The Georgia State Panthers finished up their preseason last Saturday with a 41-33 loss to Liberty University. The team now looks to open the regular season at 3:30 this Saturday against the Appalachian St. Mountaineers in the Georgia Dome. Both teams are looking to improve on their 2014 campaigns, with Appalachian State hoping to contend for a Sun Belt Championship.
It was a confusing choice by Georgia State coach Trent Miles to play quarterback Nick Arbuckle so much this preseason, as that time is typically about developing depth as opposed to giving reps to established players who know the system already. That said, the senior starter should be in top form this season since he has had so many in-game repetitions.
Arbuckle finishes the four game tune-up with 10 touchdowns to only 5 interceptions and over 1,300 yards passing. The only other person to throw passes for the Panthers in the preseason was freshman Emiere Scaife- who went 0-5 passing, but did rush for 36 yards. So, I guess they've got some emergency depth for the regular season now.
While the passing game looks ready for prime-time, there are areas for concern for Georgia State, though. It is possible they were just holding back the team, the 1-3 record this preseason isn't what fans like to see. The defense has allowed nearly 40 points per game, and the running game has continued to struggle to gain yardage. I understand that preseason games don't always tell the whole story and that record doesn't mean everything, but it doesn't mean nothing either.
Appalachian State finished their preseason with a record a 3-1. The defense has only allowed 54 points in that time with a pair of exhibition 49-0 wins against Howard and Old Dominion. They have only allowed more than 14 points once- it was a 41-10 drumming at the hands of Clemson. But again, y'know, preseason. They may have just been working out some defensive rotation kinks.
Coach Scott Satterfield has also decided to give starters playing time, rather than trying to build competitive depth for the upcoming season. Maybe this is a new trend for the CFB football season? Quarterback Taylor Lamb hasn't passed as much Arbuckle, but has thrown 76 times for over 500 yards with 9 touchdowns and only 4 interceptions. Of course, he hasn't needed to since the Mountaineers have had so much success in the "practice season" with their running game.
These two teams played last year in Boone, North Carolina in a heavy (for the south) snow storm. Georgia State should hope that their home field dome will be better for them, as they're hoping to improve significantly on the 44-0 blizzard game from last November.
Yes, I know there's no preseason in college football. You fantasize when your team stinks, too. Shut up.