Will the team win this season, and how students can support

“This is the year we need to get hyped and support our team so when the time comes for the ‘GSU’ vs ‘GSU’ game we can do it big!”

Our team went winless last season, going 0-12. Not something you want to remember. 12 chances at a victory, and disappointment with each one.

We know the conversations that go on around campus about how horrible our football team is, and the semi-serious speculation about whether or not our team could beat the Dacula High’s football team. There are reasons for those conversations; other than Albert Wilson, who gained over 1,000 receiving yards last season, and Ronnie Bell, who was one of the best passing quarterbacks in the Sun Belt, it was not exactly a banner year for Georgia State football in Trent Miles’ first year as head coach.

Miles wasn’t afraid to admit it either at a recent press conference, calling last year’s offense “Albert Wilson-dimensional.”

The defense was one of the worst in the conference, the offensive line needed help, and the running game was non-existent last season.

With the return of Fall, football season is upon us yet again, and the mood around campus is familiar; that we are on our way towards yet another losing campaign, eagerly waiting for the tip-off of basketball season.

But, that being said, nothing lasts forever–not even losing. With some new additions to the roster and endless potential, Georgia State may be able to squeeze out a few wins this year.

It has to be proven on the field, but new quarterback Nick Arbuckle threw for nearly 7,000 yards during his two seasons at L.A. Pierce Community College in California. In an interview with The Signal in March, he confidently confirmed that the Panthers will be winning “a lot of games”.

Also, even though Georgia State went winless last season, they were competitive in many of their games, including an intense battle with Arkansas State on the road, leading to an eventual 35-33 defeat. Arkansas State went on to win a share of the Sun Belt championship.

With a majority of the key players graduating this past Spring, the Panthers will have to rely upon its youth with a litany of freshmen and sophomores on this squad.

Although the players are the ones that actually have to win the games, it’s not just up to them–the student population has to do as much as it can do to support the football team.

There’s no secret that there’s an attendance problem at the Georgia Dome for Panthers football events; go to any Georgia State game at the Dome and you will immediately find that there’s still a lot of red in the stands–seats with no Panthers to fill them.

Well-established football programs such as Alabama, Florida State, LSU, and even Georgia Southern (yes, the fake GSU) don’t merely field winning teams year after year, they do so because their fans pack their respective stadiums every Saturday afternoon. Midway through Georgia State games, more noise is heard from the visiting team in attendance than from the home crowd.

Could one imagine how excited that would make our football players if they constantly saw events around campus to hype up the team as they prepare to do battle on Saturdays? As excited as they are for these games, it’d be ten times as exciting if the student populace was behind them the same way it gets behind the basketball players.

On the subject of Georgia Southern, circle this date on your calendars–Saturday Oct. 25th.

That’s the day Georgia Southern travels from Statesboro to play our Panthers at the Dome. It is our duty as Panthers to pack the Georgia Dome to capacity, bodies painted and adrenaline pumping, and to roar with ferocity to represent the real GSU!

The team should improve from last year’s winless campaign (and win a few games) but it won’t do so without an improved presence on the field as well as one throughout campus and in the stands. After all, it’s only the team’s fifth year of existence and only the second at the FBS level. We know the fan-base wants victories, and the players and coaches do, even more.

In order for the team to develop into winners on the field, we should start scoring victories on campus first.