Georgia State falls to Ball State in season opener, 31-21


Georgia State opened up their season on Friday night at home against the Cardinals of Ball State. Looking to build off of their first bowl appearance in program history, the Panthers fell flat in a 31-21 loss.

The Georgia State Panthers defense, which returned 8 starters,  looked very good through the games first three quarters before succumbing to the Ball State Cardinals offense by giving up 14 points in the fourth quarter. Cornerback Jerome Smith had two key interceptions, including one that was returned for a touchdown.

The defense needs to work on getting off the field quicker. The defense gave up a total of 455 yards including 325 yards on the ground. This will definitely be something they will need to work on as they face the option attack of Air Force next Saturday.

The Panthers will have a lot of questions entering next week about the state of their offense, as they struggled mightily. Turnovers, penalties and an inconsistent run game doomed the Panthers offense.

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The quarterback battle will at least continue one more week as neither Aaron Winchester or Conner Manning.  Neither quarterback managed to show enough to cement themselves as the starter going forward. The loss of former quarterback Nick Arbuckle was evident on Friday night as the pass game for Georgia State suffered a great deal. Arbuckle threw for over 4,000 yards last year and was big reason for the Panthers success last season.

Georgia State has a lot of questions to answer before their game next Saturday at Air Force. The team needs to find some consistency in their running game, that only managed 77 yards on the night, in order to relive some of that pressure off of whoever is playing quarterback.

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It will be interesting to see how Georgia State respond especially with having to travel on the road. Georgia State kicks off at 2 PM EST at Air Force.