2017 Football Preview – Sun Belt – Panthers
Looking for 2017 Georgia State Panthers predictions? The Panthers only managed three wins last season, which was half the amount this group compiled during the 2015 campaign—its third year in the FBS and third year as a part of the Sun Belt conference.
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- 2017-18 College Football Preview – Georgia State Panthers
- Head Coach: Shawn Elliott
- 2016 Record: 3-9
- Georgia State Panthers Odds to win the 2017 FBS Championship: OFF
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Head coach Shawn Elliott, who is brand new to the program, has the luxury of working with a whole slew of returning starters. That’s always a good thing.
The catch is that most of those starters were “contributors” to how bad the team was a year ago, which makes it tough to call the experience a true strength.
The big question here is: Can experience outweigh incompetency in 2017?
2017 Georgia State Panthers Predictions: Team Strengths
New Head Coach: Don’t get us wrong…adding a new head coach to a football program is more of a question mark than a strength. In fact, for a lot of programs, it’d be a weakness considering the question marks surrounding continuity.
But we have a lot of confidence in this particular coach and how he’s going to run this particular program.
The Panthers brought on Shawn Elliott (not to be confused with San Antonio Spurs semi-legend Sean Elliott—to handle the team, and there’s a lot of reason for optimism.
Elliott was South Carolina’s interim coach following the retirement of Steve Spurrier, giving this “newbie” some legitimate experience ahead of his run at Georgia State.
Again: This isn’t a guarantee. But this program needed some life pumped into it.
This seems like the right guy, and it seems like the right time.
Pass Defense: As you can tell just by looking at last season’s record (3-9), there aren’t too many legitimate strengths to talk about here. But if you’re asking yourself what’s the most redeeming quality when it comes to this program, look no further than the pass defense.
Last season’s pass defense was excellent by most standards. Even better, this team brings back a ton of experience from that group.
The linebackers are studs who are going to be stars this season in the Sun Belt. Chandon Sullivan and Jerome Smith will also be playmakers in the conference at the cornerback positions.
2017 Georgia State Panthers Predictions: Team Weaknesses
Run Game: The running game last season was awful for the Panthers. Not only was it completely unreliable, but it allowed opposing defenses to hone in on the passing game.
That was a huge problem for quarterback Conner Manning, especially considering he was already lacking a big-time weapon in Penny Hart.
With Hart back, Georgia State has a chance to establish that QB-WR connection. But if the running game doesn’t improve, defenses will know they can hang back and focus solely on defending the pass.
Georgia State Panthers Prediction: 3-9
Shawn Elliott will be the third coach since the Panthers program came into existence seven years ago. That said, he’s also in a great spot when it comes to turning this program around.
No, we don’t expect this team to make any improvements in the wins column. But sometimes you can take steps in the right direction knowing that the wins will come down the road.
For starters, Georgia State is getting its own stadium. Also, Elliott has recruiting experience that will work in this pipeline.
Overall, there are plenty of reasons for optimism here. Expect another three-win season, but also don’t be shocked if there’s some life pumped into the program between now and the start of the 2018 season.
2017 Georgia State Panthers Football Schedule
- 8/31/17 7:00 PM ET TNST
- 9/16/17 7:30 PM ET @PSU
- 9/23/17 6:00 PM ET @CHAR
- 9/30/17 TBD MEM
- 10/7/17 TBD @CCAR
- 10/14/17 5:00 PM ET @ULM
- 10/21/17 TBD TROY
- 10/26/17 7:30 PM ET USA
- 11/4/17 3:00 PM ET @GASO
- 11/11/17 TBD @TXST
- 11/25/17 TBD APP
- 12/2/17 TBD IDHO
What do you think about our 2017 Georgia State Panthers predictions? Please leave us a comment below telling us how you think they’ll do in 2017!
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