Georgia State key: battles along the lines

Georgia State needs improvement from its offensive and defensive lines.

If good teams start up the middle, as coach Trent Miles believes, there is work to do.

If both groups play well, the Panthers should be more competitive than they were last season. If they repeat last year’s performances, it could be another long season.

The offensive line, which stayed healthy most of the season, allowed 28 sacks in the passing game and helped the running backs to an average of only 3.4 yards per attempt. The defensive line posted 10 sacks and allowed an average of 38.5 points and 470.1 yards per game.

The poor play of one affected the other. When the offense couldn’t score, the defense had to take more chances. When the defense couldn’t stop opponents, the offense had to take more chances.

Miles recruited numerous players from high schools or junior colleges to strengthen both lines, breed more competition and improve the toughness. The line got a boost when Grant King was cleared to practice less than a week into preseason camp after academic issues sidelined him.

However, because of graduations and injuries, the offensive line didn’t have enough healthy bodies by the end of spring practice to hold a full scrimmage. Having to rely on freshmen or redshirt freshmen for depth isn’t a positive sign.