The Red Wolves needed a huge drive to beat Georgia Southern trailing 26-20.
AState seemed to have little chance of overcoming five turnovers and struggles on third down when Hansen’s pass to Sanders came up short of a first down giving the Eagles the ball with 3:06 remaining. The Eagles couldn’t muster a first down and the AState defense coupled with three remaining timeouts provided one more last chance with 2:41 remaining, needing 70 yards with no timeouts left.
“He [Hansen] didn’t flinch,” Coach Anderson said, “They really just stayed calm. The clocks running down, no timeouts”
Hansen’s first pass targeting Omar Bayless was incomplete and Wand lost six yards on second down. Hansen’s second pass of the drive targeted Wand it was also incomplete bringing up fourth and 16.
Anderson praised Hansen’s poise for the scramble that followed to save the drive and the game. “Fourth and whatever it was for Hansen to scramble because it seemed like nothing was going right. Wow.”
AState now had first down at the Red Wolves 42. Wand picked up four yards on first down but lost two on second down and the Red Wolves faced 3rd and 8 with the clock rolling. Hansen found Blake Mack for nine yards and a first down at the Georgia Southern 47. A second pass targeting Mack was incomplete but on second down, Hansen found Dijon Paschal for 10 yards and another first down at the 37. Incomplete to Wand on first down but Hansen hit Sanders for 29 yards at the Georgia Southern 8. After spiking the ball the Red Wolves had 14 seconds left. Hansen then hit Bayless for the winning TD.
“I was really proud of Justice to make the two throws he had to make. In one on one coverage, number one to see them and number two to make them,” Anderson said.
Hansen finished the night 16 of 27 for 182 yards with two TD passes and two interceptions. He added 61 yards rushing on nine carries. On the final drive, he was four of eight for 56 yards with 18 yards rushing leading to the 27-26 win.