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Where Do You See Yourself: 5-Year Outlook of Program

By: Mac Brown, @SSN_GSU

With the long days of summer now here and the first kickoff of the 2024 season a little less than two months away, the Panther Family just may have more anticipation than ever. Georgia State is coming off a 7-win season in which they started 6-1 and finished with an Idaho Potato Bowl victory in Boise (iykyk). They also head into the 2024 season with a first year, at the collegiate level, head coach in Dell McGee. Dell McGee was the running backs coach for the University of Georgia for the last four years and is known for his ability to connect with and recruit high talent players, especially in the state of Georgia. With all this anticipation surrounding the Panthers heading into next year also comes a level of uncertainty. Uncertainty that this article will try to ease. Here’s what a 5-year outlook could look like for the Panthers starting with Year 1: 2024.

2024 Season:

Out of all the five seasons this article will preview, this next season may surprisingly be the most uncertain. This isn’t due to the upcoming schedule or roster change, albeit those will be substantial contributing factors to the uncertainty, but rather due to novelty of the situation. The Panthers will have a head coach that’s never been a head coach at the collegiate level before. Will likely start a QB that hasn’t started a complete season, yet alone half a season. And will be running a new offense and their third defense in as many years. All these factors will not be there after this season. Or at least hopefully. The Panthers could win as many as eight games or lose as many as eight. What will keep them from having the latter is dependent on one man, Dell McGee.

2024 is the only season we have the complete schedule. The following seasons will have schedule predictions.

Game 1: August 31st at Georgia Tech

Let’s start the 2024 season off with a bang, shall we? This game promises to be a huge one for both programs as this is the first time they’ve met on the gridiron, both have new head coaches, and are both coming off big bowl wins from last December. The only real noticeable edge Tech has on State on paper is that Tech will having starting quarterback, Haynes King, returning whereas State will have a first-year starter in either Christian Veilleux (Pittsburgh transfer) or Zach Gibson (Georgia Tech transfer). Gibson obviously has some familiarity with Tech, and one could presume would like to get some revenge on his former squad. Gibson was also the starter for the Black Team which won the GSU Spring Game 17-11 and easily could’ve been interpreted as Gibson having the starting nod. However, this was before Veilleux had transferred to GSU. Veilleux has certainly been more touted as a prospect than Gibson as one scout even predicted that he would be a “multi-year starter at a Top 20 program.” But that hasn’t exactly shown on the field yet as he’s only shown flashes of his passing ability and not yet a full body of work. Gibson on the other hand has significantly more experience, not only on the field, but living in the South as well. Gibson is from Alpharetta, GA, has played in 23 career games, and has thrown for over 3,000 yards combined in those appearances. Because of this, and his longer tenure on the team so far, Gibson is likely to get the starting nod come August. The job is not completely won though and Veilleux has every opportunity to win it during fall camp. If he can do that, we just may see the Veilleux that was so highly touted out of high school. If he is unable, the Panthers will rock with the kid from North Atlanta that was originally offered by GSU back in 2018. Either one will have to play their best if State is to beat Tech.

The quarterback won’t be the only position that will need to play their best to beat Tech, every position will need to play their best and specifically the offensive line. Georgia State averaged just over 188 rushing yards a game last year, which was best for 25th in the country. Georgia Tech allowed an average of just under 226 yards a game last year, 3rd worst in the country. It’s a new season and new teams but there won’t be that drastic of changes for either squad in game one of this upcoming season. If State is to win this game, they will need to pound the rock and take as much pressure off their new quarterback as they can. State rushes for over 250 yards in the game and it’ll be hard to see Tech pulling it off. Tech did bolster a top-15 rushing attack last year themselves but will go against a top-50 rushing defense in State. Needless to say, take the over on total carries for this game.

