Georgia State won’t open summer camp until Aug. 1, so it’s a perfect time to start looking ahead to the teams the Panthers will face during the upcoming season.
I’ve already previewed the opener against Charlotte. The Panthers, 1-11 last season, will host the 49ers on Sept. 4 at the Georgia Dome.
Let’s turn to New Mexico State. The Panthers will play in Las Cruces on Sept. 12.
New Mexico State
2014 record: 2-10, 1-7 in the Sun Belt.
Coach: Doug Martin, in his third season.
Starters returning: Eight on offense and nine on defense.
Offensive system: Spread.
Defensive system: Multiple.
Three significant stats last year:
- The Aggies averaged 420.9 yards of offense per game.
- Defense allowed 309.9 rushing yards per game, last in FBS.
- The Aggies lost 34 turnovers.
Key starters returning:
- Quarterback Tyler Rogers, who passed for 2,779 yards and 19 touchdowns, but also threw 23 interceptions.
- Leading rusher Larry Rose III (1,102 yards and 9 touchdowns)
- Leading receiver Teldrick Morgan (75 receptions for 903 yards and seven touchdowns)
- Leading defensive back Winston Rose (5 interceptions)
How does Georgia State match up
IF the Panthers can’t run the ball against New Mexico State it’s going to be a long season for the offense. The Aggies, as noted, were atrocious at stopping the run.
Repeating what I wrote about Charlotte, the question for the defense, as it always will be, is can it get a pass rush against what will be a quick-snap, quick-read, quick-delivery offense?
The Aggies edged the Panthers 34-31 last year in the Georgia Dome on an 11-yard touchdown pass from Rogers to Morgan with 15 seconds left. Rogers passed for 241 yards as the Aggies had more than 430 yards in offense.