Can the running game bounce back? Last week broke a two-week string of 200-yard performances on the ground. While the passing game continues its season-long streak of up-and-down performances, the team needs the offensive line and running backs to consistently produce. St. Francis, an NAIA school, shouldn’t match up physically with Georgia State’s offensive line.
Can Kelton Hill bounce back? Making his second start at quarterback, Hill failed to crack 100 passing yards, hitting just six of his 15 attempts. The week before, he hit 12 of 15 for more than 200 yards. He did connect with wide receiver Albert Wilson for the duo’s third touchdown in two games last week. Some of the mistakes last week were missed reads and some were just bad throws. Hill remains confident and can be a game-changer when he’s on, as evidenced by the win against South Alabama.
Will the special teams ever get better? They missed four long field goals last week and the kickoff coverage unit continued its season-long string of disappointing performances.
A Georgia State win would …
Be its third this season.
Be its third in the Georgia Dome this season.
Be its first over an NAIA-level team.
A St. Francis win would …
Be its eighth this season.
Keep an eye on …
For Georgia State: Jake Muasau. Perhaps no player has benefitted more from some of the defense’s changes in scheme and mindset. The linebacker had 10 tackles with two sacks and an interception last week, a week after his pressure led to the game-ending interception in the win against South Alabama. He’s been dinged up this week, but Curry said Muasau should play.
For St. Francis: E.J. White. The quarterback has thrown 28 touchdown passes this season in leading an offense that averages 260.9 rushing yard and 224.6 passing per game.
The numbers game
Georgia State has played in back-to-back overtime games.
The number of points scored by St. Francis this season, 268 more than the Panthers.
The history book
This is the teams’ first meeting.
The bottom line
Though St. Francis has dominated many of the teams it has played this season, it is the equivalent of a Division II team. The Panthers should be able to post a performance similar to the one against Clark Atlanta earlier this year, as long as the players stay focused. Look for the offense to perform well, continuing a season-long trend of up-and-down performances, and the defense to continue its recent string of solid performances.
– Doug Roberson, AJC. Follow me on twitter @ajcgsu