Georgia St. Panthers
Georgia State begins their foray in to the world of big time college football as they leave behind the CAA for the Sun Belt. Granted this isn’t the strongest conference in the land but it might seem that way for new head man Trent Miles and a team that struggled on both sides of the ball. The questions are many and the answers few for a team that didn’t have a good 2012 on a weak schedule.
It’s a difficult task finding strengths on a team that won only one game but their are a few. The Panthers do have experience with 14 starters back split evenly between offense and defense. Georgia State does have a few players to watch on defense with linebacker Joseph Peterson bringing back 47 stops while defensive tackle Terrance Woodard was the team’s leading tackler with 49. Punter Matt Hubbard was All CAA with over 43 yards per boot and will likely need every yard he can muster in 2013. Albert Wilson led the receiving corps with 947 yards and averaged a whopping 19.7 ypc. Wilson also averaged nearly 26 yards per kick return and 9.4 yards bringing back punts.
There are quite a few problem areas and questions are common throughout but the bottom line is a new head coach is inheriting a team that was outscored 38-17 a year ago. That doesn’t need any explanation except to overstate the obvious; score more points and give up less. Easier said than done but getting the ball in the hands of Wilson every possible chance is a plus but who will be under center and how will the offense fare against better defenses. The same thing applies to the defense who will face much better attacks so winning won’t be easy.
This is a huge jump for Georgia State who has been playing football since 2010. If the Panthers are going to win, it will be early as the schedule progressively gets tougher as the season matures. I can’t seen any thing that says GSU finishes any where but near the bottom of the conference.