Know your opponent: Q&A with Georgia State’s, The Signal, sports editor

McClain Baxley

The student newspaper at Georgia State, The Signal, weighed in this week on their team coming into the football game Saturday at Paulson Stadium.

The answers below are from Jerell Rushin, the sports editor for The Signal. 

What has the environment been in the new Georgia State Football Stadium?

The environment inside the brand new Georgia State Stadium (formerly Turner Field) has been interesting to say the least, but exciting. It used to be a professional baseball stadium and most of the seats aren’t exactly aligned with the field as a result, but it still provides a great view.

Georgia State Stadium is much more cozy than the Georgia Dome, and feels like home. The easy access to seats and open area at the entrance make for a beautiful stadium. Attendance was the best in the season-opener, but fans endured a 51-day drought of home games because of a cancelled match-up against Memphis.

What are some of the keys to this Panthers offense that ranks 6th in the Sun Belt?

The key to the offense is getting the ball in the hands of no. 18, wide receiver Penny Hart whether it be through passing the ball or on hand offs. Hart, the 2015 Sun Belt Conference Freshman of the Year (missed most of the last season due to injury) leads the Sun Belt in yards per game at 97.9. Hart, both a deep ball threat and possession receiver is the engine that keeps the offense afloat. It should be noted that the running game, ran by a backfield by committee helps a ton to keep the offense from being unpredictable, which allows Hart and tight end, Ari Werts the chance to make big plays.

How has new head Coach Shawn Elliot fared through 7 games?

Coach Elliott has been a breath of fresh air for Georgia State, and has shined during the first seven games of the season. The Panthers not only began 0-2, but lost in disappointing fashions. However, Elliott not only rejuvenated the team, but brought confidence to the fan base with his ‘never let up’ coaching mentality.

When the Panthers hold a lead, Elliott can be spotted giving what seems like chewing out sessions. If the Panthers are losing, expect the same. He cares about finishing out games the right way and has an evident passion for the game of football. Georgia State is just two wins away from securing the second bowl birth in school history.

Are Georgia State students excited or nervous for the game in Statesboro?

Georgia State students are excited for the game. The confident, but calm student body feels a victory brewing for the third consecutive year against Georgia Southern. A bus of students is traveling down for the game to provide support for their home team.

The Eagles face the Panthers at Paulson Stadium on Saturday Nov. 4. Kickoff is set for 3 p.m. The Panthers lead the all-time series 2-1.