“We found out one thing, that we can really compete in this league,” Elliott said. “And we’re ready to take that next step. We talk about it. I’m not afraid and I’ve never been afraid to talk about winning a championship. We say start fast, finish strong. We’re talking about finishing for a championship. We’re going to go out and prepare each week and really take the next step.”
Georgia State returns all 11 starters on offense and nine on defense. The Panthers placed 10 players on the preseason all-conference team.
The Panthers must endure an ambitious non-conference schedule. They play Army (the home opener Sept. 4), at North Carolina, vs. Charlotte and at Auburn before opening Sun Belt play Oct. 2 against perennial power Appalachian State, a team Georgia State has never defeated.
“I try not to look at it,” Elliott said. “It’s a difficult task. It’s an exciting task. It’s one that I think our coaches and team really looks forward to going out and competing against. We’re going to have to be prepared early and play our very best.”
Georgia State had non-conference wins in 2019 against Tennessee and Army. The Panthers had a game at Alabama canceled last year because of COVID-19.
“We’re going to know a lot about our football team coming out of those four games,” Elliott said. “We’ll find out if we are really championship contenders, so to speak, in our league.”