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CFN Take: Georgia State Falls To USA

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Nov 30, 2013


Georgia State Panthers 2013 ... Head Coach: Trent Miles


Georgia State Panthers

2013 Record: 0-12
8/29 Samford L 31-21
9/7 Chattanooga L 42-14
9/14 at West Virginia L 41-7
9/21 Jack. St L 32-26 OT
9/28 OPEN DATE
10/5 at Alabama L 45-3
10/12 Troy L 35-28
10/19 at Texas State L 24-17
10/26 at ULM L 38-10
11/2 WKU
11/9 OPEN DATE
11/16 Louisiana L 35-21
11/23 at Arkansas St L 35-33
11/30 South Alabama L 38-17
South Alabama 38, at Georgia State 17
Basically … South Alabama kept its bowl dream alive getting up 41-3 with Jay Jones running for two scores and Ross Metheny hitting Shavarez Smith on a 37-yard touchdown pass. Georgia State got one-yard touchdown runs from Ronnie Bell and Sean Jeppesen late, but USA had total control.
- Georgia State turned it over three times and failed to convert on ten third down chances.
- South Alabama RB Joey Jones ran 17 times for 102 yards and two scores.
- South Alabama WR Shavarez Smith caught ten passes for 194 yards and a sore.
- Georgia State QB Ronnie Bell completed 17-of-34 passes for 321 yards and a pick.

Western Kentucky 44, at Georgia State 28, Nov. 2
Basically … Western Kentucky rode Keshawn Simpson and his four rushing touchdowns to an easy win over Georgia State. Simpson only had 25 yards rushing on 10 carries and all of his touchdowns came from less than three yards out. Georgia State was within a field goal at the end of the first quarter, but never got closer than 10 in the second half.
- Western Kentucky QB Brandon Doughty was 15-of-24 for 206 yards, a touchdown and a pick.
- Georgia State QB Ronnie Bell threw for 325 yards, two scores and two picks on 26-of-41 passing.
- Western Kentucky scored a touchdown after each of Georgia State’s two turnovers.
- Georgia State had 85 rushing yards on 27 attempts for a little more than three yards per carry.

Troy 35, at Georgia State 28
Basically … Corey Robinson threw three touchdown passes including a 54-yarder to Chris Williams with just over three minutes to play to give Troy the lead for good in a back-and-forth game. Georgia State battled well with Ronnie Bell throwing four touchdown passes with three in the second half, hitting Albert Wilson for scores from eight and 38 yards out. Down seven with under ten minutes to play, Troy tied it up on a three-yard Jordan Chunn touchdown run, and then it was Robinson coming through in the final minutes.
- Troy threw two picks, and the team turned it over three times total and committed nine penalties, but the team got out alive. It was way too much of a struggled against a mediocre team, but with a road game at WKU up next, the Trojans couldn’t afford the gag. The defense came up with a strong game against the run, but the secondary was torched; WKU will be more balanced.
- Georgia State came close and battled well, but at the very least, the team is improving. Ronnie Bell threw four touchdown passes, but he was under constant pressure and didn’t get anything from the ground game to help out. Albert Wilson continues to be special, making seven catches for 153 yards and two scores. It’s still a winless season, but the Panthers are getting closer. The emergence of a stronger passing game is about to pay off.

at Alabama 45, Georgia State 3
Basically … Alabama did whatever it wanted, scoring 38 first half points on four AJ McCarron touchdown passes to four different receivers, and T.J. Yeldon added a four-yard touchdown run. Georgia State got on the board in the third quarter with a 53-yard field goal from Wil Lutz, but the Tide called off the dogs, only scoring on a ten-yard Blake Sims pass to Chris Black in the fourth.
- Alabama was able to get in a nice, light scrimmage just to get all the parts of the offense tuned up. AJ McCarron missed one pass, connecting on 15-of-16 throws for 166 yards and four scores, and Blake Sims wasn’t much word, hitting 14-of-18 passes for 130 yards and a touchdown.
- Georgia State star receiver Albert Wilson led the team with four catches for 60 yards, but the Tide put the clamps down on him, and nothing else worked. The ground game finished with just 15 net yards.
- This was empty-the-bench time for the Tide with several young players getting in some meaningful work. Star recruit A’Shawn Robinson made two tackles with a tackle for loss, leading a young group that didn’t have any problems keeping GSU under wraps in the second half.
- The Panthers made Alabama work a little bit on field position. Punter Matt Hubbard had a terrific game averaging 46.6 yards per try with a 65-yard blast.

Jacksonville State 32, Georgia State 26 OT
Basically … Georgia State’s late rally came up short. JSU’s DeMarcus James ran for a two-yard score, but the Panthers couldn’t do anything with their possession after a game comeback. Down 23-9 in the fourth, GSU came up with a blocked punt, and followed it up a few minutes later with a ten-yard Robert Davis touchdown catch. JSU took back the lead with a field goal, but the Panthers forced overtime on a 26-yard Will Lutz field goal with no time left on the clock.
- It might have been another loss, but this was the best the Panthers have played all year, showing great fight late to force overtime. Ronnie Bell only completed 16-of-41 throws, but he has Albert Wilson, who caught seven passes for 158 yards and a score. Bell also led the team with 57 yards on 11 carries.
- The defense held up well, doing a decent job against the JSU ground game and forcing three turnovers. The D wasn’t a brick wall, but it kept the team in the game in the second half, allowing just two field goals.

at West Virginia 41, Georgia State 7, Sept. 14
Basically … West Virginia coasted after taking a 17-0 first half lead on two Ford Childress touchdown passes. Daikiel Shorts caught a 21-yard scoring pass in the first quarter and scored from 23 yards out in the fourth, while Charles Sims added a 32-yard scoring dash as part of 24 unanswered points following a 65-yard Travis Evans touchdown run.
- It was Georgia State, arguably the worst team in the FBS, but Ford Childress looked the part. He might have misfired a bit, and his accuracy was an issue, but he threw for 359 yards and three touchdowns with a pick.
- What helps out a young quarterback in his first start? A good running game, and Charles Sims came up big with 116 yards and a score on 18 carries. The Mountaineer offense did whatever it wanted.
- Georgia State couldn’t complete a bit pass downfield. There were a few decent moments, but for the most part, quarterbacks Ben McLane and Ronnie Bell sputtered with Bell completing just 5-of-13 passes for 63 yards.
- It’s a learning process for Georgia State, but it needs to soon find one thing it can do well. Outside of one big run from Travis Evans, the offense generated just 155 yards. The team needs an identity to give someone something to worry about.

