Georgia State plays its first Sun Belt Conference game in school history as the Panthers host Troy for Homecoming Saturday at 3:30 p.m. in a regionally-televised game at the Georgia Dome.
Georgia State makes its Sun Belt debut as the program plays its fourth season and first under head coach Trent Miles. The Panthers opened the 2013 season with five straight non-conference games and now face seven consecutive Sun Belt tests. GSU is 2-1 in Homecoming games in its brief history.
The Panthers’ top player has been senior receiver and return specialist Albert Wilson, who leads the Sun Belt in receiving yards (103.4 per game) while ranking third in receptions (5.2 per game). His average of 183.8 all-purpose yards per game is second in the league. GSU quarterback Ronnie Bell has thrown for 920 yards and five touchdowns.
Starting linebacker Joseph Peterson is the only Panther from the state of Alabama, hailing from Dothan, not far from the Troy campus.
Troy, coached by Larry Blakeney in his 23rd season, is 3-3 overall and 1-1 in the Sun Belt after a last-second 34-33 victory over South Alabama. After the Jaguars rallied from a 24-7 deficit to take the lead with 48 seconds left, Troy scored the winning touchdown with just seven seconds on the clock.
Troy quarterback Corey Robinson is the active FBS leader in career passing yards with 11,793 . Robinson and Georgia’s Aaron Murray (11,625) are the only two current FBS signal-callers with more than 10,000 passing yards.
This fall, Robinson is completing 74 percent of his passes while throwing for 1,539 yard and 12 touchdowns. Leading receiver Eric Thomas (31 receptions, 480 yards) is tied for the NCAA lead with nine touchdown catches.
Four of Georgia State’s first six games of the 2013 season are against teams from the state of Alabama: Samford, Jacksonville State, Alabama and Troy, and the Panthers conclude the season against South Alabama.