Three storylines for Saturday’s 3:30 p.m. game between Georgia State and Richmond at the Georgia Dome:
1. Can Georgia State’s offense do something? The offense has scored three touchdowns in three games. Two drives were led by starting quarterback Ben McLane and one by backup Ronnie Bell. The lack of production can be traced to poor execution, bad luck and the opponent’s skill and strategy. But the team has playmakers in running back Donald Russell, who has averaged 7.1 yards per carry, and wide receiver Albert Wilson, who caught an 84-yard touchdown pass, the longest in school history, in last week’s loss to Texas-San Antonio.
2. Can the defense rebound? The unit is giving up almost 500 yards per game, including 199 rushing yards. The defense has yet to post a sack, which means opponents’ wide receivers usually have time to get open. And the defense can’t get off the field, allowing opponents to successfully convert 50 percent of their third-down plays.
3. Will the fans show up? Georgia State spent a lot of time and money marketing last week’s game, the first Saturday night affair in program history at the Dome. Fewer than 12,000 people showed up, and few of them were students — which was the group that said it wanted the night game. The season-opening game was attended by less than 19,000, a drop of 7,000 from the 2011 opener and 11,000 from 2010’s inaugural game. The worst home crowd in the program’s history was attended by 10,963 for last year’s game against Murray State.
A win for Georgia State would …
Be its first of the season and first in the Colonial Athletic Association.
A win for Richmond would …
Be its first against Georgia State.
Tweet of the week
Playing hard isn’t enough as a unit we have to execute on a much higher level if we expect to be great and win #realtalk
– Jarrell Robinson #46 @Jrobinson912
Jeff Schultz predicts
I don’t know how many times I can say the Panthers aren’t close to ready for FBS and I feel sorry for Bill Curry, but the Panthers aren’t close to ready for FBS and I feel sorry for Bill Curry. State has lost three games by scores of 33-6, 51-13 and 38-14, and this will be their first game in their only season in the Colonial Athletic Association. Parting will be such sweet sorrow — for the opponents. Prediction: Richmond wins by three touchdowns.
– Compete with the AJC’s Schultz to win great prizes and gridiron bragging rights. Play each week at ajc.com/go/sackschutz2012.