Game Preview: WVU vs. Georgia State
Series: First Meeting
Last meeting: First Meeting
Television: noon, ROOT Sports (Rob King - play by play, Rasheed Marshall - analysis, Amanda Mazey - sideline)
Line: -38.5 WVU
West Virginia (1-1, 0-1) will look to get back on track Saturday at Milan Puskar Stadium when the Mountaineers play host to FBS fledgling Georgia State (0-2) in a noon kickoff.
The Panthers football program began playing games in 2010, and is led by head coach Trent Miles who turned around an Indiana State program to three consecutive winning seasons after starting his career 1-22 with the Sycamores. Miles is in his first season with the Panthers and has a career record of 20-38, albeit both of his head coaching stops have been reclamation projects.
This is the first season that Georgia State is competing at the FBS level after previously participating in the CAA in 2012. Saturday's matchup will represent the first road game of the season for the Panthers.
"They're a young program. They've been playing for seven years. Bill Curry started that program up. They're transitioning into I-A. They have a great recruiting base It's Trent Miles' first season there. He turned around Indiana State, while being there for four or five years, to the point that they were a pretty good FCS team," Holgorsen said.
Along with Miles, the Panthers have NFL experience on their coaching staff with offensive coordinator Jeff Jagodzinski spending time with both the Atlanta Falcons and Green Bay Packers, as well as a successful stint as the head coach at Boston College where he led the Eagles to back-to-back ACC Atlantic Division Crowns.
Georgia State has played two quarterbacks with Ronnie Bell leading the way with 461 yards and 3 touchdowns on 73 attempts, while Ben McLane has throws for two more scores in only 12 attempts. At running back, the Panthers have struggled to run the football, amassing only 120 yards for an average of 2.4 per carry during their first two games.
Albert Wilson is the most explosive player on offense, as the senior wide receiver, has hauled in 15 passes for 299 yards and three touchdowns in two games, as well as handling return duties.
West Virginia will look to rebounds from a frustrating performance against Oklahoma where the Mountaineers doomed themselves with timely mistakes in the 16-7 Big 12 Conference defeat.
West Virginia Depth Chart:
QB - 14 Paul Millard (Jr) or 9 Clint Trickett (r-Jr) or 7 Ford Childress (r-Fr)
RB (A) - 3 Charles Sims (r-Sr), 4 Wendell Smallwood (Fr), 2 Dreamius Smith (Jr), 29 Dustin Garrison (Jr)
FB (B) - 88 Cody Clay (r-So), 42 Garrett Hope (So)
WR (X) - 12 Ronald Carswell (r-So), 5 Ivan McCartney (Sr)
WR (Z) - 11 Kevin White (Jr), 19 K.J. Myers (r-So)
IR (Y) - 5 Mario Alford (Jr), 6 Daikiel Shorts (Fr)
LT - 67 Quinton Spain (r-Jr), 79 Nick Kindler (r-Sr)
LG - 78 Marquis Lucas (r-So), 76 Pat Eger (r-Sr)
C - 65 76 Pat Eger (r-Sr), Tyler Orlosky (r-Fr),
RG - 64 Mark Glowinski (r-Jr), 73 Russell Haugton-James (r-So)
RT - 62 Curtis Feigt (r-Sr), 79 Nick Kindler (r-Sr)
DT - 98 Will Clarke (r-Sr), 97 Noble Nwachukwu (r-Fr)
NT - 90 Shaq Rowell (r-Sr), 95 Christian Brown (So)
DE - 93 Kyle Rose (r-So), 20 Dontrill Hyman (Jr)
BUCK - 32 Brandon Golson (Jr), 45 Eric Kinsey (So)
SPUR - 31 Isaiah Bruce (r-So), 51 Marvin Gross (Fr)
WILL - 35 Nick Kwiatkoski (r-So), 11 Sean Walters (r-Fr)
SAM - 33 Jared Barber (Jr) and 47 Doug Rigg (Sr), 53 Tyler Anderson (r-Sr)
FCB - 34 Ishmael Banks (r-Jr), 7 Daryl Worley (Fr)
FS - 8 Karl Joseph (So), 9 K.J. Dillon (So.)
