William & Mary looks for first win

William & Mary looks for first win
September 29, 2012, 12:31 am
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Obviously when William & Mary hosts Georgia State Saturday night, one side will emerge victorious. Regardless of the team, they will do so for the first time this season.The Tribe (0-4, 0-2 CAA) have been close to tasting the thrill of victory with three losses coming by a combined seven points, including the season opening 7-6 defeat at Maryland. The televised (Comcast SportsNet, 7:00 p.m.) and first-ever meeting against the Panthers (0-4) is certainly an opportunity to break on through to the winning side.Coach Jimmye Laycock's squad looks to rebound after last week's 51-21 loss at Delaware and snap the program's longest losing streak to open a season since 1981. Though handled in phases by the then FCS No. 12 ranked Blue Hens - Delaware scored on offense, defense and special teams - William & Mary sophomore quarterback Raphael Ortiz threw for a career-high 262 yards. That mark could fall against a Panthers defense allowing 286 passing yards per game. Ortiz has thrown only one interception this season and leads the CAA with 14.1 yards per completion.Offense has not been the Tribe's strength - ninth among CAA teams with 14.5 points per game - though that could change against a Panthers' defense allowing a CAA-high 39.2 points. Leading rusher Meltoya Jones sat out the Delaware loss due to injury after running for a touchdown and career-high 90 yards against Towson. Defensively the Tribe rank fifth in the conference, allowing 329 yards per game while a special teams spark comes from punt returner B.W. Webb (19.1 yards per return, 6th nationally).While William & Mary have been lacing them on the gridiron for 118 seasons, Georgia State's program is in its infancy, playing its third season on a varsity level. Those early steps come with lots of wobbles, even with the program guided by longtime and former Alabama and Georgia Tech coach Bill Curry, who is stepping down from his post after the season.Unlike W&M, Georgia State has not participated in a nail biter this season as its closest game came last week, a 35-14 loss to Richmond in the Panthers first CAA opener. Next season Georgia State moves up to the FBS level as a member of the Sun Belt conference. Despite the affiliation with the CAA this season, the Panthers record does not factor in conference standings.Against the Spiders, running back Donald Russell topped the century mark for the second time this season with 119 rushing yards. The former Kentucky transfer averages 6.3 yards per carry and ranks third in the conference with 95.8 yards per game.Quarterback Ben McLane has thrown two touchdown passes and is averaging 124 passing yards per game.