College Football Preview: The 2014 Georgia State Panthers
Georgia State hopes to increase their win total in 2014.
2014 College Football Preview
The Georgia State Panthers look for improvement in their second season in the Sun Belt.
Overview: Georgia State's first year in the FBS began bad but got stronger as the season went on although it didn't show in the win column. The bar is now raised a bit higher so can the Panthers step it up a notch?
USA TODAY Sports
Offense: Ronnie Bell threw for 2,573 yards on 50% completion and I know there are several challengers for the job but Bell showed signs of improving as the season went on and I believe it's his job. Unfortunately, three of the top four receivers are gone leaving #2 Robert Davis (44-711) as the best (only?) option for now which is bad news for a passing team. Leading rusher Travis Evans graduated leaving Jonathan Jean-Bart (71-269) and Bell (49-282) as the best of the rest. The biggest area of concern is the O-Line where C Tim Wynn is the only starter back.
Defense: The top two on the defensive line have departed but in general the young players that return have experience although this unit suffered their share of injuries. ILB Joseph Peterson led the team with 82.5 stops on the best unit on the team and with two of the three other starters back this is once again the best. The secondary is at the opposite end of the spectrum with the top five gone which means JUCO's, freshman and a few returnees will be thrust in to action.
Special Teams: Matt Hubbard averaged 42 yards on a whopping 78 punts while Wil Lutz was 6-7 on FG inside of 40 yards and just 2-5 outside of 40. The Panthers are in need of returners and will likely try to have a few options before the opener.
Outlook: I wouldn't be surprised if Georgia State won a few games but the team lost substantial talent from a winless team which tells the story. In 2014 a win would still be better then a goose egg and a couple would be great success and double the win total from the last two years.