San Jose State rallies to beat Georgia State in Cure Bowl

San Jose State Spartans head coach Ron Caragher celebrates with his players Saturday after beating the Georgia State Panthers in the 2015 Cure Bowl.

Kim Klement/Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

ORLANDO, Fla. — Kenny Potter scored on a 42-yard run and threw a 1-yard touchdown pass to Josh Oliver in San Jose State’s 27-16 comeback victory over Georgia State on Saturday night in the inaugural Cure Bowl.

Austin Lopez kicked a pair of 19-yard field goals, and Tyler Ervin returned a punt 85 yards for a touchdown for the Spartans (6-7). Ervin had 30 carries for 132 yards to become San Jose State’s single-season rushing leader with 1,601. He also set the mark for most all-purpose yards in a season.

San Jose State was one of three teams given bowl berths despite losing records. The Spartans were awarded their postseason spot based on their Academic Progress Rate of 975.

Georgia State’s Nick Arbuckle threw for 208 yards and two touchdowns, including a 19-yard scoring pass to Todd Boyd that gave the Panthers (6-7) a 16-13 lead early in the fourth quarter. Arbuckle also threw a 38-yard touchdown pass to Donovan Harden, and set a Sun Belt Conference record for single-season passing yards with 4,368.

With San Jose State leading 13-7, Spartans punter Michael Carrizosa set up to punt in his own end zone. The snap was high and Carrizosa could not bring it down, leading to a safety.

Georgia State’s Donovan Harden then returned the ensuing kick 24 yards to the San Jose State 36. Arbuckle converted the great field position, hitting Boyd with a 19-yard touchdown to put the Panthers up 16-13 with 10:46 remaining.

Potter then broke loose for a 42-yard touchdown run to put San Jose State back on top 20-16. It was Potter’s seventh rushing touchdown of the season, tying the school’s single-season record. It also was his sixth run of more than 30 yards.

Potter’s 1-yard touchdown pass to Oliver was the tight end’s fourth reception of the year and his first touchdown catch.

Game sponsor AutoNation presented a $1 million check to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation following the end of the first quarter. At halftime, the Orlando Sports Foundation presented the BCRF with a check for $150,000. It is the largest donation ever made by a bowl game to a charitable cause.