Memphis and Central Florida will be playing this year after all.
The schools and the American Athletic Conference confirmed that the Tigers would travel to Orlando to play the Knights on September 30th in a game that was previously scheduled for September 9th but was moved due to Hurricane Irma hitting the state last week.
“I would like to thank the presidents and athletic directors at Memphis and UCF, whose cooperation made this possible,” said AAC commissioner Mike Aresco. “I also want to thank Georgia State athletic director Charlie Cobb, Sun Belt Conference commissioner Karl Benson, and Maine athletic director Karlton Creech for their flexibility and cooperation. We look forward to playing our full, 48-game conference schedule and having our champion decided on the field.”
As a result of the game being moved, both Memphis and UCF bought out of their games (likely with help from the conference coffers) with Georgia State and Maine, respectively, that were originally set to take place on 9/30. The Panthers announced that they would receive a whopping $1.1 million in cancellation fees and expenses as a result of the move.
Moving Memphis/UCF was the final piece of the puzzle for the AAC in order to get all of the games canceled or moved due to Hurricane Irma in this year. All of the other games that were moved due to the storm were announced earlier on Thursday and details can be found here.
We didn’t have to wait long this season to see a FCS team upset a FBS team.
Former Florida quarterback Treon Harris continued to dominate the Peach state on Saturday night as he guided Tennessee State to a 17-10 upset of Georgia State. Harris, who was 2-0 against Georgia during his time with the Gators, threw for 145 yards and rushed for another 91 yards and a touchdown. Tailback Seth Rowland also chipped in with 76 yards rushing and a score as well.
The loss was particularly brutal for the Panthers to start the year off given what the game was supposed to mean for the school. Head coach Shawn Elliott was making his debut as the new man in charge and the program was playing its first ever game at their recently remodeled Georgia State Stadium, a venue most will recognize as the former Turner Field that used to host the Atlanta Braves.
If there’s one consolation for GSU though, it does not appear they will be alone in the FBS ranks with a loss to a FCS squad and could have some company on Thursday night as well.
Georgia State has taken over Turner Field as its new football home. But it won’t be called Turner Field.
The Panthers previously announced that its new football stadium will be called — drumroll, please — Georgia State Stadium. The physical field that will host Georgia State football now has its own name.
The program announced this week that the field at the 22,000-seat stadium will be named in honor of Parker H. “Pete” Petit, a Georgia State alum and chairman of the committee that manages Georgia State’s $300 million fundraising campaign. Petit’s day job is as the chairman and CEO of MiMedx Group, a Marietta, Ga., based company that “delivers bioactive healing products for tissue regeneration.”
The naming rights announcement just so happens to come after Petit donated $10 million to the athletics department.
“Pete Petit has been a long-time generous benefactor of Georgia State,” GSU president Mark P. Becker said in a statement, “and his impact on our university cannot be overstated. We are extremely proud to name the playing field in Georgia State Stadium in his honor.”
Georgia State will take Parker H. Petit Field at Georgia State Stadium for the first time on Aug. 31 against Tennessee Tech.
For the second time this week, one Sun Belt Conference program has apparently landed a Power Five transfer.
Per a report from 247Sports.com, Camrin Knight has decided to transfer out of the Florida football program. The Gainesville Sun subsequently confirmed the initial report.
The recruiting website also reported that Knight will be transferring to Georgia State. Earlier this week, it was also reported that South Carolina’s Pete Leota would be transferring to GSU as well.
Barring something unexpected, Knight will be forced to sit out the 2017 season to satisfy NCAA bylaws.
A three-star 2015 recruit, Knight played in eight games as a true freshman tight end. His playing time was cut exactly in half last season, and he moved to linebacker this past spring.
In December, Shawn Elliott left his post as the offensive line coach at South Carolina to take over as the head coach at Georgia State. This week, one of his former players has taken a similar geographic path.
According to The State, Pete Leota has decided to transfer to GSU to again play for Elliott. The move comes nearly two weeks after the offensive lineman announced his decision to transfer from the Gamecocks.
For what it’s worth, his new football team has not yet confirmed his addition to the roster.
While normally Leota would have to sit out the 2017 season, the newspaper also reported that his new team will seek a waiver that would give him immediate eligibility. The specific grounds for the appeal weren’t divulged.
A three-star member of USC’s 2016 recruiting class, Leota was rated as the No. 49 player at any position in the state of North Carolina. He took a redshirt his true freshman season last year.