Georgia State looks to forget, move on against Louisiana-Monroe

The Georgia State football teams needs a short memory, coach Shawn Elliott said. After last week’s 51-0 loss to No. 20 Coastal Carolina, the Panthers must find a way to forget it and move on.

“That was a hard shot we took last week,” Elliott said. “The way they came in here and dominated us in all three phases. We’ve got to move on very quickly and wash that thing away. It’s hard to get it out of your system quickly, but we have to do our best and get this thing turned around very quickly.”

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Georgia State (2-3, 1-3 Sun Belt) hosts Louisiana-Monroe (0-7, 0-4) at noon Saturday at Center Parc Stadium (ESPN3, WRAS-FM 88.5) and kickoff can’t arrive soon enough for Elliott.

“We cannot get back on the field soon enough,” he said. “I wish we played ULM today. When that game ended on Saturday, if we could have lined back up and played them again, I certainly would have wanted to do that.”

Louisiana-Monroe has had plenty of its own problems. The Warhawks have had trouble scoring points – last in the conference in scoring defense, 13.4 points – and have had issues falling behind early. In last week’s 31-13 loss to Appalachian State, the Warhawks trailed 14-0 after one quarter. They have not had a lead all season.

“It’s been different things,” Louisiana-Monroe coach Matt Viator said. “The last few weeks had some chances, but we haven’t been able to make the pay when we’ve needed.”

That may be good news for Georgia State, which has scored on its first possession in three of the past four games. The Panthers could use a quick strike and a fast start to help erase the bad memories of last week.

“We’re going to come out and try to establish the offensive game plan on the first possession,” Elliott said.

Last week was a rare hiccup for the Panthers, who entered the game leading the Sun Belt with 42 points per game. They struggled in all areas – running for only 75 yards, 161 below their average, and passing for only 30 yards, 199.2 below their average. The defense wasn’t any better. The unit that has twice allowed 45 or fewer yards rushing this season was gashed for 250 yards.

“Every single one in our meeting (on Monday) took ownership of it — players, staff, coaches, myself,” Elliott said. “We wanted to make sure we knew it was on all of us. There was no finger pointing. We all shoulder the load and move on.”

Viator said, “When I watched the tape, I felt for them because any time you fall behind early, it changes what you’re doing. (Georgia State) got behind 21-0 quick, but you look at previous games against the Cajuns or Arkansas State or whoever, they’ve been really good, and that’s the team we expect to see.”

Georgia State is 2-3 against Louisiana-Monroe, including a 45-31 road loss last year. The Panthers ran for 414 yards in that game, but lost quarterback Dan Ellington to a knee injury on the last play of the first half. Georgia State won the only previous meeting in Atlanta, winning 46-14 in 2018.