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:
O is for October
October will be a crucial month for Georgia State’s football season.
The Panthers’ games are:
Oct. 1 at Appalachian State
Oct. 8 vs. Texas State
Oct. 15 at Troy
Oct. 22 vs. Tennessee-Martin
Oct. 29 at South Alabama
Assuming the team remains healthy, the Panthers could be on the edge of wrapping up bowl-eligibility by the end of the month if it can go 4-1.
The one loss would most likely come at the Mountaineers, a team that has dominated the Panthers the past two years in a 37-3 win in the Dome last year and a 44-0 win in snowy Boone in 2014.
As for the remaining opponents:
Texas State has a new head coach in Everett Withers and will be breaking in new systems, ideas, etc.
The Panthers defeated Troy 31-21 last year in a game that wasn’t as close as the final score. The Trojans return 15 starters, so this will be a tough game.
Tennessee-Martin is homecoming.
South Alabama returns 13 starters from the team that went 5-7 last year. Like Georgia State, it will be looking for a new quarterback.
Conventional thinking is road games are tougher than home games.
That hasn’t been true for the Panthers, which won four games on the road last year.