The Georgia State Panthers are about to start their fifth year of football. Hyosub Shin
Photo: Hyosub Shin
Photo: Hyosub Shin

Georgia State will host Kennesaw State in football in 2018

The beginning of a rivalry may start when Georgia State hosts Kennesaw State in football on Aug. 30, 2018.

The Panthers are about to start their fifth year of football and play on the FBS level in the Sun Belt Conference. The Owls, which held their first workout on Tuesday, will begin their inaugural year in 2015. They will play on the FCS level in the Big South Conference. Georgia State will pay Kennesaw State $135,000 to play.

It will be their first meeting in football, but it may not be their last.

“I don’t know if it will happen every other year, but I know he want to play on a regular basis,” Kennesaw State athletic director Vaughn Williams said.

Georgia State coach Trent Miles said he’s also in favor of continous meetings.

“More you can do it, the better,” he said. “Having been a coach at the FCS level and knowing that you always had to play an FBS team for the money, why wouldn’t we want to do that with an in-state team, rather than bring in someone from out of state. It makes sense.”

Williams said he and former Georgia State athletic director Cheryl Levick discussed meeting in football when he was hired in 2011 and the Owls were still in the process of putting together a plan to start football.

The teams won’t meet until 2018 because Georgia State’s non-conference schedule is mostly set until then, and Kennesaw State is taking a more cautious approach to scheduling FBS teams while it develops its team under coach Brian Bohannon.

“It’s a good game, definitely a good game,” Williams said.

Williams said it may also be a bridge to annual games in men’s basketball, the other sport from which rivalries are created.

The teams have met three times in men’s basketball, but not since 1989. Georgia State coach Ron Hunter and men’s basketball coach Jimmy Lallathin have discussed playing, but couldn’t fit it into this year’s schedules.

“We want to play Georgia State,” Williams said.

The schools frequently meet in other sports.

This game can be moved to Wednesday or Friday.

“We’d better be prepared knowing how good of a coach they have,” Miles said. “They will be a be a really good program and will be ready to play.”

Georgia State’s non-conference games

2015

Sept. 3 vs. Charlotte

Sept. 12 at UAB

Sept. 19 at Oregon

Oct. 3 vs. Liberty

2016

Sept. 10 at Air Force

Sept. 17 at Wisconsin

Oct. 1 vs. Alabama-Birmingham

2017

Sept. 9 at Charlotte

Sept. 16 at Penn State

2018

Aug. 30 vs. Kennesaw State

Sept. 8 at N.C. State

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