Georgia State football A-to-Z: R is for run defense

September 4, 2015 - Atlanta, Ga: Charlotte 49ers quarterback Matt Johnson (8) is tackled by Georgia State Panthers defenders from left to right; defensive end Carnell Hopson (55), linebacker Joseph Peterson (6), and linebacker Alonzo McGee (4) in the third quarter of their game at the Georgia Dome, September 4, 2015, in Atlanta.  Johnson fumbled the ball on the play. The 49ers won 23-20. PHOTO / JASON GETZ

September 4, 2015 – Atlanta, Ga: Charlotte 49ers quarterback Matt Johnson (8) is tackled by Georgia State Panthers defenders from left to right; defensive end Carnell Hopson (55), linebacker Joseph Peterson (6), and linebacker Alonzo McGee (4) in the third quarter of their game at the Georgia Dome, September 4, 2015, in Atlanta. Johnson fumbled the ball on the play. The 49ers won 23-20. PHOTO / JASON GETZ

Continuing the Georgia State A-to-Z series, we turn to:

R is for run defense

Georgia State gave up 303.3 rushing yards in 2014. Not bad, right?

It would be, except that was rushing yards only.

Last year, Georgia State gave up 181.1 rushing yards per game. Though still a lot, compared to what it was it was arguably one of the reasons why the team reached its first bowl game.

There are many, many reasons the average dropped by more than a whopping 100 yards per game. Let’s name a few:

The offense was able to build leads, which forced opponents to pass more in an attempt to catch up;

The defense matured and benefited from the new strength and conditioning program;

The defense’s talent improved the with the addition of several transfers from UAB and junior colleges, including safety Bobby Baker, and linebackers Alonzo McGee and Kaleb Ringer.

Run defense will be critical this year because the Panthers are going to play a lot of teams that will run the ball.

If the team is to have any chance of winning the Sun Belt, a goal that the players have already stated, it must be able to control the attacks of Arkansas State, Appalachian State and Georgia Southern, which figure to be three of the favorites this season.

The Mountaineers have owned the Panthers in their first two meetings, posting 184 rushing yards in last year’s 37-3 win and 469 rushing yards in the 44-0 win in 2014.

The Red Wolves rushed for 384 yards in 2014’s 52-10 win, and 296 in last year’s 48-34 win.

Georgia Southern rushed for 613 yards in 2014’s 69-31 win, but just 135 in last year’s 34-7 win by the Panthers.

So, Georgia State has now shown that it can slow down some of the conference’s best rushing games.

It must do so consistently this season.

Football A-to-Z series

A is for Alonzo McGee

B  is for Backfield

C is for Chandon Sullivan

D is for Robert Davis

E is for Andrew Everett

F is for fumbles

G is for Georgia Dome

H is for Harold Etheridge

I is for interceptions

J is for Jesse Minter (because I’m a dummy, I originally posted this as M is for Minter)

K is for Kicker

L is for Luke Huard

M is for Trent Miles

N is for non-conference

O is for October

P is for Penny Hart

Q is for Quarterbacks

Less than a minute with…

Mackendy Cheridor

Kendrick Dorn

Jerome Smith

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Sun Belt will add football title game

Georgia State adds transfer power forward

Sun Belt Conference adds a fifth bowl

Georgia State opens online store

Few things that need to be in Georgia State’s online store

Georgia State athletics honored for class work

Watch: Georgia State football players in dunk contest

R.J. Hunter reviews his first year in the NBA

Miller Grove’s Sharman White joins Ron Hunter at Georgia State

White: ‘Good time to be a Panther’


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