Abilene Christian

College Football Preview: Abilene Christian at Georgia State

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georgia stateATLANTA, GA – The Abilene Christian Wildcats open their 2014 campaign with a trip down to Georgia to meet the Georgia State Panthers in the Georgia Dome on Thursday. The Wildcats are newcomers to the Southland Conference after going 6-5 in 2013 as an Independent and square off against Sun Belt opponent Georgia State who, after an 0-12 2013, are still looking for their first win since joining Division 1 last season.

Abilene Christian averaged 45.5 points per game behind a balanced offensive attack that is 50/50 run/pass. However, the offense will have new faces at all of the skill positions led by Parker McKenzie at quarterback who played all of six plays in 2013.

Defensively, the Wildcats were solid in the passing game averaging nearly 2.5 sacks a game and only 206 yard per game through the air. Defensive back Angel Lopez led the team with 109 tackles while having six passes defended and two interceptions and will be the defensive anchor this season.

Georgia State showed offensive balance last season but defensive struggles had them playing from behind often which lead to the bottom of the Sun Belt in both offense and defense. Quarterback Ronnie Bell is a two-way threat with more than 2,500 yards passing and nearly 300 yards rushing in 2013 while Jonathan Jean-Bart looks to get a bulk of the carries at running back.

However, the offense will have to fill the whole created by the departure of dynamic threat Albert Wilson who rushed for 261 yards while having 71 catches for 1,177 yards in 2013.

The Panthers return their two leading tacklers in safety Joseph Peterson and linebacker Tarris Batiste on a defense that should be better and more experienced

Keys for Abilene Christian Win

Abilene Christian must control the ball and the clock, maintaining offensive balance without turning the ball over. The Wildcats defense should play well and can keep the game close.

Keys For Georgia State Win

Georgia State must exploit mismatches at the skill positions and Bell must make some explosive plays. Defense needs to play like the late 2013 squad while the team must capitalize on turnovers.

Key Injuries :

None

Favorite:

Latest Line, Georgia State -4

Conclusion:

Georgia State should be in line for its first win since joining Division 1 a year ago but must take care of the football to get there.

About Mark West

Mark West grew up playing and loving baseball. In college, he found an interest in writing and reporting on sports. He graduated from Arkansas State University in 1999 with a Bachelor of Science in Radio and Television Broadcasting with a News emphasis and a minor in Political Science. Mark began writing a few years ago informally about politics and sports on various blogs, but has focused primarily on baseball writing for the last two years. He loves Arkansas State Red Wolves baseball and writes about the games and the players for the Red Wolves and the Sun Belt Conference. Mark is a member of the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, giving him official votes in the Dick Howser Trophy, Regional Players of the Year, and NCBWA All-America voting.

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