Kickoff: 3:30 pm ET
Location: Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia
TV/Streaming: ESPN College Extra & ESPN3.com
Live Stats: Here
Betting Line: App State -16 (opened at 18): O/U 60.5
Last season, the Mountaineers embarrassed the Panthers to the tune of 44-0, including going for 469 rushing yards and holding G-State to 62 total yards, the second-fewest by an FBS team in 2014.
And then there was this.
Fortunately for the Panthers, conditions will be a perfect 72 degrees inside the Georgia Dome on Saturday.
Looking at Georgia State
Despite starting 1-3 on the season, despite losing to FCS Liberty last week, the Panthers are eyeing what App State did a calendar year ago. After the Mountaineers loss to Liberty, they have won 9 of their last 10 with 7 of those wins coming by 17 or more points.
Unlike the Apps, Georgia State is hoping to notch some wins with the passing game. QB Nick Arbuckle leads the attack, averaging a Sun Belt leading 345.8 yards per game in the air. Most Sun Belt passing stats are currently lead by Arbuckle. However, the 106.8 rushing yards a game is second-fewest in the league.
The quick-strike offense was evident versus Liberty as the Panthers scored 33 points in just 16:27. One factor that could play in G-State's hands is that the App secondary is the biggest question mark on that defense.
Defensively, Georgia State is still porous, giving up 494.5 yards a game with the 289 allowed in the air being second-worst in the Sun Belt. Good news is that App State is second-worst in Sun Belt passing at 161.2 yards a game, but the bad news is that those stats include last week's rainy mess vs Wyoming where App QB Taylor Lamb only went 3-12 for 65 yards.
The game is dependent on Arbuckle's ability to make those big passes. Otherwise, it'll be a less-snowy repeat of 2014.
Looking at App State
The Mountaineers are 3-1 after handling Wyoming at home 31-13 in the rain. The move indoors would appear to be a welcome sight as the last two App State games have been in the heavy rain.
The Apps are led by their rushing attack to the tune of 282.5 yards a game, second in the league only to Georgia Southern. Marcus Cox comes in averaging 123.2 yards a game. While Qb Taylor Lamb hasn't put up big passing numbers, his efficiency is currently third in the Sun Belt at 141.3 (Arbuckle is 159.4).
Defensively, the Apps lead the Sun Belt in both total yards (278 a game) and points (13.5 a game) by wide margins. The secondary could have trouble with Georgia State's receivers as the Apps got burned by Clemson several times.
The game plan seems simple for the Mountaineers. Run first, pass second and win the turnover battle.
There is truth to the idea that Georgia State's passing attack was completely nullified by the blizzard conditions last season in Boone. There is also truth to the idea that App State could have gotten more yards and points without the blizzard. The Dome could lend itself to a high-scoring affair taking place. While the Panthers are desperately trying to win, App State knows how to win and there's nothing to say that won't change.
Appalachian State 55 Georgia State 23