Chattanooga 42, at Georgia State 14, Sept. 7
Basically … Chattanooga scored the first 42 points of the game helped by 401 rushing yards. Jacob Huesman ran for two touchdowns and threw two scoring passes to Faysal Shafaat. Georgia State didn’t get on the board until late on two Albert Wilson touchdown catches.
- At the moment, Georgia State has Albert Wilson, Albert Wilson and Albert Wilson. One of the best players in the Sun Belt, he has been a bright spot in a gloomy start to the year. He caught seven passes for 132 yards and two scores.
- The Panther defensive front needs lots and lots and lots of help against the run. The line didn’t generate a sack and rarely got penetration into the backfield. It’s not a plus that a safety, Kail Singleton, led the team with ten tackles and had more solo tackles (8) than anyone else had total stops.
- Ben McLane needs a longer look at quarterback. It was garbage time, but he got the offense moving. Ronnie Bell completed just 9-of-22 passes for 70 yards and didn’t add anything to the ground game.

Samford 31, at Georgia State 21, Aug. 30
Basically … Samford busted open a tight game with 28 straight points in the second half. Georgia State got up early on two Ronnie Bell touchdown passes to Kelton Hill, Bell gave up a 33-yard pick six in the third and the floodgates opened up.
- Georgia State’s offense couldn’t generate a push for the ground game averaging just 2.9 yards per carry. However, the defensive front did a nice job of holding up and not getting pounded on.
- The passing game clicked, but it couldn’t get back in the game in the second half. On the plus side, Ronnie Bell bombed away for 391 yards and three scores, and Albert Wilson showed why he’s going to be an all-star with eight catches for 167 yards and a touchdown, but the running attack has to start working to control the clock and keep the defense off the field.

Spring Analysis

Why To Be Excited The Panthers are loaded with veterans coming off a disastrous 1-10 season. Ten starters return to an offense that gets all five starters back including four seniors up front to protect quarterbacks Ben McLane and Ronnie Bell, who each got their feet wet last year. The defense might have been awful against the run, but it welcomes back the entire front line working around big nose tackle Terrance Woodard and should be better on the outside hoping for John Kelly and C.J. Stephens to add more punch into the backfield.

Why To Be Grouchy The team needs 57 miles to go to be even decent. At the FCS level, GSU wasn’t even close losing nine of the ten games by double digits. How did it do against FBS teams? It was blasted 51-13 by Tennessee and 38-14 by UTSA, but everyone else did whatever they wanted, too. The secondary that was ripped apart by anyone who could throw a forward pass loses safeties D’Mario Gunn and Demazio Skelton, two of the team’s top four tacklers.

What Needs Working On The offense has to stop turning the ball over and it has to find a running game. Youth and inexperience were the issues to work through, but the turnovers never stopped and the problem got worse as the season went on with 23 interceptions on the year and 12 lost fumbles. The ground game has to do something right after hitting 100 yards just three times all seasons long with the only 200-yard day – a 274-yard, three score effort against Rhode Island – the only win of the season.

Non-Conference Games: Samford, Chattanooga, at West Virginia, Jacksonville State, at Alabama
Realistic Best Case Record: 4-8
Worst Case Record: 0-12
Likely Finish: 1-11
Pre-Preseason Projected Wins: Chattanooga
Pre-Preseason Projected Losses: Samford, at West Virginia, Jacksonville State, at Alabama, Troy, at Texas State, at ULM, WKU, Louisiana, at Arkansas State, South Alabama

Schedule Analysis: The Panthers might be full of veterans, but does that mean they’re going to be able to come up with more wins after a disastrous 2012? Samford, Chattanooga and Jacksonville State aren’t going to be sure-thing wins – it would be a plus to beat two of the three – and then that might be it. There’s still a massive talent divide between GSU and the rest of the Sun Belt in its current form. Fortunately, there’s only one road game after going to ULM over the final five weeks of the season, but that comes after a run of three road games in four weeks with the fun of going to Alabama along with Sun Belt dates against Texas State and ULM after hosting Troy.

Team Concerns For 2013: The team needs help everywhere after coming up with just one win, and it has to start by not turning the ball over on a regular basis. The O gave it up 35 times in just 11 games with interceptions a major problem. the running game failed to do much of anything on a consistent basis, hitting the 100 yard mark just three times. The defense that got gouged against the run has to be far stronger in the front seven.

The 2013 Class Is Heavy On ... Defensive linemen. The Panthers need to boost up the talent level almost everywhere, and it's going to start on the defensive line with JUCO transfer George Rogers out of Miami and end Mackendry Cheridor two nice pieces to work around for the next few seasons. Linebacker Kight Dallas will one day be the team's leading tackler, while Kingsley Ejike is a nice athlete for somewhere in the corps. The offense is going the JUCO route for backfield depth getting quarterback Clay Chastain and running back Gerald Howse, but receiver Calvain Holmes might be the team's best pickup for the O.