Date/Time: Saturday, September 17, 7:00 PM ET
TV: ESPN+ (Play-By-Play: Matt Steward/Analyst: Sam Crenshaw)
Radio: WZVG 730 The Game Charlotte (Play-By-Play: Matt Swierad/Analyst: Al Wallace/Sidelines: Bobby Rosinski)
Location: Center Parc Credit Union Stadium, Atlanta, GA
Betting Line: GAST - 19, O/U 61.5
All-Time Series Record: Georgia State leads 2-1 (Georgia State won last matchup 20-9 in 2021)
*Odds/lines subject to change. T&C’s apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details
The Charlotte 49ers (0-3) and Georgia State Panthers (0-2) enter this game with winless records in their season and against the spread. Although the Niners final score against Maryland was lopsided, Charlotte was able to walk out of Jerry Richardson stadium with a few positive notes.
The Niners defensive line held up, providing consistent pressure on Taulia Tagovailoa in the backfield. However, they struggled to finish tackles, leading to scramble plays that resulted in costly touchdowns. “A lot of it came down to making a play…one on one, who’s going to win, I felt that they made more plays than we did”, said Charlotte linebacker Chase Monroe.
Taulia Tagovailoa escapes the pocket and delivers a nice pass to Jeshaun Jones for a 16-yard touchdown pass. Its Jeshaun Jones second TD of the day and Tagovailoa's fourth.— Testudo Times (@testudotimes) September 10, 2022
Maryland leads 35-14. pic.twitter.com/Qt5YOZmGDq
The Niners main problem has not changed since the first game of the season. Charlotte’s run defense continues to be a point of emphasis in practice, as they have given up 714 yards on the ground in their first three games of the season.
“There were a bunch of times today where we’re going to look back at this film and say…’man we were in a position to make a play and didn’t make it”, stated Charlotte HC Will Healy. The Niners tend to play their best in the first half, ultimately losing momentum as the game goes on. This does not bode well for their run defense, as teams start to realize ball control has become an efficient way of keeping the Niners’ explosive offense at bay. Georgia State looks to do the same, as their three headed snake running back room looks to carry over their performance from last week’s game against Chapel Hill.
If the Niners hope to steal a road win, the first point of emphasis must be minimizing Georgia State’s run offense. The Panthers have completed less than 50% of their passing attempts this season, explicitly citing the run as their team identity.
Georgia State Preview
Georgia State has not been given any favors by the scheduling committee, facing South Carolina and Chapel Hill to start their season. “I feel very good about our football team, we stood toe to toe with two Power Fives, we had opportunities to go out and win”, said Georgia State HC Shawn Elliott when asked about his feelings regarding early season scheduling.
Despite their (0-2) record, the Panthers are favored by 19 points this week, showing the odds makers lack of trust in Charlotte. The Panthers do not lack confidence. Georgia State’s identity rests in the backfield, averaging 217.5 rushing yards a game this season.
The Panthers’ Achilles heel is their aerial attack. Georgia State’s first two games have been defined solely by the run, proving that eliminating the rush should be the first priority for any team they face this season.
Georgia State looks to earn its first win of the season against a flailing Charlotte team. Despite their 0-2 start, the Panthers have all the confidence in this matchup, as they host a team that lacks the ability to stop the run.
Charlotte must take advantage of the Panthers subpar passing attack by winning on first and second downs. Georgia State is 9-33 (27.27%) on 3rd down conversions this season. If the Niners can limit the Panthers rushing attack, they will get more opportunities for QB Xavier Williams to display his big play ability.
When the Niners were underdogs, they finished 1-6-1 ATS in 2021. Each team excels in different areas of the game, making this matchup a must watch non-conference game.
Final Score: Georgia State 35 - Charlotte 17