BS - 25 Darwin Cook (r-Sr), 41 Ricky Rumph (So)
BCB - 26 Travis Bell (r-Jr), 23 Brodrick Jenkins (r-Sr)
PK - 8 Josh Lambert (r-Fr)
P - 91 Nick O'Toole (So)
KO - 48 Michael Molinari (r-Jr)
LS -87 John DePalma (So)
H - 48 Michael Molinari (r-Jr)
PR - 12 Ronald Carswell (So), 10 Jordan Thompson (So)
KR - 5 Mario Alford (Jr), 4 Wendell Smallwood (Fr)
Ten Mountaineers earned their first career starts this season with Mark Glowinski (RG), Brandon Golson (BUCK), Marquis Lucas (LG), Paul Millard (QB), KJ Myers (WR), Tyler Orlosky (C), WR Daikiel Shorts (WR), Charles Sims (RB), Dreamius Smith (RB), Josh Lambert (K), Nick O'Toole (P).
True freshmen that have played include: Marvin Gross (LB), Carlton Nash (CB), Wendell Smallwood (RB), Daikiel Shorts (WR), Jeremy Tyler (S) and Daryl Worley (CB)
In total, 24 Mountaineers saw their first game action this season including Mario Alford (WR), Michael Calicchio (OL), Ronald Carswell (WR), Brandon Golson (BUCK), Mark Glowinski (RG), Jarrod Harper (S), Dontrill Hyman (DE), Josh Lambert (K), Devonte Mathis (WR), Logan Moore (WR), Carlton Nash (CB), Brandon Napoleon (CB), Noble Nwachukwu (DE), Tyler Orlosky (C), Nick O'Toole (P), Charles Sims (RB), Wendell Smallwood (RB), Daikiel Shorts (WR), Dreamius Smith (RB), Clint Trickett (QB), Jeremy Tyler (S), Sean Walters (LB), Kevin White (WR) and Daryl Worley (CB).
Injuries: Senior linebacker Doug Rigg remains questionable with a concussion. Redshirt senior and back up BUCK linebacker Dozie Ezemma broke his lower leg and foot against William & Mary and will miss the remainder of the season. West Virginia also will be without junior linebacker Shaq Petteway who will miss the entire season with a torn ACL. Sophomore cornerback Nana Kyeremeh also will miss the entirety of the season with a shoulder injury. Redshirt freshman offensive tackle Adam Pankey is still recovering from a torn ACL and also won't be available for the game.
Redshirts: Head Coach Dana Holgorsen has already announced that he plans to redshirt the following players this season: junior running back Andrew Buie, junior offensive lineman Stone Underwood, junior outside linebacker d'Vante Henry, freshman wide receiver Shelton Gibson, freshmen linebacker Al-Rasheed Benton, freshman fullback Elijah Wellman, freshman safety Isaac McDonald, freshman wide receiver Jacky Marcellus, freshman safety Malik Greaves, freshman offensive lineman Marcell Lazard, freshman offensive lineman Tyler Tezeno and freshman offensive lineman Grant Lingafelter.
Points to click:
* Nothing reeks of laziness in sports journalism when you continue to go to old clichés but there is so much truth in them as West Virginia prepares to take on an overmatched Georgia State team. While almost painfully obvious it has to be mentioned, West Virginia must win this game. When playing a team that, on paper, should be a pushover it is hard to tell if there is any growth from the prior games but WVU is going to need to continue to improve. Most importantly though you'd like to get through this game as injury free as possible. This is a great opportunity to get quite a few back-ups and third stringers game snaps. If the starters are needed in the third quarter of this game then it could be a very long season for the Mountaineers.
* Like I said before, improvement is what is needed this weekend. There is a big step down in quality of opponent this week, but WVU needs to attack this Saturday's game as if they were suiting up against Alabama. The team should improve every time they take the field but sleep walking through what should be a blow out win is a wasted effort. The young Mountaineer squad needs to show it can execute on all levels repeatedly.
* Time to regain some confidence; leave the OU game in Norman. While it may be difficult to get up for GSU, West Virginia will need to build their confidence. The season is far from over and GSU is not a gauge in how the team will do against Maryland.
* Establish some offensive consistency and what to do moving forward: West Virginia struggled on offense in Norman and this weekend's matchup will be much less difficult. Still, the Mountaineers need to find the playmakers on the team and who will be able to best get them the football.