GEORGIA STATE vs. IDAHO
Saturday, Dec. 2, 2 p.m., Georgia State Stadium
Bowl eligible and winners of six of their last eight games, Georgia State concludes the regular season by hosting Idaho for Senior Day, Saturday at 2 p.m. at “Pete” Petit Field at Georgia State Stadium.
TV: ESPN3. Announcers are Jordan Bernfield and Wayne Gandy.
RADIO: Georgia State Radio Network, including Atlanta flagship 1340 AM/103.7 FM and WRAS 88.5 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.
RECORDS: Georgia State: 6-4 Overall, 5-2 Sun Belt
Idaho: 3-8 Overall, 2-5 Sun Belt
Georgia State: Shawn ElliottRecord at GSU: 6-4 (1st year) / Career Record: 7-9 (2nd year)
Idaho: Paul PetrinoRecord at UI: 18-41 (5th year) / Career Record: 18-41 (5th year)
> Under first-year head coach Shawn Elliott, the Panthers (6-4, 5-2 Sun Belt Conference) enter their regular-season finale one game out of first place in the league, trailing Arkansas State, Appalachian State and Troy, each at 6-1.
> Georgia State’s eight-year-old football program is bowl eligible for the second time in three seasons.
> Idaho (3-8, 2-5 Sun Belt) won the only previous meeting between the two schools, 37-12 in last season’s finale at Idaho. The Vandals are playing their final FBS and Sun Belt Conference game before moving next season to the FCS and the Big Sky Conference.
> Five of Georgia State’s six victories have come on the road.
> Sophomore receiver Penny Hart is the Sun Belt’s leading receiver with 70 catches for 1,022 yards and eight touchdowns. He is eighth in the nation in receptions (7.0) and receiving yards (102.2) per game.
> Senior quarterback Conner Manning is averaging 259.9 yards passing per game (third in the Sun Belt) with 13 touchdowns. He leads the league in completion percentage at 64 percent.
> Senior cornerback and Senior Bowl invitee Chandon Sullivan is one of 13 national finalists at all levels for the 2017 William V. Campbell Trophy®, presented by Fidelity Investments® for the National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame. The trophy recognizes the absolute best football scholar-athlete in the nation.
> Sullivan was named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District® team for the third straight year. He is joined on this year’s team by junior offensive lineman Gabe Mobley and senior noseguard Julien Laurent. All three are now eligible for the CoSIDA Academic All-America® team.
SENIOR DAY: Twenty-two Georgia State Panthers will be honored in pregame ceremonies as the program celebrates its annual Senior Day.
> The senior class includes the first sixth-year senior in Georgia State history in Bryan Williams, who arrived at Georgia State way back in 2012, and five fifth-year seniors. Others arrived as freshmen in 2014, and more joined the program as transfers.
> As sophomores, many of them played key roles in leading the Panthers to their first bowl game, the 2015 AutoNation Cure Bowl, and now as seniors, they have led the program to bowl eligibility for the second time in three seasons. Along the way, they earned three straight victories over in-state rival Georgia Southern.
> With this class, Georgia State will graduate 11 starters and numerous key backups and special teams contributors.
> Statistically speaking, these players have combined for 5,283 yards passing, 2,289 yards rushing and 225 receptions for 2,435 yards while scoring 35 touchdowns. Their collective defensive totals include 960 tackles and 17 interceptions.
PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS: Sophomore Penny Hart is enjoying a record-setting season and career for the Panthers:
> Hart is the Sun Belt’s leading receiver with 70 receptions for 1,022 yards and eight touchdowns.
> He ranks eighth in FBS in receptions (7.0 per game) and receiving yards (102.2 per game).
> Hart has accounted for 32 percent of the Panthers’ receptions and 38 percent of their receiving yards this season while catching eight of the team’s 14 TD passes.
> He needs two receptions to break the GSU single-season record of 71, which Hart (2015) shares with Albert Wilson (2013).
> With 1,022 yards this season, Hart is the first Panther to record two 1,000-yard seasons. He is 155 yards behind Wilson’s GSU season record of 1,177 yards.
> After just 25 career games, Hart has amassed 149 receptions for 2,182 yards and 17 touchdowns. He ranks third in school history in all three categories, and the two receivers in front of him, Albert Wilson and Robert Davis, are in the NFL.
> Hart ranks fourth among all active FBS receivers with a career average of 5.96 receptions and fifth with 87.3 receiving yards per game.
> The 2015 Sun Belt Freshman of the Year and 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 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).
SULLY SHINES ON AND OFF THE FIELD: Senior cornerback Chandon Sullivan has collected accolades for his performance on the field and in the classroom:
> Sullivan is one of one of 13 national finalists at all levels for the 2017 William V. Campbell Trophy®, presented by Fidelity Investments® for the National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame. The trophy recognizes the absolute best football scholar-athlete in the nation.
> Majoring in journalism with a 3.84 grade point average, he was named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District® team for the third straight year. He has also been named to the Sun Belt Conference Commissioner’s List for three straight years.
> Sullivan’s latest honor on the field is an invitation to the Reese’s Senior Bowl, the first Panther to be selected.
> He is a four-year starter, two time All-Sun Belt Conference selection and Georgia State’s career leader in interceptions (7) and passes defended (24).
ROAD WARRIORS: In winning six of its last eight games, Georgia State has won five straight road contests with victories at Charlotte, Coastal Carolina, ULM, Georgia Southern and Texas State.
> GSU is the only FBS school this season to play four straight road games and the only one to win three straight road games (Charlotte, CCU, ULM) with no home games in between.
> GSU is tied for second nationally (with Oklahoma, San Diego State, Southern Miss, UCF and Central Michigan) with five road victories this season. Only Oklahoma State (6) has more.