Continuing the Georgia State football A-to-Z series.
Quick recap: the Panthers went 6-7 last season with that last loss coming in the team’s first bowl game, the Cure Bowl in Orlando against San Jose State.
Coach Trent Miles will return seven-eight starts on offense (depending upon your definition of what makes a starter) and nine on defense.
The team should be picked to finish in the top half of the media polls and, if not for the lock that Appalachian State will likely have on first-place votes, might even receive a vote or two in that category.
Anyway, off we go:
K is for Kicker
It won’t generate the same amount of interest as the competition to become the team’s starting quarterback, but the battle to replace Wil Lutz as the starting placekicker and punter should have some intrigue.
Lutz hit 120-of-122 point-after attempts in his career, as well as 31-of-46 field goals.
As a punter, he averaged 42.8 yards per boot with 21 blasts of at least 50 yards and a career long of 70.
Lutz, now in camp with Baltimore, was also a stand-up guy. After the disastrous fake punt against Louisiana-Lafayette, Lutz didn’t hide and took ownership for what happened.
But back to this season….
Brandon Wright is the only kicker/punter listed on the roster, but he is more of a punter than a kicker. He did work to improve his kicking skills during the spring camp and I assume he will continue to do so this summer.
Several players tried out for kicker during spring practice, and there will be a transfer joining the team in August.
It may seem like small potatoes, but the jobs are important.
A punter who can flip the field is a valuable weapon, as is a field-goal kicker who is accurate from 45 yards and in. It remains to be seen how effective the team’s passing game will be after the quarterback is decided. If it’s not, and the running game becomes the focus of the offense, it will become harder and harder to run the closer to the end zone that Georgia State gets. Therefore, an accurate field goal kicker takes on added importance.