This game may mean more to those in Downtown than it does to those in Midtown but that doesn’t mean the wasps aren’t taking this thing serious. This game IS the Battle for Atlanta and is a game that both fanbases hope to see year-in and year-out. The edge in the first iteration will likely go to Tech due to all the factors benefitting them currently (i.e., homefield advantage, more experienced QB, etc.) but don’t think that the Panthers won’t give them a test. This game will be close, but the wasps prevail.

Winner: Georgia Tech

Game 2: September 7th vs Chattanooga

After getting their feet underneath them in a close game against cross-town rivals, Georgia State comes back Downtown and takes on FCS foe in Chattanooga. This makes two years in a row that the Panthers start their home slate off with a FCS team, last year beating Rhode Island 42-35. Similar with Rhode Island, Chattanooga should give the Panthers another unwanted test. Chattanooga finished 8-5 last year and made it to the Second Round of the FCS Playoffs. However, the Mocs don’t really have any stats that jump out on paper as they had the 36th ranked total offense and 57th total defense last season. Their rushing defense was especially poor last year and arguably their weakest point and because of this the Panthers will run right through them.

Just like with Rhode Island, this one may be closer than anyone in the Panther Family would like to admit, but the good guys ultimately pull it off. Thanks to the bread and butter for GSU, the Panthers run away with this one due to a dominant run-game, a physical front seven, and an efficient passing game.

Winner: Georgia State

Game 3: September 14th vs Vanderbilt

Before this game is broken down it should be repeated that SEC is SEC. And Vanderbilt is SEC. Now that that’s been reestablished, let’s get into it. This game matters more than arguably any other home game in program history. Vanderbilt is just the second P5 school GSU has ever hosted and the first from the almighty SEC. Bottom of the barrel or not, beating a SEC team at home would easily be one of the bigger accomplishments in program history and would make GSU only the third current Sun Belt school to have beaten 2+ SEC schools. (Appalachian State and Louisiana-Monroe)

Vanderbilt was bad at just about everything last year. 126th is passing defense, 104th in rushing defense, 122nd in rushing offense, and 124th in red-zone defense just about sums it up for the Commodores. This is to no disrespect to Vanderbilt at all, but their football program has been one of the worst at the P5 level for as long as one can remember. If the Panthers take advantage of these major flaws on the field the Commodores seem to have every season, then this should be another victory for Dell McGee and his guys. Vanderbilt will still put up a fight but because of the holes on defense, most considerably in the secondary, GSU and whichever QB they’ve selected at that point should have a “get-right” game and lead the Panthers to victory. Leaving Vanderbilt’s all-time record against the mighty Sun Belt a whooping 0-4.

Winner: Georgia State

Game 4: September 28th vs Georgia Southern

This game doesn’t really matter so no prediction necessary. That’s right, this article has jokes too. Of course this game matters, no game matters more for the Panther Family. And this year has even more flare considering the Panthers new head coach used to be on the sideline for the other guys down in Statesboro. Coach McGee lead Georgia Southern to their first ever bowl win as an interim head coach. The other guys went with Tyson Summers instead and the Georgia State faithful is forever grateful for that. This new staff for Georgia State understands the importance of this game for not only the University, but the fans as well. Because of the nature of a rivalry game, it really is hard to predict how this one could go. Being at home though gives the slight edge to the Panthers.

For the third year in a row the Eagles will be fielding a new starting quarterback for the 2024 season with this year’s lucky winner being Indiana transfer, Dexter Williams II. Williams never saw much time while at Indiana and did suffer an ACL injury back in 2021. This makes it hard to tell exactly how well he could play down in Statesboro. But he was highly touted coming out of high school as he was ranked the 21st dual-threat QB in his class. There’s a ton of potential for Williams and should be an improvement over last year’s turnover machine at the helm, Davis Brin. Williams will have plenty of help around him a well with preseason First-Team All-Sun Belt running back Jalen White and wide receiver Derwin Burgess Jr. He’ll also have fellow incoming transfer from Auburn, tight end Tyler Fromm. Tyler is the younger brother of former UGA great, Jake Fromm, and a massive target sitting at 6’5 245lbs. GS could very well have one of the stronger front sevens in the entire Sun Belt too lead by Marques Watson-Trent at linebacker and anchored by Justin Rhodes and Isaac Walker on the defensive line. However, the Eagles did still give up 4.62 yards a carry last season. These three will look to improve that this upcoming year.  

