5 things to look for at Georgia State spring game

The Georgia State football team will conduct its spring game at Grady High School at noon Saturday,in Sean Elliott’s first spring game as the Panthers’ head coach.

With a new staff and head coach, the Panthers will look vastly different than last season’s team.

Here are five things to look for in the game:

1. Quarterback battle: Last season, starter Connor Manning finished with 2,684 passing yards and 16 touchdowns in 10 games. Sophomore Aaron Winchester started in two games when Manning was injured. The Panthers also have Jaquez Parks and redshirt freshman Josh Shim on the roster. All four quarterbacks will compete for the starting job.

“We’re going to try and give everyone an equal amount of snaps,” Elliott said about the quarterback snaps. “Connor may end up getting more snaps than our fourth guy, but everyone is going to get a chance to run with the first team.”

2. Playing fast and physical: Playing fast and physical is the motto Elliott wants his team to play by. According to Elliott, no position is secure on the roster. So, the fastest and most physical guys will have the advantage in securing their starting job.

“We start every practice with a physical drill,” Elliott said. “Our guys have been playing really physical and really fast, and our guys have a great mentality for it. In order to play like that, you have to be conditioned like that. And that’s why we practice like that.”

Be on the lookout to see if the Panthers have gotten any faster or more physical over the offseason.

3. Offensive line: The offensive line for the Panthers was a big concern entering this offseason. Last season, the Panthers averaged only 87 rushing yards per game and gave up 17 sacks. The Panthers recruited five offensive linemen to help fix the issue. However they won't be at the spring game, so look out to see if the returning offensive linemen have improved.

4. Wide receivers: With the loss of leading receiver Robert Davis, the Panthers have a big hole to fill at wideout. Penny Hart is coming off a season-ending foot injury and will look to pick up where Davis left off. However, Hart is going to need help from other receivers if he doesn't want to see double coverages. Look to see what the wide receivers can do in the spring game.

5. Defense: The Panthers return seven defensive starters from last season. The defense was great against the pass, allowing only 173 passing yards per game last season. Still, the defense needs improvement after giving up 200 rushing yards per game and getting to the quarterback only 18 times. Look to see if the defense has improved under new defensive coordinator Nate Fuqua.