FACTS & STATS: Site: Husky Stadium (72,500) — Seattle, Washington.
Television: Pac-12 Network. Home Record: GSU 1-2, UW 2-0. Away Record: GSU
0-0, UW 1-0. Neutral Record: GSU 0-0, UW 0-0. Conference Record: GSU 0-0, UW
0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: With a date against Stanford looming, the Washington Huskies will
face the Georgia State Panthers in a final non-conference appetizer at Husky
Stadium on Saturday.
The Chris Petersen era has gotten off to a solid start for Washington, which
has won its first three games. The Huskies had tough games against Hawaii
(17-16) and Eastern Washington (59-52) before rolling over Illinois (44-19)
last weekend. A win this Saturday would give the Huskies 4-0 starts in back-
Georgia State is in its second season as an FBS program. The Panthers managed
to escape with a 38-37 win over Abilene Christian in week one, but have
returned to the losing ways that sent them to an 0-12 campaign last year. They
dropped a 34-31 decision to New Mexico State after that early win and then
fell flat against Air Force (48-38).
This bout marks the first meeting between these two schools on the football
Georgia State may not have a stellar record, but the offense can’t be blamed.
The Panthers are scoring 35.7 points per game and they rank 22nd in the
country in total offense (523.7 ypg). In the loss to Air Force they actually
out-gained the Falcons (549-539).
Nick Arbuckle has been both a major reason for the offensive success and the
Panthers’ struggles to win games. The Panthers’ quarterback has thrown for
1,121 yards and seven touchdowns already, while completing 61.9 percent of his
pass attempts. However, he also has been picked off five times. He racked up
414 yards passing against Air Force.
With Arbuckle slinging the ball around so frequently there have been plenty
of opportunities for the receiving corps. Robert Davis (16 receptions, 202
yards) leads the team in receptions, while Joel Ruiz (15 receptions, 223
yards, two TDs) has gained the most yards. Lynquez Blair (15 receptions, 212
yards, three TDs) has been the top target in scoring situations.
Krysten Hammon has carried the load out of the backfield, with 197 yards and
two touchdowns in just two games. Kyler Neal (152 yards, TD) was the top
rusher against Air Force, picking up 80 yards and a touchdown on 10 attempts.
While the offense has been humming along, the defense has been off key. The
Panthers are surrendering just under 40 points per game, while allowing 490.7
yards of total offense each week. A major weak point has been on third down,
where opposing teams are converting 49 percent of their chances.
Joseph Peterson (39 tackles, INT) is a tackling machine, ranking fourth in the
country in total stops. Jarrell Robinson (5.0 TFL, 2.0 sacks) is a difficult
player to deal with up front.
Most of the offensive success the Huskies had under former head coach Steve
Sarkisian, has carried over into the Petersen regime. The Huskies are
averaging an even 40 points and 445.3 yards of total offense per game. They
are fifth in the Pac-12 in scoring.
Cyler Miles gives the Huskies a dynamic threat at quarterback. After missing
the first game due to suspension, Miles has come on to throw for 371 yards and
two scores while rushing for 113 yards and three touchdowns in the last two
games. He has proven to be more than just a gun-and-run quarterback, however,
completing 65.9 percent of his pass attempts.
Jaydon Mickens and John Ross are the two receivers Miles looks for the most.
Mickens leads the team in receptions (12) and has 144 receiving yards. Ross
has been nearly unstoppable with 224 yards and three touchdowns on only six
There has been a rotation of sorts at running back for the Huskies. Lavon
Coleman has a team-high of 52 carries for 242 yards and a touchdown, but
Dwayne Washington (131 yards, three TDs), Jesse Callier (91 yards, TD) and
even Shaq Thompson (82 yards, TD) have gotten work.
Speaking of Thompson, he certainly had a big game against Illinois. The junior
linebacker returned a fumble and an interception for a touchdown and was named
the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week for his efforts. Kikaha Hau’oli also
dominated, racking up three sacks. Kikaha (5.0 sacks) and Danny Shelton (6.0
sacks) are the top two sack men in the Pac-12.
As a team, Washington is surrendering 29 points and 449.3 yards of total
offense per game on defense.
With Hau’oli and Shelton applying pressure, the Panthers’ pass-heavy offense
could be in for a long day. That will spell doom for Georgia State, which
doesn’t have much of a chance of keeping Miles and the UW offense at bay.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Washington 43, Georgia State 10