What happened to Georgia State between the end of the first half – in which it led vaunted Washington 14-0 – and the end of the second half, which saw it lose 45-14?
Two things, according to Panthers coach Trent Miles.
First, Washington “woke up.”
That’s fairly obvious.
The Huskies, members of the Pac-12, were deeper, bigger, faster and more talented. After what looked like fairly vanilla schemes and efforts against the Panthers in the first two quarters, the Huskies took all those elements and walloped Georgia State in the final two quarters to the tune of all those points, 233 yards and limiting Georgia State to one first down in the half, and it on the final series.
Second, the punt team didn’t do what it practiced.
Miles said all week the team practiced punting away from Dante Pettis. For some reason, Matt Hubbard began punting to him in the second half. Pettis made them pay.
Six of Washington’s 10 drives in the second half started in Georgia State’s territory. Not all of that was on Hubbard because he was often forced to punt from deep in his own territory, but punting to Pettis didn’t help.
“You can’t put a team in that position,” Miles said.
Georgia State’s defense, which played less than 30 snaps in the first half, was on the field for more than that in the third quarter.
Asked if there might be a change at punter, Miles said when the coaching gathers after recruiting this week, he said “I’m sure that we will look at everything.”
Place-kicker Wil Lutz can punt. He handled the responsibility on Georgia State’s final punt.