Georgia State lost a lot of key starters from last year’s loss down south but there’s still several key guys looking to get revenge and finish their playing careers in Atlanta with a winning record against their biggest foes. At this point in the season, there should hopefully be a solidified starter behind center and if so look for them to play an efficient and clean game and hand the ball off several times. Marcus Carroll busted through for 208 rushing yards on 28 carries last year in the only bright spot for the Panthers. Dell McGee and his players keep things rolling in the 2024 season as he gets his first victory in the Peach State Punch-Out series.

Winner: Georgia State

Game 5: October 12th vs Old Dominion

This is the game from last year that just ripped your heart out if you’re a Panther fan. Georgia State traveled up to Norfolk last year looking to end the regular season on a high note with a bowl bid already secured. GSU came into the game the losers of four straight games and was looking to win their seventh game in the regular season for the third time in program history. All they had to do was get through 5-win Old Dominion, who were obviously playing for their bowl bid as well. Darren Grainger ended up leading the Panthers to a 21-0 halftime lead and this one looked to be all but over. The Monarchs weren’t having it though as they charged back for a second half win, including an improbable final ninety seconds. After the Panthers held them to three with a little over a minute and a half left, it felt like a seventh victory for GSU. A bad snap, safety, and walk-off touchdown later and the Monarchs were celebrating midfield as they just pulled off a win for the ages. Some can say this game didn’t really matter for GSU as they had a bowl bid locked up as previously mentioned. They may even strengthen that argument by saying how well they Panthers played in their bowl victory later that year. However, that bad snap never happens, and GSU could have very well still won their bowl game and gotten eight victories. Which would have tied a school record. A school record that was set in 2021. So that would have meant two 8-win seasons in three years. Hard to argue that wouldn't’ve mattered.

As far as a prediction for this game, it will be hard to tell at this point in the new season as each team may have leaned in an unpredicted direction due to a slew of reasons. Still, it’s tough to think that the Panthers left over from last year won’t want to get the bad taste left in their mouths left by the Monarchs. All-conference linebacker, Jason Henderson, is still suiting up for the Monarchs and will lead a rather stout defense on paper. Look for this one to be close because of this but ultimately the Panthers prevail since they’re given an extra week to prepare.

Winner: Georgia State

Game 6: October 17th (Thursday) at Marshall

Georgia State hosted the Thundering Herd for their Homecoming game last year. Let’s just say Marshall will likely never agree to that again as the Panthers whooped them 41-24 off a well-balanced attack offensively. That was the fifth victory in six games for the Panthers in 2023, which is a school-record for best start to a season. If GSU were to win this game in 2024, they would tie that school-record. This time may prove to be different for the boys in blue though.

Just like GSU did to Old Dominion five days before this, Marshall gets their revenge. The short week and long travel for the Panthers proves to be too much against a Marshall that may be fighting for its third win in mid-October. Because of all these factors, Panthers fall to the Herd and fall to 4-2 on the season.

Winner: Marshall

Game 7: October 26th at Appalachian State

This game has haunted Georgia State every season in their existence as they hold a 0-10 record against the Mountaineers with an average score of 37.6 to 12. The only game in this series that was even remotely close was the battle back in 2020 when the Panthers fell 17-13 off a Camerun Peoples’ 10-yard scamper with a handful of minutes left in the game. That touchdown was the first lead of the day for App State. Since that game, GSU hasn’t scored more than 17 points while App State has averaged 43 per contest. The game always had an additional sting as well considering former-HC for the Panthers, Shawn Elliott, was a standout player in Boone and always considered himself a self-proclaimed “App State guy”. No matter how good of a season or how hot they were playing at the time, GSU was never able to beat the Mountaineers under CSE, or any coach for that matter.

