2012 Record: 1-10
Head Coach: Trent Miles (First year at GSU, 20-36 Overall)
All-Time Georgia State Record: 10-23 (Started playing FCS level football in 2010)
Future Conference Foes: 10/12 vs Troy; 10/19 at Texas State; 10/26 at ULM; 11/2 vs WKU; 11/16 vs Louisiana; 11/23 at Arkansas St; 11/30 vs South Alabama
Paying the Bills: 9/14 at West Virginia; 10/5 at Alabama
Swing Games: 8/30 vs Samford; 9/7 vs Chattanooga; 9/21 vs Jacksonville State
Stats to Fear: Outscored by an average of 21.1 points per game in 2012; allowed opponents to convert 46% of third down attempts
Stat to Cheer: Miles improved Indiana State from 0-12 in 2008 to 7-4 in 2012 including a victory over eventual FCS National Champion North Dakota State
Phil Steele's Returning Starters: (Offense: 7; Defense: 7; Special Teams: 2)
Key Defensive Returnees: ILB Joseph Peterson (65 tackles), DE Theo Agnew (60 tackles, 2 sacks), NG Terrance Woodard (59 tackles)
Key Offensive Returnees: QB Ben McLane (139/274, 1592 yds, 10 TD, 11 INT), WR Albert Wilson (48 rec, 7 TD, 19.7 ypc)
The Georgia State Panthers football program is still in it's infancy. This will be only their fourth season in active competition and in the first three seasons they combined to go 10-23. Unfortunately for the Panthers, they've seen their win total dwindle each year as they went from 6 wins in 2010 to 3 in 2011 and to 1 in 2012. The inaugural head coach of the Panthers, Bill Curry, has stepped aside and Georgia State has hired Trent Miles.
Miles comes to Georgia State from Indiana State where he turned around their program. Miles brings in a name most of you have probably heard of to run his offense, former Boston College head coach Jeff Jagodzinski (went 20-8 as head coach at BC). On defense, Miles will go with a familiar name (to him) in Jesse Minter. Minter was DC for Miles for the past two years at Indiana State and his defense allowed just 14.3 points per game in 2012.
Not only will Georgia State break in a new coach and coaching staff this season but they are also making the transition to the FBS and the Sun Belt Conference. In it's first three years, GSU has had minimal competition against FBS opponents. This year the Panthers will play nine FBS opponents including the defending National Champion Alabama Crimson Tide and the offensively explosive West Virginia Mountaineers. They will also have a very interesting encounter on November 2nd against Western Kentucky as Bobby Petrino returns to the Georgia Dome (provided Petrino doesn't do something to get fired or bolt from the team in the middle of the night prior to Nov 2nd).
This season will not be measured by wins and losses. In just it's fourth year in competitive football, the Georgia State Panthers will hope to see growth and the true measurement will be improvement. How much does this team improve from the beginning of the season until the end and will we see flashes of a team that can compete in the Sun Belt Conference in the near future.
2013 Prediction: 2-10