Previewing Georgia State’s sixth opponent: Ball State

Jordan Williams is a dangerous wide receiver for Ball State. (AP)

Jordan Williams is a dangerous wide receiver for Ball State. (AP)

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,Week 4 opponent Liberty and Week 5 opponent Appalachian State.

Let’s turn to Ball State, the last non-conference opponent.

The Panthers will travel to beautiful Muncie for an Oct. 17 meeting. Kickoff is TBA.

Ball State

2014 record: 5-7, 4-4 in the MAC.

Coach: Pete Lembo, in his fifth season.

Starters returning: 12 on offense (not a typo): tackles Drake Miller and Steven Bell, guards Jeremiah Harvey and Jalen Schlachter, center Jacob Richard, tight ends Sam Brunner and Dylan Curry, quarterbacks Ozzie Mann and Jack Milas and wide receivers KeVonn Mabon, Chris Shillings and Jordan Williams.

Seven on defense: defensive end Michael Ayers, defensive tackle Darnell Smith, nose tackle Kennan Noel, linebackers Ben Ingle, Zack Ryan and Aaron Taylor, and cornerback Tyree Holder.

Offensive system: Multiple no huddle.

Defensive system: 4-3.

Three significant stats last year:

  1. The Cardinals averaged 27.7 points and 369.2 yards per game last year. They rushed for 153.4 yards per game and passed for 215.8.
  2. Defense allowed 27.2 points and 428.8 yards per game last year. They created 24 takeaways.
  3. The Cardinals had a mere 13 sacks, but they allowed just 16.

Key starters returning:

  • Quarterback Mann and Milas have combined to start 12 games. They passed for almost 2,600 yards with 19 touchdowns.
  • Mabon caught 59 passes for 717 yards and five touchdowns.
  • The line returns all five starters.
  • Ryan had 91 tackles.
  • Ingle had 87 tackles.
  • Smith had four sacks.

How does Georgia State match up

Yet another opponent that returns a lot of starters on offense, which doesn’t bode well for a rebuilding defense.

It can’t be understated how important it is to have all five starters on an offensive line returning. That doesn’t include the tight ends, also important in blocking.

Georgia State will benefit by facing a defense that will feature three new starters should help a Panthers offense that will likely focus on passing the ball. Georgia State should also benefit by facing a defense that isn’t good at getting to the quarterback.

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