ATLANTA--Georgia State (1-7) will face its third ranked team in four weeks as the Panthers travel to James Madison Saturday for a 3:30 p.m. game at Bridgeforth Stadium in Harrisonburg, Va.
Playing without top rusher Donald Russell, who left the game after just four carries due to a sprained knee, the Panthers fell to No. 24 Villanova, 49-24, at the Georgia Dome.
James Madison (5-2, 3-1 CAA) had climbed to No. 2 in the nation in both FCS polls last week before falling to Richmond, 35-29. The Dukes are now one of four CAA teams atop the standings with one loss in conference play.
GSU Radio Network, including Atlanta flagship WCFO-AM Newstalk 1160. Announcers are Dave Cohen (play-by-play), Harper LeBel (analyst), and Sam Crenshaw (sideline).
Wide receiver and return specialist Albert Wilson set a Georgia State record with 290 all-purpose yards against Villanova. He caught six passes for 104 yards, including a 55-yard touchdown catch, for the sixth 100-yard game of his career. He added five kickoff returns for 176 yards, highlighted by a season-long 61-yard return, and one punt return for 10 yards.
The junior from Port St. Lucie, Fla., leads the CAA in all-purpose yards, averaging 154.5 yards per game, a figure that would rank among the top 15 in FCS.
Wilson is the Panthers' leading receiver with 36 catches for 666 yards and six touchdowns. He also averages 11.0 yards on punt returns and 24.6 yards on kickoff returns.
For his career, Wilson has a GSU-record 3,378 all-purpose yards (125.1 per game) and 15 touchdowns.
INJURIES TAKE THEIR TOLL
Standout running back Donald Russell, who was leading the CAA in rushing, sustained a knee injury (sprained MCL) early in the game against Villanova and is likely to miss the remainder of the season. Russell has rushed for 747 yards (81 percent of GSU's rushing total) and three touchdowns while catching 16 passes for 163 yards and one score. He is the leading rusher in GSU history with 1,412 yards.
With the loss of Russell, the GSU offense is without two of its top four skill players. Starting wide receiver Jordan Giles, the Panthers' third-leading receiver the last two years behind Albert Wilson and Danny Williams, has been out since game two with a shoulder injury.
The Panthers have also sustained key injuries on defense, particularly on the defensive line, including a season-ending injury to starting defensive tackle David Huey after just two games. Starting defensive end C.J. Stephens and top backups Melvin King (DE) and Joe Lockley (DT) are also out. Redshirt freshman McClain Head, expected to be a key contributor at defensive end, has not played at all due to a concussion.
HUBBARD AMONG THE BEST IN FCS
Georgia State punter Matt Hubbard owns the sixth-best punting average in FCS, averaging 44.74 yards per kick. Seventeen of his 39 punts have travelled 50 yards or more, including his amazing 80-yard boot against South Carolina State.
The Panthers' net punting average of 38.68 is the eighth-best mark in FCS.
Because of GSU's reclassification to the Football Bowl Subdivision, Hubbard and the Panthers do not qualify for NCAA rankings in FBS or FCS. The top individual average in FCS belongs to Tony Epperson of Weber State at 48.00, while the top net punting average is Weber State's mark of 40.17.
WILSON STRETCHES THE FIELD
The latest long touchdown catch for junior wide receiver Albert Wilson was a 55-yard scoring pass against Villanova, his sixth touchdown reception of the season and the 14th of his career.
Earlier this season, Wilson caught an 84-yard touchdown pass from Ben McLane on the Panthers' third snap against UTSA for the longest play from scrimmage in Georgia State history. He added scoring passes of 54 and 47 yards against New Hampshire.
Wilson, from Port St. Lucie, Fla., has a hand in the three longest plays from scrimmage in GSU history with touchdown catches covering 78 and 64 yards last season against South Alabama. Add his 97-yard kickoff return against Alabama in 2010, and he has been involved in four of the five longest plays in Panther annals (Darren McCray had a 96-yard kickoff return vs. Campbell in 2010).
Wilson's 14 career touchdown receptions have covered an average of 46.1 yards. He averages 18.8 yards for his 92 career receptions.
He also had non-scoring receptions of 51 yards vs. Campbell in 2010, 55 and 54 yards vs. Jacksonville State in 2011 and 50 yards vs. St. Francis in 2011, giving him 10 receptions of 50 yards or longer in his career, six of them for touchdowns.
ALBERT WILSON'S CAREER TOUCHDOWNS:
97 Kickoff Return vs. Alabama, 2010
84 Reception (Ben McLane) vs. UTSA, 2012
78 Reception (Kelton Hill) vs. South Alabama, 2011
64 Reception (Kelton Hill) vs. South Alabama, 2011
55 Reception (Ronnie Bell) vs. Villanova, 2012
54 Reception (Kelton Hill) vs. UTSA, 2011
54 Reception (Ronnie Bell) vs. New Hampshire, 2012
48 Reception (Bo Schlechter) vs. Clark Atlanta, 2011
47 Reception (Ben McLane) vs. New Hampshire, 2012
33 Reception (Kelton Hill) vs. West Alabama, 2011
30 Reception (Bo Schlechter) vs. Clark Atlanta, 2011
29 Reception (Drew Little) vs. Savannah State, 2010
28 Reception (Drew Little) vs. Savannah State, 2010
25 Reception (Ronnie Bell) vs. UTSA, 2012
16 Reception (Ben McLane) vs. Richmond, 2012
Senior tight end Emmanuel Ogbuehi (pronounced oh-BOY-ee) is enjoying the most productive stretch of his career with 12 catches for 134 yards and two touchdowns over the last three games.
Ogbuehi enjoyed career highs against New Hampshire when he caught four passes for 76 yards, highlighted by a 26-yard touchdown pass from Ben McLane.
The 6-3, 235-pounder added four catches for 40 yards in the win over Rhode Island, and then four more receptions for 18 yards with a three-yard touchdown against Villanova. He is the Panthers' third-leading receiver on the season with 16 catches for 157 yards and two touchdowns.
Ogbuehi is the fourth-leading receiver in GSU history with 38 career catches for 456 yards and three touchdowns, including the first touchdown reception in the Panthers' inaugural game in 2010.
LUTZ TAKES OVER KICKING DUTIES
Wil Lutz is the latest true freshman to take on a prominent role for the Panthers. The Newnan, Ga., native entered the season as GSU's kickoff specialist, and since game five versus William and Mary, he has also been handling field goals and extra points.
Lutz has been perfect on kicks, hitting four field goals, including a season-long 40-yarder against Rhode Island, and 11 PAT without a miss.