ATLANTA -- Georgia State head coach Shawn Elliott got exactly what he wanted for today's first preseason scrimmage at Georgia State Stadium: hot, humid weather.
"The first thing I liked was the heat," Elliott said after the scrimmage of more than 130 plays. "We had a nice rain beforehand, so we had our first taste ot true humidity out here. I really loved it because we pushed them hard today in our scrimmage. At times it was a little up and down, but I was pleased with the effort."
Georgia State opens the 2019 season three weeks from today, when the Panthers travel to Tennessee on Aug. 31 for a 3:30 p.m. game. GSU's home opener at Georgia State Stadium is Saturday, Sept. 7 at 7 p.m. vs. Furman.
"I wasn't so pleased that we had some turnovers, some balls on the ground, but in the same sense, we had defense that was causing those turnovers," Elliott continued. "We've got to solidify that and make sure we are sound. We can't turn the ball over and have a chance to win football games."
Starting quarterback Dan Ellington looked sharp, passing for over 300 yards on 19 completions. He hooked up with wideout Cornelius McCoy on several long completions, including a 21-yard touchdown pass.
McCoy, the sophomore from Deerfield Beach, Fla., is the Panthers' top returning receiver. As a true freshman in 2018, he was second on the team, behind Penny Hart, with 35 catches for 495 yards.
"Cornelius McCoy has done a fine job all camp of really catching and securing the football," Elliott said. "He runs proper routes. That's why he came in and started as a freshman, and he's continued to build. He's just a true sophomore, but he's really coming into his own.
He's taken on the role of a leader, and he's making plays.
Senior Devin Gentry caught a short pass, made a defender miss and took it 73 yards for a touchdown. Juniors Jonathan Ifedi and Matlin Marshall also caught touchdowns. Junior tight end Roger Carter had catches of 45 and 25 yards.
Behind Ellington at quarterback is Cornelious Brown, the 6-5 true freshman from Birmingham, Ala. (Calera High School), who showed positive signs in the scrimmage.
"He stepped into his throws, he was really confident, and he had some quick decision-making so I like to see that," Elliott said.
The Panthers return to the practice field Monday morning at 10 a.m.
Season, single-game and group tickets for all six home games at Georgia State Stadium are on sale now. Call 404-413-4020 or visit GeorgiaStateSports.com/tix.