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Georgia State hoping to improve on winless season

Published on NewsOK Modified: August 19, 2014 at 4:27 pm •  Published: August 19, 2014
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ATLANTA (AP) — As coach Trent Miles sees it, the Georgia State Panthers have nowhere to go but up this year.

Georgia State went 0-12 last season, its first under Miles, as the Panthers moved into the Sun Belt Conference.

It was only the fourth year of football at the downtown Atlanta university.

Home games in the cavernous Georgia Dome, which seats 72,000, have proven to be a tough draw — even for a school with an enrollment of 32,000 — but Miles knows that winning is the best way to create interest.

Miles said, "When you're building a program, you have to do it in phases. We didn't take over a program that has a tradition and long history of winning football games. Now it's time to start winning, competing to win."

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Here are five things to watch during Georgia State's season:

GETTING IT RIGHT: QB Nick Arbuckle completed 9 of 13 passes for 111 yards passing in a scrimmage last weekend. Lynquez Blair caught a 34-yard touchdown and RB Duvall Smith ran nine times for 102 yards and a score.

BREAKING IT DOWN: S Nick Simon had a sack and interception the scrimmage. DT Shawayne Lawrence knocked down two passes.

GLASS HALF FULL: With four new schools joining the Sun Belt — Georgia Southern, Appalachian State, Idaho and New Mexico State — the Panthers might take some satisfaction that their perception is slightly improved. Georgia State received one more vote than New Mexico State to rank next to last in the Sun Belt preseason coaches' poll.

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