Appalachian State is like any college football program these days and had some key guys leave this offseason via the transfer portal, most notably starting running back Nate Noel. Noel leaves Boone with the eighth-most rushing yards in program history and was awarded All-Sun Belt First Team back in 2021. The former Mountaineer will be joining former Panther great, Marcus Carroll, to form a formidable backfield in Columbia, Missouri this upcoming season. However, the most important position on the field and most important position on the sideline will still be manned by Joey Aguilar and Shawn Clark respectively for App State. Aguilar and Clark just lead the Mountaineers to a 9-5 record, including a 42-14 shellacking of GSU in which Aguilar threw for 250+ yards and 3 TDs, and a Cure Bowl win over Miami of Ohio. Georgia State on the other hand will be sending out a first-year head coach and first-year starting quarterback. It wouldn’t be completely out of the realm of possibility to say that there could be a change made from the first day to starter to this point in the year for the Panthers as well. Anyway you put it, there’s a significant amount more of uncertainty on one sideline than there is the other.

While there have already been several key differences under Dell McGee without the Panthers evening playing a down yet, it’s difficult to see this being one of the changes. At least for now. App State continues its winning ways against GSU due to the extra preparation time the Mountaineers will have for this bout combined with their returning experiencing behind center and the headset. Don’t think the Panthers won’t make this closer than they’ve been in the past though. This game should have more 2020 vibes for GSU and less 2021-23 vibes. But just like the vibes in 2020, this season should likely end with the with the Panthers wanting more as they leave Boone.

Winner: Appalachian State

Game 8: November 1st (Friday) at UConn

Georgia State opened its 2023 season at home against FCS foe Rhode Island. The Rams gave the Panthers more than they would’ve ever liked to handle, taking a 7-point lead at the half. The Panthers would ultimately overcome the Rams 42-35, but the first test was certainly harder than expected. In come the Huskies of UConn. Georgia State played UConn in Week 2 of 2023 and seemingly took out some frustrations from the week prior as they walloped the Huskies 35-14. The game was never particularly close, and the Panthers could’ve piled on more than 35 if they would have pleased. This victory gave Georgia State it’s second 2-0 start in program history.

To put it kindly, UConn is not projected to have similar successes in football as they do basketball in 2024. UConn is a program that has just been kind of “lost” the last decade or so. The rails have fallen all the way off since their Fiesta Bowl appearance in 2010 as the Huskies have a 40-106 (27.4%) record and have yet to post another winning season. 2024 could be the year the Huskies finally breakthrough though. UConn currently holds the easiest strength of schedule out of all 134 FBS schools and will have transfer-QB Nick Evers from Wisconsin under center. Evers began his collegiate career at Oklahoma where he was the 4th ranked dual-threat quarterback and was the 77th ranked overall player in the 2020 class. Needless to say, Evers is the most talented quarterback they’ve had in Storrs since Dan Orlovsky. The favorable schedule and high-level talent at the QB position could very well have the Huskies bidding for a bowl again.

UConn could very well already have their bowl bid secured by time the Panthers head up north for this post-Halloween tussle. They could also be fighting for that elusive sixth win against a Georgia State team that will likely be one of their last “winnable” games. If the Panthers follow the prediction in this article, they’ll come into this game sitting at 4-3, with UConn being one of their more “winnable” games remaining. In other words, this game could end up meaning significantly more than the Week 2 showdown from last year between these two schools. It really will come down to who wants it more.

