Georgia State won’t open summer camp until August, so it’s a perfect time to start looking ahead to the teams the Panthers will face during the upcoming season.
I’ve already done the opener against Charlotte, Week 2 opponent New Mexico State, Week 3 opponent Oregon and Week 4 opponent Liberty.
Let’s turn to Appalachian State, a team that Georgia State played its worst game of the season against last year in the snow in Boone, losing 44-0 in rolling up just 62 yards in offense.
The Panthers will host Appalachian State on Oct. 10. Kickoff is TBA.
2014 record: 7-5.
Coach: Scott Satterfield, in his third season.
Starters returning: 10 on offense: left guard Parker Collins, center Jesse Chapman, right guard Colby Gossett, right tackle Beau Nunn, quarterback Taylor Lamb, running back Marcus Cox and wide receivers Bobo Beathard, Malachi Jones and Bobo Beathard.
10 on defense: defensive end Ronald Blair, nose tackle Tyson Fernandez, defensive end Olawale Dada, outside linebackers Kennan Gilchrist and Devan Stringer, inside linebackers John Law and Eric Boggs, safeties A.J. Howard and Doug Middleton and cornerback Latrell Gibbs.
Two on special teams: punter and place-kicker Bentlee Critcher and holder Simms McElFresh.
Offensive system: Multiple spread.
Defensive system: 4-3.
Three significant stats last year:
- The Mountaineers averaged 35.7 points on461.5 yards per game last year. It was a balanced offense, averaging 241.8 rushing yards and 219.8 passing yards per game.
- Defense allowed 27.3 points and 347.5 yards per game last year, which was tops in the Sun Belt.
- Opponents averaged a Sun Belt-low 17.8 first downs per game.
Key starters returning:
- Quarterback Taylor Lamb passed for 2,381 yards and 17 touchdowns, and rushed for 483 yards.
- Leading rusher Marcus Cox rushed for 1,415 yards and 19 touchdowns.
- McElfresh had 42 receptions for 484 yards and five touchdowns.
- Four-fifths of the offensive line returns.
- John Law had 91 tackles.
- Ronald Blair had six sacks.
- Doug Middleton had four interceptions.
How does Georgia State match up
Unless last year’s game was an aberration, this is not a good match up for Georgia State. Any team that returns that many starters on offense and defense is going to be tough for anyone, especially a team that couldn’t do much of anything against them last year.
This will be the benchmark for the rest of the Sun Belt season for Georgia State: if the Panthers are competitive, or even win, then the rest of the conference season will look much brighter.