Georgia State Panthers Preview 2022: Previewing, predicting, and looking ahead to the Georgia State season with what you need to know and keys to the season.
Georgia State Panthers Preview
Head Coach: Shawn Elliott, 6th year at Georgia State, 30-30
7th year overall: 31-35, 2021 Preview
2021 Record: Overall: 8-5, Conference: 6-2
Georgia State Panthers Preview 2022
Georgia State lost the first two games to North Carolina and Army by a combined score of 102-27, and dropped the date to Appalachian State a few weeks later 45-16 for a 1-4 start.
Even with the schedule lightening up … a 7-1 run with a win at Coastal Carolina, a victory over Georgia Southern, and a 51-20 blowout bowl win over Ball State?
That’s how you turn a season and a program around.
Three straight winning seasons, three straight bowl games, four bowl appearances in five years – it’s been a good run for Georgia State as it grows into more and more of a factor in the Sun Belt.
Even with all of the changes and the new programs coming in, the potential is there for this to be the best season yet since becoming a full-on FCS team back in 2013.
Head coach Shawn Elliott has settled in, the team is loaded with good veterans and playmakers, and with the momentum of the second half of last season, this is when it’s fun to be a Georgia State fan.
Georgia State Panthers Preview 2022: Offense
The offense wasn’t always perfect, and it loaded up on a whole slew of mediocre teams, but it got the job done. The running game was fantastic, the passing attack was more effective than the stats, and the parts are there to be far more consistent and far better because …
This might not be the best offensive line in the Sun Belt, but it’s going to be very, very good. Malik Sumter was a Second Team All-Sun Belt center, Pat Bartlett was a Third Team All-Sun Belt guard, and almost everyone else is back with only former star guard Shamarious Gilmore done.
The veteran backs will thrive. Tucker Gregg is a reliable 220-pound occasional workhorse who averaged close to five yards per carry on his 953 yards, fellow senior Jamyest Williams is a quick back who transferred over from South Carolina and ran for 6.7 yards per carry with nine scores, and the rushing production will come from …
Darren Grainger. The 6-4, 202-pound senior wasn’t always accurate, but he threw just four picks with 19 touchdown passes.
Slippery-fast, he took off for 646 yards and three scores – he gave Auburn a hard time and was almost perfect in the bowl win over Ball State. Now he has to be more consistent as a passer. UConn transfer Steven Krajewski is a nice backup option.
The receiving corps is loaded. San Pinckney transferred to Coastal Carolina, but Jamari Thrash led the team with 32 grabs averaging over 14 yards per catch.
TE Aubrey Payne led the team with seven touchdown catches, Ja’Cyais Credle is a 6-4 deep threat, and there are a slew of young options in the mix.
Georgia State Panthers Preview 2022: Defense
The defense has to be better on third downs, the secondary has to be stronger, and it has to rise up against the good offenses on the slate, but the pass rush should once again be terrific, there’s a slew of potential all-star talent, and as long as the takeaways are coming, all should be okay.
The pass rush and big plays come from the linebackers. Jamil Muhammad wasn’t always a starter, but he led the team with six sacks from his set on the outside. The inside combination of Blake Carroll and Jordan Veneziale are tough – they combined for 186 tackles as the team’s top two hitters.
The line isn’t massive, but there’s a good rotation. Again, most of the pass rush comes from the linebackers, but as long as the three in the 3-4 can hold up, and if Thomas Gore can keep getting behind the line from his spot on the nose, this group will do its job.
Safety Antavious Lane has been one of the best defensive backs in the Sun Belt over the last few years, and the corners can tackle.