GSU vs KSU: Fun rivalry for years to come

Head Coach Shawn Elliott talks Panthers' upcoming season

Wendy Adams
August 21, 2018 - 8:40 am

© Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

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In nine days, it'll be Georgia State vs Kennesaw State in a highly anticipated game to kickoff the big college football season in the state of Georgia. (Thursday, Aug. 30 at 7 p.m.)

Entering his second-season as Panthers head coach, Shawn Elliott joined John Fricke and Hugh Douglas to preview the upcoming season. His football program is coming off their first FBS winning season (7-5) which was capped off by their first bowl game victory (AutoNation Cure Bowl). Despite the success in year one, Coach Elliott said therea are no expectations heading into the new season; it's about making sure the players are enjoying the game:

"We never put any expectations on the football program. Coming in, my initial evaluation of the football program was 'it was broken.' There wasn't a lot of enjoyment going on with the players; just everyone seemed to go through the motions... It didn't take us very long to quickly turn the players where they began to enjoy being around us."

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The Panthers must replace two-year starter and AutoNation Cure Bowl MVP quarterback Conner Manning this season. Coach Elliott believes he has two capable guys that are ready to take over that starting role. 

"We've got two quarterbacks that are right there; [returning junior] Aaron Winchester, Dan Ellington. But we're pretty close to knowing the guy that we want to go with. I think we're in good shape at the quarterback position. There's probably not as much depth there as we would like but I think we're heading in the right direction."

Both Georgia State along with Week 1 opponent Kennesaw State are both programs on the rise. The Owls are ranked No. 5 in the nation in the FCS poll coming in. Could we see a new, fun rivalry between the two schools?

"I love it; I think it's fantastic. We're both baby programs coming out of here. What's so great about it is our players know one another. Anytime you have the opportunity to go up against guys that you knew from high school... it's a great development into what we're thinking could become a really big game for many, many years."

You can hear Georgia State football head coach Shawn Elliott on with John and Hugh every week of the football season on Tuesdays at 7:45 p.m.