GEORGIA STATE (2-2, 1-0 Sun Belt) at ULM (3-2, 3-0 Sun Belt)
Saturday, Oct. 14, 5 p.m. ET, JPS Field at Malone Stadium, Monroe, La.
TV: ESPN3. Announcers are Joel Meyers and Brian Kinchen.
RADIO: Georgia State Radio Network, including Atlanta flagship 1340 AM/103.7 FM. Dave Cohen is in his 35th season as the play-by-play voice of Panther athletics. Brandon Leak and Harper LeBel join him from the booth with Sam Crenshaw on the sideline. Free audio stream on GeorgiaStateSports.com and GSU mobile app.
THE KICKOFF: After back-to-back road wins at Charlotte and Coastal Carolina, Georgia State (2-2, 1-0 Sun Belt) plays its fourth straight road game at Sun Belt Conference co-leader UL Monroe (3-2, 3-0) Saturday at 5 p.m. ET.
> Georgia State earned its second straight win and its first Sun Belt victory with a 27-21 decision at Coastal Carolina.
> Penny Hart, who had eight catches for 132 yards and a touchdown at Coastal, leads the Sun Belt in receptions (7.8 pg) and receiving yards (91.3 pg), including back-to-back 100-yard games.
> Versatile Glenn Smith has 330 all-purpose yards in the last two games, including 164 yards and two TDs rushing, seven receptions for 52 yards and two kickoff returns for 114 yards, including a 90-yard TD on the opening kickoff vs. Coastal Carolina.
> Quarterback Conner Manning, who passed for 273 yards and one TD at Coastal, leads the Sun Belt in completion percentage at 65.5 percent.
THE SERIES VS. ULM:
> ULM has won the two previous meetings, including a 37-23 victory last season at the Georgia Dome as the Warhawks’ Thomas Koufie rushed for 201 yards and five touchdowns.
> In last year’s game, Conner Manning passed for a career-high 422 yards and GSU had three 100-yard receivers for the only time in school history: Robert Davis (114), Glenn Smith (123) and Jawan Nobles (103).
> ULM won 38-10 in 2013 in the previous game at Monroe, La.
> The Warhawks have won three straight Sun Belt games behind an offense that has averaged over 50 points in the three contests.
> Both teams had a game cancelled due to Hurricane Irma: Georgia State vs. Memphis and ULM at Florida State.
ELLIOTT TAKES THE REINS: Formerly the co-offensive coordinator and offensive line coach at South Carolina, Georgia State’s first-year head coach Shawn Elliott is a coaching veteran with 20 years of experience in winning programs. He spent the last seven seasons with the Gamecocks after 13 years at Appalachian State, his alma mater. In 20 seasons as a Division I coach, Elliott has been part of 19 winnings seasons, 16 teams that reached a bowl game or the NCAA playoffs and three consecutive NCAA FCS titles from 2005-07.
PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS: Penny Hart leads the Sun Belt in receptions (7.8 pg) and receiving yards (91.3 pg). Hart tied his own school record with 11 receptions for 141 yards, including a 32-yard TD, at Charlotte. He followed with eight catches for 132 yards and a touchdown at Coastal Carolina.
The 2015 Sun Belt Freshman of the Year and a Freshman All-American played sparingly in just two games before his 2016 season was ended by a broken foot. As a rookie in 2015, Hart also led the Sun Belt with 5.5 receptions and 84.5 receiving yards per game, and he set the Sun Belt freshman record for receiving yards (1,099).
GLENN SMITH SHOWS VERSATILITY: Senior Glenn Smith ranks third in GSU history with 2,442 career all-purpose yards, including 673 yards rushing, 809 yards receiving on 74 catches and 960 yards on 41 kickoff returns. He is the first GSU player to reach 500 yards in both rushing and receiving yards. After working primarily at receiver this season, Smith moved to running back at Charlotte and rushed for 90 yards and two touchdowns on a school-record 31 carries. He also caught four passes for 39 yards in the victory.
In the win at Coastal Carolina, Smith returned a kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown, led the rushing attack with 74 yards on 23 carries and caught three passes for 13 yards for a career-high 201 all-purpose yards.
THIRD DOWN IS THE CHARM: Georgia State leads the Sun Belt in third-down conversion percentage, both on offense (50.8 percent, 7th in FBS) and on defense (30.6 percent).
In its two-game winning streak, the GSU offense has converted 17-for-31 (55 percent) on third downs, while the defense has allowed just seven conversions on 26 attempts (27 percent).
WERTS WORKS: Junior tight end Ari Werts had his best game as a Panther with four catches for 92 yards in the win at Coastal Carolina. He made perhaps the key catch of the game with a 52-yard reception down to the 23-yard line, setting up DeMarcus Kirk’s 4-yard touchdown run with three minutes to play that proved to be the winning touchdown.