Panthers football opens season against Charlotte on ESPNU

The Georgia State football program opens the 2015-16 season against the Charlotte 49ers in the Georgia Dome Sep. 4. The game can be seen on ESPNU at 3:30 p.m. ET.

Trent Miles brings enters his third year team as the head coach. Despite their 1-11 finish in 2014 the teams has improved physically and has more talent. During the off-season the coaching staff made it imperative the defense improves in size and skill. UAB transfers Bobby Baker (FS) and Alonzo McGee (ROLB) are expected to solidify the presence of the new front seven of defensive coordinator Jesse Minters new 3-4 defense. Kaleb Ringer, transfer from Ferris State (Mich),  is expected to make immediate impact to help All-Sun Belt linebacker Joseph Peterson.

Brad Lambert, Charlotte’s head coach, who has 20 years of coaching experience, finished his fourth season in Charlotte 5-6 last year. The offense averaged 38.8 points per game. The 49ers had some of the same problems the Panthers had last year, defense. Charlotte gave up an average of 31.6 points per game. The 49ers can put points up in a hurry, but stopping the opposing team on defense seems harmonious to the Panthers problems last season.  

Leading receiver Donovan Harden suffered a broken foot during a non-contact drill in the summer and is expected to miss 6-10 weeks.  We will being seeing a big dosage of Nyiakki Height, Glenn Smith and Todd Boyd at the start of the season. With Harden out, Smith and Boyd will have bigger roles in the game than most expected.

Nick Arbuckle is entering his second year with the program and looks to have similar year or better. Arbuckle led the Sun Belt in passing with 273.6-yards per game. Arbuckle was ranked the number 16 passer in the NCAA and number 22 in touchdowns (23). The senior set the all-time passing record at Georgia State throwing for 3,283-yards. Arbuckle tied the touchdown record for a single game (4) against Abilene-Christian University.