Who: Coastal Carolina (4-3, 1-2 Sun Belt) at Georgia State (2-5, 1-2 Sun Belt)
When: 2 p.m. (Eastern)
Where: Georgia State Stadium, Atlanta
Occassion: Georgia State Homecoming
TV: Live online on ESPN+
Radio: WRNN 99.5-FM
Live stats: Through www.goccusports.com GameTracker
Georgia State 27-21 on Oct. 2, 2017 in Conway
Strength: Rushing attack
Weakness: Run defense
Strength: Quarterback, wide receiver
Weakness: Secondary youth and inexperience
Coastal Carolina’s secondary vs. Georgia State QB Dan Ellington and WR Penny Hart: Hart is a preseason All-American who has lived up to his billing this season, and Ellington leads the Panthers in both passing and rushing yards with 1,474 and 322 yards, respectively. Ellington, a junior, is third in the Sun Belt in total offense, averaging 256.6 yards per game while accounting for 12 touchdowns with just two interceptions and a 62.3 percent completion percentage.
Hart is GSU’s leading receiver with 34 receptions for 453 yards and a touchdown, and has averaged 100.6 all-purpose yards per game. The 5-foot-8, 180-pound speedster is fifth in Sun Belt history with 2,734 career receiving yards and needs 93 yards to pass No. 4 J.D. McKissic of Arkansas State (2012-15). He is also tied for seventh in conference history with 187 career receptions. Among all active FBS receivers, Hart is tied for first in career receiving yards per game (80.4), third in career receiving yards (2,734), third in receptions per game (5.50), sixth in receptions (187) and 10th in touchdown receptions (18) in 34 games.
The Coastal secondary is perhaps its oldest position group, featuring upperclassmen Anthony Chesley, Preston Cary, Chandler Kryst and Mallory Claybourne at cornerback and Fitz Wattley and Jave Brown at safety.
Players to watch
Senior running back Marcus Outlow: The 5-10, 205-pound Boston College transfer ranks second in the Sun Belt and 35th nationally in both rushing yards (624) and rushing yards per game (89.1) this season, and is second in the conference and 16th nationally with eight rushing TDs.
Senior quarterback Kilton Anderson: He should start for the second straight week after missing two-plus games with an ankle injury and has completed 43 of 66 passes (65.2 percent) for 676 yards with six touchdowns and one interception, and has rushed 37 times for 226 yards (6.1 yards per carry) and a TD this season..
Sophomore defensive end Jeffrey Gunter: The 6-4, 255-pounder from Durham, N.C., is third on the team with 28 total tackles and leads the team with 10.5 tackles for loss for 53 yards, including a team-high four sacks. He also has two pass break-ups, two quarterback hurries, a forced fumble and blocked field goal attempt.
Junior receiver Penny Hart: The Roswell, Ga., native is also a threat on special teams. He has returned eight kickoffs and four punts this year, and recorded the first punt return for a touchdown in GSU history with a 49-yard return against Louisiana-Monroe.
Junior punter Brandon Wright: He is third in the nation with an average of 50.1 yards per punt, helping GSU rank third nationally in net punting at 43.91 yards. Seventeen of his 29 punts have traveled at least 50 yards, with 13 downed inside the 20.
Senior linebacker Michael Shaw: The fifth-year senior who is 6-4 and 240 pounds is the Panthers’ career leader in tackles for loss with 26.5 among his 190 career tackles. He has six tackles for loss this season.
He said it
“This will help a lot, being out here on the field and getting my feet wet and proving what I can do, it will help a lot.” – CCU freshman QB Fred Payton on his performance last week
“Ellington is the [engine] of our offense. He does a great job from a mobility standpoint of getting out of pressure and delivering throws to his running game. He’s a complete quarterback and only improving. I mean every single week he kind of amazes me because he does something and I say, ‘Whoa, did you just see that?’ That’s what we look forward to seeing every week with him. But what a great competitor and a very, very humble young man.” – Georgia State coach Shawn Elliott
“When you look at Georgia State I think you look at their penalties. They’re one of the leaders in the country for fewest penalties, they’re No. 1 in the league. That always tells me a team is well-disciplined and normally that team is not going to beat themselves. We have to make sure we minimize our mistakes and don’t beat ourselves. . . . I think the game is going to wind up going down to the wire.” – CCU coach Joe Moglia
After Coastal Carolina went 2-6 in its first season in the Sun Belt Conference last year, it has a lot of losses it is trying to avenge this season. Georgia State is one of five conference opponents this season that defeated CCU last year. The Chants are 0-2 thus far with losses to Louisiana-Monroe and Troy. They did avenge a loss to UAB with a 47-24 win in Week 2, accounting for the Blazers’ only loss in seven games.
This week might determine if CCU’s defense had one good game or took a positive turn for the rest of the season. The defense held UMass, which was averaging 36.3 points per game, to just 13 points and one touchdown last week. The Chants recorded season highs with six sacks, 10 tackles for loss and nine pass breakups in the strong performance, which also included holding the Minutemen to just 63 rushing yards over 22 carries.
“I believe as a team we were just more involved,” Chesley said. “In other games I think we lacked that energy, so we brought more of a positive energy and it clicked on all cylinders. If we can continue that throughout the season, then the sky is the limit. . . . The plays that happened in the past, that’s the past, you can’t control that. We’re looking toward the future and living in the moment at the same time, minimizing our mistakes and being very sharp and very intentional with everything we do.”
Senior quarterback Kilton Anderson aggravated a high ankle sprain last week that caused him to miss two games, but is expected to start again and likely split time with true freshmen Bryce Carpenter and Fred Payton, who threw two touchdown passes in the second half last week to lead CCU to a 24-13 comeback win over UMass.
“They aren’t very much different with either of the three in there,” Elliott said. “They’ve got characteristics that one of them may do better than the other, but we’ve got to defend the option in every way possible. . . . They’re not going to change things up with the quarterbacks that are in there for the most part. They’ll try to do things they normally do.”
CCU quarterbacks will be throwing at a young an inexperienced secondary. Senior safety Deondre Applin is questionable, and if he can’t go the Panthers will likely start three freshmen and a junior in the secondary.
▪ Georgia State is playing its first home game in four weeks and it is Homecoming weekend.
▪ Coastal is playing its sixth road game compared to two home games this season, and begins a three-game homestand next week.
▪ Georgia State Stadium is the former Turner Field, the longtime home of the Atlanta Braves.
▪ Coastal leads the Sun Belt and ranks sixth nationally in time of possession at 34:43 minutes per game.
▪ Coastal freshman kicker Massimo Biscardi missed his last two field goal attempts last week after making the first eight FG attempts of his career.
▪ The teams are the least-penalized squads in the conference. Georgia State has been flagged for 27 penalties and Coastal for 33.
▪ The Panthers have a few extra days of preparation having played last Thursday.
Coastal Carolina -3.5
Coastal 38, Georgia State 27: The Chants should earn a road win if they play up to expectations.