With Evers leading UConn and having a highly talented receiver in Shamar Porter, the Huskies give the Panthers a difficult test. The experience of the Panthers coaching staff, most notably Offensive Coordinator Jim Chaney and Defensive Coordinator Kevin Sherrer get the job done here. Dell McGee may be a first-time head coach at the collegiate level. But that doesn’t mean that him, and his staff especially, don’t have extensive experience at the high school, collegiate, and professional levels. In a tough, cold battle in Connecticut in November that experience will matter more than anything else. The Panthers conquer the Huskies in a close one and get one win closer to securing their bowl berth.

Winner: Georgia State

Game 9: November 9th at James Madison

James Madison is one of the more perplexing teams out of the Sun Belt for the 2024 season. If they were able, they likely would’ve won the Sun Belt last year. They then had their head coach take the same position at powerhouse Indiana and had their SBC Player of the Year quarterback in Jordan McCloud transfer to, you guessed it, Texas State. They bring in a head coach with no prior head coach experience at the FBS level, a transfer QB from Washington, and hold the 119th ranked strength of schedule for 2024. Several indicators that they’re due for another strong season and just as many indicators that there could be a slight change of pace in Harrisonburg. These teams could be fighting for bowl berths, or they could be fighting for a Sun Belt Conference Championship Game berths. Either way, this game should be a fight to final whistle.

One thing that won’t change in Harrisonburg for the Dukes is the amount of talent they have on both sides of the ball. JMU hoists 12 all-conference preseason honors, with offensive lineman Cole Potts and punter Ryan Hanson leading the way on the First Team. Potts will holster down an offensive line with three returning starters that helped JMU rank top 30 in the FBS last season in six offensive categories. The Dukes should be another top 30 offense this year, right? Well, JMU will have a new offensive coordinator in Dean Kennedy and a new quarterback in Dylan Morris to run the new offense. Kennedy will have a slightly different approach with his play calling as well as previous JMU OC Mike Shanahan (now at Indiana with Curt Cignetti) emphasized the passing game and Kennedy emphasizes the rushing attack. It normally takes a season or two for an offense to get its legs underneath them and get into full swing when an offensive philosophy that large changes. The Dukes will look to prove this old idea otherwise but don’t be shocked if it’s a task too grand.

With so much novelty for not only the guys calling the shots, but the guy running the shots as well, it’s rather difficult to predict exactly how well this JMU offense will perform this season. But considering all the significant changes this team is facing on both sides of the field, it may be safe to say they won’t be competing for their first Sun Belt Championship in 2024. A bowl bid should be expected for this squad though and because of that, they’ll give the Panthers a mountain of a challenge. Coming off a bye helps the Dukes have extra time for proper preparation and they’re able to take down the Panthers because of it. Expect this one to be a shootout though.

Winner: James Madison

Game 10: November 16th vs Arkansas State

After being on the road for four straight weeks the Panthers finally return home to Center Parc Stadium to take on Butch Jones and the Red Wolves of Arkansas State. The overall series between the Panthers and the Red Wolves is slightly skewed is ASU’s favor to start with ASU having a 6-2 record against Georgia State. Those two wins for GSU, however, we’re the last two home games GSU hosted in the series, 2019 and 2021. The Panthers very well could need to play their best to pull off a third straight home victory in the series as both teams could potentially enter the game looking for their coveted sixth win for the season. This game could have some fireworks due to these factors and should be a fun one for both fanbases.

The Panthers will finally not be facing a Sun Belt foe coming off a bye as they will have two conference matchups in a row (at App State and at JMU) in which the team they will face will be coming off a bye-week. It just may end up being the best offense in the Sun Belt that they’ll have to face though. Arkansas State returns ten starters on the offensive side of the ball, most markedly reigning Sun Belt Freshmen of the Year, quarterback Jaylen Raynor. Raynor will have several weapons to get the ball to, including receivers Corey Rucker and Malik Hornsby. He’ll have a well-established offensive line in front of him to lead by All-Sun Belt center Jacob Bayer. Bayer tore his ACL in spring practice but his coaches believe he should be back before the end of the season. Considering where this one lands on the calendar for the Panthers, it’s safe to say they may have to start their defensive push up front against Bayer. This offense is going to put up numbers and Sherrer and company will have to have their best game plan ready to slow it down.

