2.
Series Record: Western Kentucky leads 1-0.
WHAT'S AT STAKE
Western Kentucky seeks to win bowl games in four consecutive seasons for the first time. Hilltoppers are one of eight FBS teams — along with Clemson, Georgia, Louisiana Tech, Stanford, Utah, Virginia Tech and Wisconsin — with wins each of the past three seasons. Georgia State is in the Cure Bowl for the second time in three seasons, aiming for the first postseason win the Panthers' eight-year history.
Hilltoppers QB Mike White and WKU's potent passing attack against a Panthers defense that's allowed 391 yards per game — 242 passing and 149 rushing. White has thrown for 300-plus yards in seven consecutive games and ranks third nationally passing efficiency and yards per completion.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Georgia State: WR Penny Hart led the Sun Belt Conference in receiving with 73 catches for 1,094 yards and eight touchdowns. The 5-foot-8 sophomore has 152 receptions for 2,254 yards and 17 TDs in just 26 career games. QB Conner Manning is a transfer from Utah, who's thrown for 5,554 yards and 29 TDs in 21 games for the Panthers. He's completed 63.7 percent of his passes while throwing for 13 TDs vs. seven interceptions this year.
Western Kentucky: White has thrown for 3,826 yards, 24 TDs and seven interceptions. The Hilltoppers have five players — WRs Nacarius Fant (67), Cameron Echols-Luper (42), Lucky Jackson (37) and Quin Jernighan (34), plus TE Deon Yelder (47) — with at least 34 catches. RB D'Andre Ferby is the team's leading rusher with 362 yards and three TDs.
FACTS & FIGURES
Second meeting all-time. Hilltoppers won 44-28 in 2013, Georgia State's first year in the Sun Belt and Western Kentucky's last in the league before departing for Conference USA. ... Panthers lost 27-16 to San Jose State in the 2015 Cure Bowl. ... Western Kentucky, finishing its first season under coach Mike Sanford, won the Bahamas, Miami Beach and Boca Raton bowls the past three years. ... Five of Georgia State's six victories have come on the road.
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