The panthers showed their teeth as one of the best in the east

Head coach Shawn Elliott examines the first games of the season and future changes to the team. Photo by GSU Athletics

The Georgia State football team rebounded after a year of adversity through the COVID-19  pandemic. This rebound gave both new players and returning players time to shine since more fans had the opportunity to attend home games while cheering for their favorite players. 

Center Parc Stadium was home to many festivities this year, and this will only get the students excited for what’s to come next season. 

The Panthers finished with an overall record of 8-5 and a conference record of 6-2. 

One of the best wins from the season is a 34 point blowout against the University of Louisiana Monroe. Wide Receiver Ja’Cyais Credle played a significant role in this game, helping to score two touchdowns. 

The Panthers also secured a win over their longtime rival Georgia Southern in Statesboro at Allen E. Paulson Stadium. Running back Tucker Gregg had a big game against the Eagles, scoring two touchdowns for the Panthers to give them their 21-14 victory.  

Due to these standout performances, the Panthers only lost twice at home this season, so students got to enjoy impressive wins for most of the duration of the season. 

Due to their performance throughout the season, the Panthers landed a bid in the Tax Act Camellia bowl on Christmas Day. 

They would defeat the Ball State University Cardinals in a complete decimation winning by 31 points. Placekicker Noel Ruiz helped score two field goals essential to securing the 31-point blowout over the Cardinals. This game was their third straight bowl game under head coach Shawn Elliott who acquired the job in 2017 after leaving the University of South Carolina. 

“Christmas is the Happiest Day of the Year, and it certainly was for us today,” Elliot said “I think we finished Christmas Day with one of the best presents we could have ever asked for, and that’s a commanding, dominating win.”

These excellent performances the Panthers put on display can be accredited to the normalcy they faced this season rather than the inconsistencies brought upon by the pandemic of the previous year. This contributed to their 2020 season ending with a conference record of 4-4. 

The Panthers dealt with several canceled games that disrupted momentum after vital conference games. Having the panthers’ fans in the stands was a big help for them as they could feel the energy in the stadium through the support of their friends and families during their contests. 

Looking ahead to next season, the Panthers look to use this momentum to achieve an even better record than the one they accumulated this season. Many seniors who were vital to the team’s success will be graduating this spring and summer. 

This move will give the younger talent more opportunities to shine as they prepare to fulfill more prominent roles on the team. 

Many promising three-star recruits have already committed to play for Coach Elliot’s squad for the 2022-23 season, and with him leading the way, the Panthers should be ready to go for next year.