Sometimes life just has a way of sending you a message. Call it fate. Call it karma. Call it the force. Call it whatever you want. Whatever it is it wants to be heard loud and clear.
So far this season, Georgia State is 4-6 on the season. 3 of those wins were on the road versus New Mexico State, Ball State and Texas State.
At first you would think the message being sent to athletic director Charlie Cobb is to only schedule teams with “State” in their names. However that cannot be the case as they do have a loss at home to Appalachian State 37-3.
A few weeks ago, I wrote about how GSU is a different team on the road than they are at home. As I pointed out, on the road they are 3-2 with their only losses at Oregon, which they were severely outmatched but managed to account for 28 points, and at Arkansas State where they led the Red Wolves 27-20 heading into overtime. The Red Wolves ended up scoring 21 points in the fourth quarter to pull out a 48-34 win in Centennial Bank Stadium.
The Panthers showed some serious signs of life in the first three quarters against Arkansas State, who is 6-0 and in first place in the SunBelt.
There is one other common denominator to all these home games. The Panthers wore their road game white jersey.
This team has shown they have the talent to do big things on the field, but maybe more of the problem is between the ears. At the start of the season, this team played very tight. They were not relaxed nor did they appear to be having any fun. Perhaps the pressure of having a big turnaround from a 1-11 record in 2014 weighed too much on their minds.
Leading into the Ball State game the Panthers season wasn’t exactly going as anticipated. They were already 1-4 on the season losing two games that should have had a mark in the W column – Charlotte and Liberty. I asked Coach Miles on the SunBelt teleconference what he was going to say to his team as they prepared to face the Cardinals. His reply was to tell them to relax and have fun.
Since then you can see the team on the sidelines dancing and even cheering with fans on the sidelines. You can see a different kind of energy in their play on the field as well.
The Panthers are 3-2 since.
Yogi Berra was once quoted that “90 percent of the game is half mental.”
When the Panthers walked out on the field to face South Alabama, Cobb and Miles played a bit of reverse psychology with the team wearing their white road jerseys at home. The Panthers scored 24 straight points on the Jaguars and the Panther defense pitched a complete shutout in the second half.
The Panthers won 24-10.
The football gods are sending the Georgia State Panthers a message. If all the losing woes are just part of the mental game going on between the players ears then it’s time to listen… make the white jerseys the home jersey.