Nick Arbuckle

Georgia State avoids first FCS upset of 2014

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There were 16 games that saw a team from the Football Championship Subdivision defeat a team from the Football Bowl Subdivision in 2013. We nearly saw the first one of 2014 Wednesday night, but Georgia State came through with a late field goal to slip past Abilene Christian in the Georgia Dome Wednesday night. Georgia State kicker Wil Lutz snuck a 26-yard kick through the uprights for a 38-37 victory Wednesday night in the first game on the FBS calendar this season.

The game was anything but pretty, but after 683 days since the last win, Georgia State will take it any way it can. Georgia State racked up 566 yards of offense, mostly off the arm of quarterback Nick Arbuckle. Arbuckle threw three touchdowns and led the Panthers on the game-winning drive while passing for 433 yards and four touchdowns. To get the win, Georgia State had to score more points than they did in any game in 2013.

This is Georgia State’s first season eligible for postseason play since moving up from the FCS. With one win now in the books, Georgia State now needs five more wins to become bowl eligible. Next up, New Mexico State next week in the Georgia Dome.

Was this up to par with the BCS Championship Game or last season’s Iron Bowl? Of course not, but the first game of the season gave us a back-and-forth game that went down to the wire and saw a program celebrate a long-awaited victory.

Welcome back college football. We missed you. We can wait for the next FCS upset.

Georgia State’s Joel Ruiz records first FBS TD of 2014

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Georgia State was pushed around by FCS Abilene Christian on the opening drive of the 2014 season, but the young defense stood tall inside the red zone and held the visitors to a field goal. The first touchdown of the season on the FBS calendar belongs to Georgia State.

Late in the first quarter in the Georgia Dome, Georgia State quarterback Nick Arbuckle connected with Joel Ruiz for a 34-yard touchdown. Arbuckle was a JUCO pick-up for the Panthers, and early on he has looked promising (relatively speaking of course), although he has been intercepted already as well.

This is the first season Georgia State is eligible for postseason play since moving up from the FCS ranks. A win tonight leaves Georgia State just five wins shy of becoming bowl eligible.

Georgia State leads Abilene Christian 7-3 at the end of the first quarter.