ATLANTA -- Coming off the top rushing season in school history, Georgia State returns four of its top five running backs, led by senior Tra Barnett and sophomore Seth Paige.

Georgia State is preparing for its Aug. 31 season opener at Southeastern Conference foe Tennessee (3:30 p.m. at Neyland Stadium). The Panthers' home opener is Saturday, Sept. 7 vs. Furman at 7 p.m. at Georgia State Stadium.

Barnett rushed for 551 yards and seven touchdowns, while Paige had 341 yards and four scores as the Panthers set GSU records for rushing yards (2,057) and touchdowns (21). The Panthers’ 2018 average of 171.4 yards per game was nearly 60 yards per game better than the previous season.

In addition to Barnett and Paige, GSU also returns sophomores Destin Coates, who rushed for 137 yards and one touchdown before a season-ending injury, as well as junior Darius Stubbs and sophomore Tucker Gregg. Redshirt freshman Dawson Hill should also be a contributor.

First-year running backs coach Jimmy Smith, who won two state titles at nearby Cedar Grove High School, is tasked with blending the talents of all these running backs in offensive coordinator Brad Glenn's system.

Season, single-game and group tickets for Georgia State football are on sale now. Visit or call 404-413-4020.