Georgia State has come a long way since their inaugural season in 2010. They’ve definitely started from the bottom and now they’re here. GSU kicks off their 2016-17 football season in seven days and I couldn’t be more excited. The student body, team and fans are just as enthusiastic. The Panthers host Ball State on September 2nd at 7 p.m. in the Georgia Dome.
Last season, the Panthers earned their first bowl berth to the inaugural AutoNation Cure Bowl in Orlando, Fla losing to San Jose State 16-27. They won their final four regular-season games, beating the 2014 Sun Belt champs Georgia Southern with a 34-7 victory and ending the season with a 6-6 record. I’m really looking forward to Coach Miles’ coaching. What has he done during the off season to improve the winning column for his team?
GSU held their annual Kickoff Luncheon at the 755 club at Turner Field Thursday and speakers consisted of President Mark Becker, head coach Trent Miles and three of his lieutenants–offensive coordinator Luke Huard, defensive coordinator Jesse Minter and special teams coordinator Jesse Minter–as well as senior student-athletes Keith Rucker and Bobby Baker.
I’m ready to unleash my #InnerPanther and see what the season holds.
Some highlights below:
Head coach Trent Miles:
“It’s been a process. We learned how to compete, we learned how to compete to win, we learned how to win, and now we’re going to learn how to win championships. These young men have been winning in the classroom, they’ve been winning it society, and now they’re going to do it on the football field.
“It’s very exciting to see the new leaders emerge on this football team. The strength of your football team is your seniors, and I think we’ve got great young men who will carry the flag.”
Special Teams Coordinator Eric Lewis:
“Overall our special teams should continue to improve because of the talent on our football team. Special teams is an area where some of the younger guys can get their first taste of playing time, and we’re looking forward to see how they perform.”
Offensive Coordinator Luke Huard:
“All the quarterbacks have improved. They all study the game and watch the extra film and do all the things that you want your quarterback to do. Each one possesses his own unique skill set, and they’ve all progressed from Day 1 to now. They’re all establishing some confidence, and I know our football team will play hard for whomever is out there.”
“In our first offensive meeting this season, we talked about how our defense was the most improved defense in the nation last year in stopping the run, and now we want our offense to be one of the most improved in the nation in running the football.”
Defensive Coordinator Jesse Minter:
We have nine starters back but we actually have 17 or 18 guys on defense who have started games before. So it’s a very experienced group of guys who have put in a lot of work, and we’ve seen them grow up. We’re bigger, faster, stronger.”