Georgia State football A to Z: I is for interceptions

Georgia State linebacker Joseph Peterson intercepts Abilene Christian quarterback Parker McKenzie (left) during the fourth quarter in their season opener during the first FBS game of the 2014 season. It was one of three interceptions Georgia State had all season. CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM

To mix things up, I thought I’d do a look-ahead to Georgia State’s August camp in a different format, A-to-Z:

I’ll continue to post one letter a day on the blog for the next 26 days:

Today is …

I is for Interceptions

Nick Arbuckle’s interceptions were covered under A in the A-to-Z look.

Let’s turn to the interceptions created – or not – by Georgia State’s defense.

The Panthers picked off three passes last year, the lowest total in the Sun Belt.

There are many, many reason why: lack of a pass rush, dropping the few chances they had, ball-watching instead of playing the man, etc.

But it’s hard to win games when you aren’t making impact plays as a defense.

While Georgia State’s offense was turning over the ball a whopping 30 times, the defense created just eight.

The secondary should benefit from experience in cornerback Bruce Dukes, as well as safety Tarris Batiste. Jerome Smith is pushing everyone for playing time. Big things are expected from transfer safeties Bobby Baker and Cloves Campbell, as well. Plus, there are returners Antreal Allen, Robert Dowling, Brian Williams and Chandon Sullivan to create true competition among the defensive backs.

The defensive backs can’t cover receivers forever. The front seven, or eight, must create a pass rush to give the secondary a chance to make plays.

Georgia State A to Z so far

H is for Harden

G is for Glenn Smith (or GPA)

F is for fumbles

E is for (mostly) empty

D is for Davis

C is for Cheridor

B is for backfield

A is for Arbuckle