Like a lot of schools, Arkansas State tends to really excel on one side of the ball and struggle on the other. Enter Arkansas State’s defense. ASU, out of 130 schools, ranked 124th in Total Defense, 119th in Passing Defense, 113th in Rushing Defense, and 102nd in Scoring Defense. Numbers don’t lie folks; the Red Wolves were bad on defense last year. Their Defensive Coordinator, Rob Harley, has shockingly been given another chance and will enter his fourth season with the Red Wolves. One would think there should have to be some room for improvement, but his track record doesn’t inspire too much hope. It’s likely a safe bet that the Red Wolves have, yet again, another porous defense in 2024.

There’s hotter takes out there than that this game will likely be an offensive battle as both teams fielded rather successful offenses last year and complimented them with borderline horrendous defenses. But hot takes are hot takes, and this take says this game will be an absolute barn burner with each team likely to score 40+. Being back in Atlanta and wanting their sixth win more than ASU, the Panthers are able to conquer the Red Wolves and secure a bowl appearance in 7 of the last 10 years.

Winner: Georgia State

Game 11: November 23rd at Texas State

GSU and Texas State haven’t faced each other since 2021 and it’s safe to say just about everything has changed for each team since then. Continuity is hard to find in college football, especially in the Transfer Portal era. Change is to be expected in this world but the one area you can hope to see continuity, and in some cases the very definition of it, is at the head coach position. Both schools will have different HCs than just a short three years ago. Georgia State with Dell McGee and Texas State with G.J. Kinne. Kinne in his first season led the Bobcats to an 8-5 record, their first bowl appearance in program history, and their first bowl win in program history by beating in-state school Rice in the First Responder Bowl. What Kinne did in San Marcos last year is what the Panther Family is praying Dell McGee can do in his first year in Atlanta. Now these two young head coaches will face off late into the season to likely determine what their postseasons will look like.

Jordan McCloud very well could’ve led the Dukes of James Madison to a Sun Belt title last season while he won his POTY award. He will now look to finish the job and bring a conference title a little west of Virginia to San Marcos, TX. McCloud won’t be working with as much talent as he had in Harrisonburg last year but that doesn’t mean the stud QB won’t have plenty of production around him. Texas State finished 15th in Total Offense last year and were led by running back Ismail Mahdi, who ranked 1st in the NCAA for all-purpose yards with 2,169. His receiving corps may have a little less depth than at JMU, but they’re still guided by fan-favorite receiver Joey “Joe Dirt” Hoebert. Difficult to see McCloud not putting up numbers in this offense and collecting wins along the way.

The weakness for the Bobcats is the defensive side of the ball, like most Sun Belt teams. Texas State ranked 91st in Total Defense last year and 100th in Passing Defense. The argument could be made that if not for such a weak defense, Texas State could’ve played for a Sun Belt title in 2023. For example, they gave up 77 points to Arkansas State last year. They can be scored on easily and scored on in droves. Things could playout to be different this next year with the Bobcats but doubtful that significant of changes are made.

This game will likely boil down to the play of the quarterback, as most games in November do. The hottest take this article could have is that Georgia State’s quarterback will outplay McCloud in this game. The likelihood is just so low. If that is to happen though, don’t be surprised if the Panthers do pull off the upset in San Marcos. Still, McCloud and his teammates will likely come out on top and continue their march toward a Sun Belt Championship.

