Welp, that was an underwhelming start to the season.
The Ball State Cardinals defeated the Georgia State Panthers 31-21. Ball State dominated the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball, rushing for 325 yards and holding GSU to 77 rushing yards.
All of my biggest fears with this Panthers team came to fruition. The defense got wore down throughout the game. Ball State’s time of possession was 35.56 minutes, most of which was spent running the football. The Cardinals ran the ball 52 times, for 6.3 yards per rush.
On offense the Panthers struggled to run the ball once again. I understand trying to get weapons like Penny Hart, Robert Smith, and Keith Rucker the ball, however, the Panthers only had 25 rushing attempts total. Georgia State has to make a better effort to establish the run if they have any hopes of being balanced on offense.
There’s always a silver lining
Trent Miles went with Connor Manning at quarterback, I thought he played well going 21/31 for 163 yards and 1 touchdown. Manning was eventually benched for redshirt freshman Aaron Winchester. Oddly enough I believe Winchester showed potential as well. Winchester displayed his ability to make plays with his feet, he also threw for 32 yards on 4 completions. Trent Miles has two quarterbacks that are capable of moving the offense down the field.
Thank goodness this was only the first game of the season; Trent Miles and his staff have time to figure things out on both sides of the ball. We can only hope for a better showing next time out.