Previewing Georgia State

Georgia State fell to pre-season favorite UL-Lafayette 34-31 in Lafayette last Saturday. The Panthers led 31-28 with 6:35 left, but the Cajuns scored the winner with 3:34 remaining. In their two league losses, the Panthers have taken the lead with a touchdown in the final five minutes.

Saturday, 1 p.m., Georgia Dome, Atlanta.

Broadcast: Arkansas State radio, and ESPN3.

The Panthers (1-4, 0-2 Sun Belt.)

Schedule: Abilene Christian W 38-37; NM State, L 34-31; Air Force, L48-38; at Washington, L 45-14; at ULL, L 34-31.

Georgia State’s touchdown drives against ULL were 91, 96, 88 and 75 yards and the Panthers converted nine of 14 third-downs against ULL. Quarterback Nick Arbuckle was 7-for-10 for 99 yards on third-down. Georgia State leads the Sun Belt and ranks 22nd nationally on third-down conversions at 47.9 percent.

Georgia State ranks in the top three in the Sun Belt in scoring (30.4/third), total offense (450.4/third) and passing (322.6/second). Arbuckle leads the league in total offense (323.6), is second in passing (318.2 pg) and pass efficiency (142.7).

Coach speak: Trent Miles.

Every team in our conference is good. There are no gimmes. The only gimme that sued to be in our conference was us and we are no longer a gimme. Folks have better play well against us or we will get them.

They (ULL) made the most of their opportunities. We just did not get enough. We have to keep scoring and executing and getting more point, I like it but we want more, we need more.

We need execution in the critical moments. You have to be able to produce when it is critical situations. It is down to one or two players here and there that cause you to lose and they have to grow up and hurry.

Arkansas State is a very, very good football team. They can go a high rate tempo wise. Defensively. they are very fast. They are not as big up front as ULL but they can really, really run.

Arkansas State (3-2, 1-0 Sun Belt)

Schedule: Montana St., W 37-10; at Tennessee, L 34-19; at Miami, L 41-20; Utah State, W 21-14 OT; UL-Monroe, W 28-14.

The Red Wolves are 3-2 after five games for the first time since the 2011 season and just the fifth time since re-joining the FBS in 1992 .Since 20-11, A-State is 21-3 in Sun Belt games. With its 28-14 win over ULM, A-State improved its Sun Belt Conference record since 2011 to 21-3 and is 10-1 over its last 11 October games. Junior wide receiver J.D. McKissic became the fourth player in school history to record more than 2,000 career receiving yards (2,015) after he posted a season-high 120 yards vs ULM, his six career 100-yard receiving games . In the 28-14 victory over ULM, junior quarterback Fredi Knighten had 355 yards offense, 284 passing yards and was responsible for four touchdowns, running for three and passing for another one. Junior running back Michael Gordon ran for a season-high 168 yards, collecting his fifth career 100-yard rushing game.

The Red Wolves have recorded at least 300 yards total offense 50 times over its last 56 games, including all five games this year. They had a season high 548 yards vs. ULM. A-State has held three opponents this season to 14 points or less, the most since holding three to no more than 14 in 2012. The Red Wolves have won 15 consecutive games when holding an opponent to 17 points or less . . . A-State is ranked 16th in the nation in sacks per game and 31st in tackles for loss. Junior punter Luke Ferguson has posted at least two punts inside the opponent’s 20-yard line every game this season and has a Sun Belt-high 15 on the year.

Coach speak: Blake Anderson

“We have got to protect the football better than we have been doing and eliminate the penalties. Those are the two big keys. Some of them are avoidable and some of them are part of aggressive football, but there are way too many for us to be successful against good football teams in the future.

They (Georgia State) present a little different problem, especially for our defense. Our defense is going to see a team that is committed to throwing the ball. They are probable 60 -40 with the pass. Very similar to us offensvely with tempo. They will spread you out; make you cover the entire field. Arbuckle the quarterback can make every throw. He loves to let it rip. They have speed at wide out. They will present a little different problem that the last couple of weeks with tempo thrown in there

“This also means our offense has got to step up and score points. We have to keep defense off the field with sustained effort. It is a collective effort.”