The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

College Sports

September 11, 2013

Who is Georgia State?

West Virginia’s next opponent a new face in college football

It’s a question that almost every Mountaineer fan has asked at one time or another since taking a look at the 2013 West Virginia University football schedule. Who the heck is Georgia State?

It’s a fair question. If it were the University of Georgia, Georgia Tech — or even Georgia Southern — the WVU faithful would know what they’re about to face. But Georgia State sounds like some made up school to be used in a movie or a television show, perhaps playing against the Screaming Eagles.

Make no mistake about it, Mountaineer fans, GSU is, in fact, a real school, and there will be a real game played in Morgantown this weekend.

THE SCHOOL

Founded in 1913 in urban Atlanta, Ga., Georgia State University is a public research university  with nearly 24,000 undergraduate students and more than 8,000 graduate students. It’s considered a commuter school, with 17 percent of all undergraduates living on campus.

GSU began as the Georgia School of Technology’s Evening School of Commerce. In 1947, it became affiliated with the University of Georgia and was named the Atlanta Division of the University of Georgia. It was removed from affiliation with UGA in 1955 and became the Georgia State College of Business Administration. It became Georgia State College in 1961 and Georgia State University in 1969.

The campus is less than a mile from the CNN Center and Centennial Olympic Park in downtown Atlanta.

William DuVall, the lead singer of Alice in Chains, former Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis, rapper Ludacris, actress Julia Roberts and musician Ray Stevens all attended GSU at some point. It’s estimated that there are 100,000 GSU alumni living in the metro Atlanta area.

THE FOOTBALL PROGRAM

Before 2008, GSU didn’t even have a football program. But in November of 2006, the school completed a study and found that it was in a good position to field a football team, based on location and funding. The school hired former Atlanta Falcons head coach Dan Reeves as a consultant in 2007 and began discussing that possibility of adding football to its list of sports.

In April of 2008, GSU officially launched its football program, and it soon hired former Georgia Tech, Alabama and Kentucky head coach Bill Curry as its first head coach.

In June of 2009, the Colonial Athletic Association announced they would admit GSU as a official member during the 2012 season.

The Panthers held their first practice during the spring of 2010 and the first game was played on Sept. 2 of the year, a 41-7 win over the Shorter Hawks in front of a crowd of more than 30,000 fans at the Georgia Dome, where GSU still plays its home games.

Bill Curry coached his final season in 2012, GSU’s first in the CAA. The Panthers won just one game that year and announced that they would be leaving the CAA after just one season to join the Sun Belt Conference and become a competing member at college football’s highest level, the Division I Football Bowl Subdivision.

Trent Miles became the school’s second head coach when he was hired this past November, after helping turn around the program at Indiana State.

THIS YEAR’S TEAM

The Panthers weren’t too impressive in their first two games of 2013. They lost to Samford 31-21 in the Georgia Dome to open the season and then were blown out at the hands of Chattanooga last week at home, 42-14.

Aside from the matchup with the Mountaineers, a trip to face defending national champion Alabama also waits ahead for the Panthers.

Quarterback Ronnie Bell has thrown for 461 yards and three touchdowns this season, while Albert Wilson is the top receiving target with 15 catches for 299 yards and three touchdowns.

The Panthers have really struggled on the ground, averaging just 51 rushing yards per game.

Kail Singleton leads the defense with 15 tackles and a sack.

SEE FOR YOURSELF

Saturday’s game, scheduled for a noon kickoff from Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium in Morgantown, will be televised regionally on ROOT Sports. Rob King will provide the play-by-play, with color commentary from former WVU quarterback Rasheed Marshall. Amanda Mazey will provide updates from the sidelines.

— E-mail: chuffman

@register-herald.com and follow on Twitter @CamHuffmanRH.

1
Text Only
College Sports
  • Hamrick deserves praise for pursuit of D’Antoni

    Sometimes gambles don’t pay off, but some risks simply have to be taken.

    April 23, 2014

  • WVU post-spring depth chart filled with few surprises

    Although the contents brought about as much of a surprise as a over the hill balloon at a 40th birthday party, there were a few interesting nuggets in the post-spring depth chart that West Virginia University sent out Wednesday morning.

    April 23, 2014

  • Clutch hitting leads WVU over Marshall

    Junior catcher Cam O’Brien finished  a home run away from the cycle and scored three runs as the WVU baseball team defeated Marshall, 10-3, on Wednesday evening at Hawley Field.

    April 23, 2014

  • Gardner improving with broken neck

    Joedy Gardner, a well-known former West Virginia basketball player and coach, is much improved after having broken his neck in Phoenix, Ariz., several months ago.

    April 23, 2014

  • 042314 trickett Mountaineers have benefited from incoming football transfers

    Recruiting in college football seems to get more and more attention every season. Websites like Scout.com and Rivals.com stalk the high school sidelines and blow up potential recruits’ cell phones in search of the latest information. But there’s one important aspect that often goes ignored — transfers.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • WVU baseball pounds Terps

    The offense had 16 hits and sophomore left-hander Ross Vance struck out six as the West Virginia University baseball team routed Maryland 14-2 on Tuesday evening at Hawley Field.

    April 22, 2014

  • Crutchfield not interested in Division I job

    You would think Jim Crutchfield would be a great candidate for a head basketball coach’s job at an NCAA Division I university.
    But the Clarksburg native keeps saying that he’s perfectly content in that role at West Liberty, a Division II powerhouse. His 10-year record there is an absolutely amazing 272-49. Significantly, 10 of those defeats came in his first year at the West Liberty helm.

    April 22, 2014

  • Stepping up: Kelly racking up wins for Lions

    Sundays have become red-letter days for Chris Kelly.

    April 22, 2014

  • Paul Popovich, now 73, wishes he were playing baseball today

    If you’re a longtime baseball fan, you may recall Morgantown’s Paul Popovich.

    April 22, 2014

  • Hiring an interim while waiting on D’Antoni would be an injustice

    The search for Marshall’s new men’s basketball coach remained in a holding pattern over the Easter weekend while the Los Angeles Lakers put off their decision on coach Mike D’Antoni’s future until this week.

    April 21, 2014

AP Video