Preview 2019: Previewing and looking ahead to the Georgia State Panthers season with what you need to know.
2018 Record: 2-10 overall, 1-7 in Sun Belt
Head Coach: Shawn Elliott, 3rd year, 9-15
5. WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE GEORGIA STATE OFFENSE
– Despite averaging just 378 yards and 24 points per game, it was the best offensive performance overall since 2015. The passing game was okay – at least compared to the rest of the Sun Belt – the ground attack had a few nice moments, and the pass protection was solid. And now almost everyone is back.
– Veteran Dan Ellington returns at quarterback after completing 60% of his throws for 2,119 yards and 12 touchdowns with five picks, and he ran for 625 yards and five touchdowns. He’s got the skills to push the ball deep, but he has to be more consistent and more accurate.
– There’s no instantly replacing the playmaking ability of Penny Hart, but the next ten top wideouts are back, starting with the speedy Cornelius McCoy and veteran Devin Gentry. There’s not a whole lot of size and there isn’t a sure-thing volume catcher in the bunch, but this corps can move.
– It’s not a big line, but it’s full of experience with four starter returning including 6-5, 295-pound OT Hunter Atkinson and 6-3, 295-pound all-star Shamarious Gilmore. The backups were almost all freshmen, and now there’s depth developing at all five spots. Now the running backs have to come through – Ellington was the leading rusher.
Senior Tra Barnett averaged five yards per carry and ran for seven scores, but he didn’t get enough work. Sophomore Seth Paige is another 5-10, 180ish quick back who’ll get in the mix more.