Georgia State Panthers 2016 College Football Preview, Schedule, Prediction, Depth Chart, Outlook
2015 Record 6-7
Georgia State Panthers 2016 Preview
Trent Miles and the 2016 Georgia State Panthers have their sights set on the postseason.
Overview: The Georgia State Panthers ended 2015 with a four game winning streak to become Bowl eligible. A veteran core returns with the program eyeing the first Bowl win in program history.
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Offense: The focus for the Georgia State offense is finding a new signal caller with quarterback Nick Arbuckle establishing a conference record 4,368 passing yards that has to be replaced to some degree. 2015 backup Emiere Scaife, Utah transfer Connor Manning and Aaron Winchester are the top competition for the job and whoever is the starter will have weapons at their disposal. Robert Davis (62-995) and Penny Hart (71-1099) are the top targets for the Panthers who will likely be predominantly a passing squad (again) with Glenn Smith, Kyler Neal and Demarcus Kirk combining for around 1,000 rushing yards and just about four yards per touch. Three starters are back on the O-Line with five players returning with starting experience.
Defense: The GSU defense was almost non existent in 2014 but made a huge turnaround to rank an impressive 4th a season ago with further improvement expected with nine starters back in the fold. The defensive line gets back their top seven with ends Mackendy Cheridor and Shawanye Lawrence combining for ten TFL while GSU loses leading tackler Joseph Peterson at linebacker but gets back nine of the eleven who saw the field in 2015 led by Alonzo McGee’s 12.5 TFL. The Georgia State secondary is solid at the corners with Chandon Sullivan and Jerome Smith combining for 19 pass breakups and three interceptions while two of their top three are back at safety.
Special Teams: The special teams needs somebody that can kick the ball as Will Lutz handled all kicking chores so this is a priority. Marquan Greene returned a kick for a touchdown but the Panthers need a punt returner as well so this unit is a question mark until proven otherwise.
Outlook: The Georgia State schedule seems conducive to making another run at Bowl eligibility but I think that depends on the offense being competent under center with a bit more punch on the ground.
9/2 Ball State
9/10 @ Air Force
9/17 @ Wisconsin
10/1 @ Appalachian State
10/8 Texas State
10/15 @ Troy
10/29 @ South Alabama
11/4 Arkansas State
11/12 UL Monroe
11/19 Georgia Southern
12/3 @ Idaho