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:
L is for Luke Huard
Though Huard has been calling the plays for three seasons, he didn’t receive the title of offensive coordinator until this recent offseason.
It remains to be seen if Jeff Jagodzinski, who held the title, will return to the program. Questions about his return are answered with variations of, “he is dealing with a personal situation. He will return when he returns.” It would be natural to presume that something would be decided by the end of June, which is typically when the contracts for assistants end. However, Jagodzinski’s contract, signed on Jan. 1, 2015, goes until Dec. 31, 2016.
But back to Huard.
Here’s how Georgia State’s offense has performed the past three seasons:
As you can see, the averages for points and yards consistently improved, while the average for rushing yards stayed roughly the same.
With quarterback Nick Arbuckle gone after two years of leading the offense, it will be interesting to see how those averages will look at the end of the pending season.
Huard seems to have a very good relationship with his quarterbacks and was mostly responsible for the transfer of Conner Manning to the program.
Huard has had a lot of time to work Emiere Scaife and Aaron Winchester, the other two quarterback candidates, also.
It will be interesting to see if he tries to use all three, with different packages put in for each. Frankly, it wouldn’t surprise me.
Each has used their redshirt. So, they might as well play. If the offense is run heavy, the quarterback handing the ball off may not matter a great deal. Of course, the defense could shift to stack the run and force the quarterback to diagnose the coverage and throw, but that’s what Huard has been training them to do.