Georgia State Panthers Kick Off Football Season Against Ball State University

The Georgia State marching band performs during the Panther Walk before the 2016 opening season game against Ball State.
The Georgia State marching band performs during the Panther Walk before the 2016 opening season game against Ball State.
The Georgia State cheerleaders performs during the Panther Walk before their game against Ball State.
The Georgia State cheerleaders performs during the Panther Walk before their game against Ball State.

Georgia State’s hopes of building momentum after this year’s media day was a second thought in this weeks 31-21 loss against Ball State during this passing Friday’s season-opening game in the Georgia Dome. In the 2016 opener we got to see just how different these two teams are.

Georgia State head coach Trent Miles greets fans prior to Ball State game at the Panther Walk.
Georgia State head coach Trent Miles greets fans prior to Ball State game at the Panther Walk.

The Panther’s offense struggled through the first three quarters under the lead of new starting quarterback Conner Manning. “We turned the ball over in the first quarter and we could not sustain any drives. We did not do anything on offense to help move the ball and protect our defense,” Georgia State head coach Trent Miles said.

Georgia State receiver Penny Hart runs after a catch in the first quarter of their game against Ball State.
Georgia State receiver Penny Hart runs after a catch in the first quarter of their game against Ball State.

The Panthers’ defense, consisting mostly of returning starters, played well through three quarters . Cornerback Jerome Smith had two interceptions, including returning one for a touchdown in the first quarter before it gave way under an accumulation of Ball State plays.

Georgia State Panther defensive end Carnell Hopson and Bobby Baker gang tackle Ball State wide receiver KeVon Mabon after a catch during their game Friday September 2,2016 at Georgia Dome.
Georgia State Panther defensive end Carnell Hopson and Bobby Baker gang tackle Ball State wide receiver KeVon Mabon after a catch during their game Friday September 2,2016 at Georgia Dome.

An inability to stretch Ball State’s defense with long passes, the seasons-lng problem of an inability to run the ball, combined with two turnovers, penalties and a critical error by the special teams contributed to the Panthers’ fourth loss in an opener in the past five seasons. The Georgia State Panthers look to bounce back next week September 10 ,2016 with there game against the Air Force Falcons.

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