Preview 2018: Previewing and looking ahead to the Georgia State Panthers season with what you need to know.
Preview 2018: Georgia State Panthers
It was a great year. Now it’s time to start beating the good teams.
That’s how a reboot and a culture change is supposed to work.
Georgia State moved into its new stadium with its new head coach and a renewed energy, and it all went better than anyone could’ve reasonably asked for going 7-5 with the first bowl victory in school history.
Second-year head man Shawn Elliott still has to put his stamp on the program, he still needs time for his recruits to mature, and he has to establish Georgia State as a growing Sun Belt power. 2017 can’t be a one-off, but that comes with starting to beat the teams that can actually play.
Half of the battle in the Sun Belt is not gacking against the miserable teams. Georgia State was one of those teams for a few years, but in 2017, it was able to win six regular season games against six teams that failed to win more than four games.
There might have been a misstep against Tennessee State to open things up, but for the most part, the Panthers did what they needed to do before taking down WKU in the Cure Bowl. Along with the opener, though, they also lost at home to a bad Idaho team – that can’t happen this year with this schedule.
It’s okay to lose to a Penn State last year, and have problems with an NC State this season, but to move forward, there has to be a big win on the road over a Troy, or an Appalachian State, or an Arkansas State.
Elliott and the Panthers established themselves last season, but they have to keep the momentum going now, and be better.
The improvement has to start on the offensive side of the ball. The passing game worked fine, but there wasn’t much of a ground game, and scoring points at times was like pulling teeth.
With a defense that should be good enough to get by – but has some issues of its own coming into the season, like bulk up front and experience in the secondary – the Panthers can’t take that next step by averaging just 20 points per game.
Elliott is always going to be the high-energy type who’s always demanding the positive, and he’s got a chance to turn this into his program and make it amazing.
To be one of the big guys, you have to beat the big guys. Or, at least, one of them.