2016 Georgia State football look ahead: Wisconsin

Mackendy Cheridor is one of nine starters returning on defense. (Curtis Compton / AJC)

Mackendy Cheridor is one of nine starters returning on defense. (Curtis Compton / AJC)

Let’s continue the Georgia State football 2016 way-too-early look at next year’s schedule with Wisconsin.

The Panthers will play in Madison on Sept. 17.

To recap: Georgia State won its last four regular-season games to reach 6-6. The Panthers were invited to the Cure Bowl in Orlando and were defeated 27-16.

The Panthers return eight starters on offense and nine on defense.

Those starters who aren’t returning are all key, led by quarterback Nick Arbuckle. He became the Sun Belt’s single-season passing leader in the loss to the Spartans.

So, how might the Panthers do next year?

Here’s a look at Ball State, which the Panthers will play Sept. 1 or 2.

Here’s a look at Air Force, which the Panthers will play Sept. 10.

Here’s a look at Tennessee-Martin, which the Panthers will play Oct. 22.

 

Wisconsin

2015 record: The Badgers defeated USC 23-21 in the Holiday Bowl to finish 10-3.  The Badgers averaged 26.77 points on offense and allowed 13.69 on defense. That defense will have a new coordinator after Dave Aranda accepted a similar position at LSU.

When will they play: in Madison.

Have the teams played before? No.

Key players returning

  • RB Dare Ogunbawole: 194 carries for 819 yards and seven touchdowns;
  • RB Taiwan Deal: 117 carries for 503 yards and six touchdowns;
  • WR Robert Wheelwright: 32 receptions for 416 yards and four touchdowns;
  • TE Troy Fumagalli: 28 receptions for 313 yards;
  • ILB T.J. Edwards: 84 tackles, including 11 for loss;
  • OLB Vince Biegel: 66 tackles, including 14 for loss
  • Four offensive linemen, each of whom were redshirt freshmen last season;

Key players lost

  • QB Joel Stave: Passed for 2,687 yards and 11 touchdowns;
  • WR Alex Erickson: 77 receptions for 978 yards and three touchdowns;
  • OLB Joe Schobert: 79 tackles, including 19 1/2 for loss;
  • S Michael Caputo: 65 tackles, 2 interceptions;
  • LT Tyler Marz;
  • CB Darius Hillary
  • FS Tanner McEvoy;
  • FB Derek Watt

Outlook

While the odds are still long, if Georgia State is going to defeat a team one of the power conferences this may be its best chance. As noted, the Badgers are losing their starting quarterback, best wide receiver, three-fourths of their secondary and their second-best linebacker.


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