Georgia State football A-to-Z: X is for X-factor


Continuing the Georgia State football A-to-Z series:

X is for X-factor

What are the factors that could prevent Georgia State from building upon last year’s 6-7 success, its first sustained progress since its first season?

Let’s do this by elimination:

The coaching staff returned mostly intact, with two new additions: Rick Minter on the defensive line (replacing Tony Samuel) and John McDonell as senior offensive analyst. Jeff Jagodzinski’s status remains unresolved.

The non-conference schedule is moderately difficult, but the only game in which the Panthers won’t be given even much of a chance is at Wisconsin. The team should go at least 2-1 against Ball State, Air Force and Tennessee-Martin.

The team has suffered no serious injuries in the offseason and should be very healthy when practices start on Aug. 5.

The Panthers will get two of their three toughest conference games at the Georgia Dome: Arkansas State on Nov. 3 and Georgia Southern on Nov. 19. They will play at Appalachian State on Oct. 1.

The defense returns nine starters, losing all-conference safety Tarris Batiste and all-time leading tackler Joseph Peterson. The team is deep at both positions. While you can’t deny their production and leadership on and off the field, the effect of those two not being on the field should be minimal.

The offense returns numerous all-conference performers: wide receivers Penny Hart and Robert Davis and tight end Keith Rucker. The line returns Gabe Mobley, Sebastian Willer, Michael Ivory and Alex Stoehr, to name a few. The running backs will have as many as six players competing.

So what’s left?

Quarterback. Everything starts with the quarterback.

Gone is Nick Arbuckle, the Sun Belt student athlete of the year after passing for more than 4,300 yards last season (I think I have that entire phrase on a save-get).

Emiere Scaife, Conner Manning, a transfer from Utah, and Aaron Winchester will battle to replace Arbuckle. It will be interesting to see if offensive coordinator Luke Huard puts as much on their shoulders as Arbuckle carried last year. Some of that was Arbuckle’s natural ability and leadership. Some of it was what was needed within the offense.

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

R is for run defense

S is for sacks

T is for Turner Field

U is for undergrads

V is for victory

W is for wideouts

Less than a minute with…

Taz Bateman

Jalen Lawrence

Mackendy Cheridor

Kendrick Dorn

Jerome Smith

Gabe Mobley

Other stuff

Minters enjoying coaching together at Georgia State

Georgia State football picked fourth in Sun Belt preseason poll

Five Panthers named to Sun Belt preseason all-conference teams

Davis, Baker will rep Georgia State at Sun Belt media day

Sports Illustrated confuses Georgia State with Georgia Southern

Georgia State football players participate in Atlanta march

Georgia State accepting nomination for second Hall of Fame class

Ron Hunter and Ray McCallum’s ties run deep

Ray McCallum joins Georgia State basketball staff

Georgia State hoops will play at Mississippi State

Justin Seymour joins Georgia State hoops

Georgia State basketball will play at Auburn, with other dates confirmed

Georgia State adds Furman, W. Michigan to schedules

Miles: Georgia State going from Pinto from Benz

Georgia State men’s basketball headed to Dominican Republic

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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