WVU not taking Panthers lightly

MORGANTOWN – It could be the classic David vs. Goliath game Saturday when a fledgling, first-year Division I-A school in Georgia State comes to Morgantown to battle a BCS team, West Virginia, in front of 50,000 or more rabid fans.

But make no mistake about Georgia State, they can sling it all over the field.

“They’re pretty explosive,” said WVU defensive lineman Kyle Rose. “No. 2 (Albert Wilson) has been making some pretty good plays. You can never take a team lightly. Nowadays, anybody can beat anybody.”

Georgia State, 0-2, has only played two BCS schools in its short history, and those two games did not turn out well. The Panthers lost 63-7 to Alabama in 2010 and lost 53-13 to Tennessee last season.

Still, the Panthers are coming to Morgantown with more in mind that just getting a fat check for showing up.

“We’re very excited to go to Morgantown and play where it is one of the best experiences for a college football game,” GSU coach Trent Miles said. “But we approach it as a business trip. We’re going to go there and try to compete and win a football game. That’s our mindset. We don’t get on that plane for any other reason.”

Wilson has caught 15 passes for 299 yards and three touchdowns in the Panthers’ first two games, making him the leading receiver in the Sun Belt Conference. Right behind him is teammate Robert Davis, who has pulled down 11 catches for 166 yards. Kelton Hill has caught eight passes, including two for touchdowns.

Sophomore Ronnie Bell is the man charged with getting the ball to the receivers, and he has thrown for 461 yards in the first two games, completing 37 of his 73 attempts.

The running game has proven to be a less than effective weapon for Georgia State. Only two players have carried the ball more than 10 times combined in two games. Gerald Howse has carried 14 times for just 29 yards in one game, and Travis Evans carried 10 times for 25 yards in one game. Hill has carried the ball twice in two games, but for only 28 yards.

“We are going to be challenged by an excellent football team,” Miles said. “Our kids should be very excited to go and compete against a team from the Big 12. They have a dominating defense, especially up front. They looked really good defensively against Oklahoma.”

Kick-off for the game is at noon, and it will be televised on Root Sports.