Petrino made his first appearance at the Georgia Dome since abruptly resigning 13 games into his only season as Atlanta Falcons coach six years ago.
The announced crowd of 5,377 barely acknowledged Petrino in pre-game introductions. Over 69,000 fans were at his last game in Atlanta, a 34-14 Monday night loss to the New Orleans Saints on Dec. 10, 2007.
Petrino shocked the Falcons with his sudden departure for Arkansas the following day. He went 34-17 with the Razorbacks, but was fired in April 2012 after acknowledging an extramarital affair.
Western Kentucky (5-4, 2/3 Sun Belt Conference) snapped a two-game losing streak. Ronnie Bell had two touchdown passes for Georgia State (0-9, 0-4).