Winner: Texas State

Game 12: November 30th vs Coastal Carolina

Georgia State and Coastal Carolina have played each other seven times. Four times the Panthers won, three times the Chanticleers won. Never once has the home team won in this series. The Panthers won last year in Conway and are looking to stop this odd trend in this series by beating the Chants two years in a row and for the first time in Atlanta. The combined scored of the last two games in Atlanta for this matchup is 92-24 in favor of the Chants. So GSU isn’t just losing to CCU at home, they’re getting destroyed. As previously mentioned, there’s several differences already with this new staff leading the way and everyone in the Panther Family is crossing their fingers that this is an included change.

Coastal will have to see what life is like without their beloved Grayson McCall as the legendary Chant finally ran out of eligibility. With this being the last game of the season for both teams it’s tough to say who will be under center for the Chants but as of now it looks like it should be fill-in starter from last year, Ethan Vasko. Vasko started four games last year while seeing action in eight and threw for just under 800 yards and 7 touchdowns. Vasko was also named the MVP of the Hawaii Bowl last December showing off his dual-threat abilities. If he can remain healthy, Vasko could end up having a huge year in Tim Beck’s offense and could prove that Coastal isn’t going anywhere even without their golden boy. However, CCU will be returning a rather penetrable defense. In 2023 CCU ranked 97th in rushing defense and is losing their three leading tacklers from a season ago. Again, with this being the last game of the 2024 season, it very well could turn out to be a different defense in Conway. Craig Naivar, CCU’s defensive coordinator, is known to get after the ball and force turnovers. That may be the only way this defense is somewhat productive in 2024 just like in 2023.

The home team has to eventually win in this series and the first one to pull it off are the good guys. Georgia State is able to pound the rock on a chilly day on Hank Aaron Drive and force the Chants to play their style of ball. With their bowl bid secured, the Panthers look to win this game to give themselves a shot at tying the program record with 8 wins in a season. Behind the run game and stout front seven, the Panthers pull it off.

Winner: Georgia State

Game 13: 68 Ventures Bowl vs Bowling Green (December 26th)

With their seven wins, the Panthers are headed to another bowl where they have made themselves quite comfortable since joining the FBS. Georgia State has appeared in six bowl games in nine years and hold a 4-2 record. Simply put, the Panthers get to Bowl Season at a high rate and win while they’re there at a high rate. This season will be no different for the guys in blue and white as they take down the Falcons of Bowling Green.

Bowling Green is currently projected to win 6.5 games and will look to ride a veteran defense and signal caller to Bowl Season and perhaps more. Connor Bazelak is under center for the Falcons and is looking to have a bounce back season after a disappointing 2023. He played through a leg injury and was never fully himself but should be 100% come this fall and the Falcon faithful are ever excited because of it. Bowling Green also returns their leading rusher in Terion Stewart, which is a rare thing these days for any Group of Five school. When it boils down to it, Bowling Green will be competing for a MAC Championship this season and hopefully more. Because of this, they will be no easy feat for the Panthers. Nevertheless, Dell McGee and his guys march down to Mobile, Alabama and secure Georgia State’s seventh bowl win in ten seasons. They also match the school record for wins in a season with 8 and set the program up for incredible heights during McGee’s tenure.

Winner: Georgia State

Final Record: 8-5


It’s bold to think a first-year head coach at the collegiate level could win 8 games and a bowl game in year one. Welcome to sports. If you think it’s truly too bold to happen, take a look at Texas State last season. They brought out a first-year head coach, a Power 5 transfer QB, and a slew of new players via scholarships and the transfer portal. Sound familiar? If it does it’s because that’s exactly what Dell McGee and Georgia State have been doing this offseason. This isn’t saying that just because Texas State accomplished this that Georgia State naturally will. But more so an example of that this great of season, even in year one, isn’t completely out of the realm of possibility for GSU. Just like this article predicts, they’ll need to get off to a hot start again if they want this to happen as the schedule toughens up as the year goes on just like in 2023. Dell McGee and his staff are able to keep the ship righted though and sail their ways into a historic first year in Atlanta.



Be on the lookout for the next four previews with 2025 being next!

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