One of the keys to the success of Georgia State’s offense this year is the continuity on the offensive line.
Through three games the same five players have started: Michael Ivory, Garrett Gorringe, Tim Wynn, Alex Stoehr and A.J. Kaplan.
Last year, there were 10 combinations used in the 12 games because of suspensions, resignations, injuries and ineffectiveness. Just two players, Wynn and Kaplan, returned from last year’s group to this year’s.
This year, the offense is averaging 35.7 points, 150 rushing yards and 373.7 passing yards per game.
Last year, the offense averaged 18.8 points, 102.2 rushing yards and 253 passing yards per game.
“Continuity is big for an o-line,” position coach Harold Etheridge said. “You have to get used to playing next to the guy next to you, and there’s accountability and trust.”
Coach Trent Miles said that because the line must play together its members can usually be found together.
“Any successful offensive line I‘ve been around, that’s the way it is,” Miles said.
The line has given quarterback Nick Arbuckle enough time to throw this season, something Ronnie Bell didn’t enjoy much of last year while being sacked 32 times for an average of 2.8 per game. Arbuckle has been sacked seven times in three games, an average of 2.5 per game.
It’s not a big difference in rate, but Arbuckle is averaging 43 passes per game, compared to Bell’s 36.
The line will face loud and tough challenge against Washington on Saturday.
The stadium will be loud. The Panthers have tried to adjust to the atmosphere by using speakers blasting static. Miles said he expects the Panther swill use a silent snap count in which the guard taps the center when it’s time to give the ball to the quarterback.
The more difficult part may be stopping Washington’s pass rush.
Two Huskies, Danny Shelton and Hau’oli Kikaha , have combined for 11 of the team’s 15 sacks.
Etheridge said the Huskies like to run a twist scheme with the defensive linemen against zonal blocking schemes, such as what Georgia State uses. He said if Panthers do what they’ve been taught, they should handle the tactic.