Not a ton to report at the moment, but just a few things to share.
1. Someone had asked about video replay at the FBS level. It came up at the press conference, and it sounds like cost and logistics would make it a non-starter for that level.
You’d want to make it as uniform as possible, which would require a lot of schools that don’t have cameras at their games or the installed technology to get both, not to mention hire people to work everything. Replay challenges are only used for the FCS semifinals and championship. It’d be hard to imagine it changing.
Bill Curry did say, though, that when the staff found out the game would be on TV, a call was made to see if replay could be used, but to no avail.
2. One thing to think about regarding the pass coverage, which was a bit loose against Jacksonville State, something I hadn’t thought of until I was talking to secondary coach Anthony Midget. The starting corners, Brent McClendon and Justin Hughes, are a redshirt freshman and true freshman, respectively. Then McClendon went out and he was replaced by true freshman Demarius Matthews. So it makes some sense why defensive coordinator John Thompson would play it conservative.
(The conservative coverage sort of helps explain the relatively tame pass rush. JSU QB Marques Ivory could get rid of the ball on time because receivers were open. If receivers were covered more aggressively, he’d have to hold onto the ball a little longer, which would give the pass rush a little more time to get to him.)
“Now we’ve got to get to a situation where we also have to start making plays when we get our hands on the ball and create some plays back there in the secondary,” Midget said.
That said, I can’t imagine it changing too much this week. Two true freshmen will start (Hughes and either McClendon, Isaiah Howard or Jamal Ransby) and a third (McClendon, Powell or Ransby) will play nickel.
Midget said Tuesday that he had some concerns, naturally, about experience and the younger players’ being able to communicate with each other what they’re seeing.
I also asked Midget whether or not his players are better at catching the ball in practice than they were Saturday.
“They always get ‘em in practice,” he said, with some mock frustration. “I’ve got this rocket right here.” (he proudly held up his right bicep, which launches his throws to players during passing drills.)
It’s something they definitely work on. It’s just a matter of bringing it to Saturday.
3. Wide receiver Jordan Giles practiced Wednesday and could play on a limited basis Saturday. Giles broke his finger two weeks ago, which precipitated Bo Schlechter’s move to wide receiver.
4. Expect the Panthers to come out running the ball. I’d say that Georgia State has a little more margin to play with than it did last week against Jacksonville State and can be a little intent on working on its own stuff while trying to win, whereas last week, when coaches realized they probably couldn’t run consistently against Jacksonville State, so they stuck more with the pass.
The running game and run defense were two of the first things Curry brought up at his Tuesday press conference as far as points of improvement, along with tackling.
If you take away the three longest runs of the season – Kelton Hill’s 53-yard scramble against Lambuth, Travis Evans‘ 46-yard touchdown run against Jacksonville State and Darren McCray’s 41-yard reverse, also against JSU – Georgia State is averaging 3.9 yards per carry. I confess, that’s actually higher than I expected it to be, considering that Curry said the goal is more than 4 yards per carry, which the team is actually achieving with those three runs included.
That said, the goal is consistency, a running game that can pump out runs of 3, 4 and 5 yards with regularity. If you’ve watched GSU play, you know that’s not the case.
Said Curry, “That’s what we’ve got to do. We haven’t done that a single time for a whole game.”
Curry wouldn’t put responsibility on the line, although offensive lines deservedly gets credit when the running game works and blame when it doesn’t. He said quarterbacks need to make the right checks at the line and backs have to run to the right hole and with the right timing.
“It will come, but it’s (taken) a lot longer than I would have thought because we’ve had a year to work on this,” Curry said.
Worth noting – Campbell has given up 5.4 yards per rush this season.
That’s about it. Hope you’re having a good week. Follow me on Twitter.