Archive for October, 2010

Three thoughts post-South Alabama

Mobile, Ala. – Greetings, all. Closing down the day. Not excited about getting on a plane in six hours, but I’m always excited about posting on the blog. A few thoughts.

1. The problem with the defense is a few things, I think. First, the line has effort guys, but I’m not sure they’re ready for the task at hand. It seems like repeatedly they get moved off the line of scrimmage. I don’t know that effort or technique is the problem; it might be that they’re just up against better players. They’re not a particularly big group, which is part of the problem, also.

Also, the tackling hasn’t been very good. USA running back Kendall Houston got hit behind the line of scrimmage multiple times, then bounced off and ran for positive yardage. I’d put that on players and coaches.

That said, the defense played much better in the second half than the first, and South Alabama coach Joey Jones said that he thought that Georgia State played harder and “bowed up” in the second half. Again, you …

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GSU-South Alabama game thread

Greetings, all-

Hope we can put aside our thoughts about Georgia State’s road to the 2017 BCS national championship for a couple hours.

A couple things for you. Here’s a link to a Mobile Press-Register story. It’s pretty standard, except for a mention that USA hopes for a crowd in excess of 30,000 for the game. Depending on what the excess is, it could be the biggest crowd of the season for a Georgia State game thus far. Here’s another story about Bill Curry talking about South Alabama. And another - it’s supposed to be a “whiteout.” Old Dominion tried a blueout last week and it was kind of high on the lame scale.

You know what the next step in whiteouts is? Plaid-outs. Or, maybe Alabama can have a houndstooth-out. I would be all in for that. Or maybe Hawaii could have a Hawaiian shirt-out.

Two things I’ll look for, and I’m going to guess I’ve mentioned them before for previous games – the running game and turnovers. When Georgia State has lost, those have been pretty big …

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GSU and the CAA, part II

Greetings, all

Hope you are well. I said last week after the blog post about my interview with CAA commissioner Tom Yeager that I’d get to the rest of what I wanted to get to, so here it is.

I don’t think Georgia State is going anywhere but the CAA, and that’s coming from athletic director Cheryl Levick. She said that one of the conditions for joining the league for football was a six-year commitment.

“We’ve made a firm commitment with the CAA when we joined the conference that FCS is where we need to go and I believe that,” she said. “We need to walk before we can run.”

Yeager also said that there was a clear understanding between Georgia State and the CAA that the conference would not be, in his words, “a way station” on the road to FBS.

“We are very focused and very happy with what we’re doing with FCS,” Levick said. “We know what we want to do and everything we do is to try to get as good as we can get in the FCS. We know the conference we’re walking into – it’s the …

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Tidbits from Curry press conference

Greetings, all-

Hope this finds you well. I am doing pretty well. I had shrimp tacos for lunch. That makes almost any day a win.

A note or two and then some blurbs from the Bill Curry press conference. Practice was a little chippy Tuesday morning, as hockey folks like to say, which I think you’d have to take as a good sign. I think the themes of the week for the Panthers are running the ball and forcing turnovers. Georgia State had actually been on a little run with takeaways – four each in the three games prior to Old Dominion – but I would say that the attention to it becomes more heightened after not having any takeaways Saturday and also playing a team that is plus-11 (South Alabama).

As for running the ball, you likely know the story. I talked to tackle Clyde Yandell and line coach Mike Riddle, who say they’re getting close. I suppose it’s the only answer you can give – I think my jaw would have dropped if either had said, “Yeah, we’re not even close to being a good …

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Breaking down GSU defense

Greetings, all-

Defensive coordinator John Thompson called me on his way home Monday evening after a long day of game planning for South Alabama to take my questions about the team’s defense Saturday. Most of you probably saw it – 381 yards of offense, 229 rushing yards, no turnovers.

“It’s causing some ulcers on the sideline, on the plane ride home and as we game plan,” he said.

Per usual, he was helpful and honest. Some of his observations…

1. Old Dominion’s tempo of its no-huddle offense was tough to deal with. The Monarchs normally play no-huddle, but ratcheted up the pace to try to wear down the Panthers, and it worked. Thompson acknowledged Saturday that it had been a factor, but after watching film and talking to players, he realized it was even more of a factor than he’d originally thought.

2. No turnovers. Old Dominion had 14 possessions and the Panthers couldn’t turn them over on any, a break in pattern after they’d forced four in each of the past three …

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GSU notes from Norfolk

Greetings, all-

This will be on the brief side as I have to get up early to fly back to Atlanta Sunday morning. Worth noting…

1. Georgia State ran 22 times (not counting a kneeldown at the end of the first half). Of those 22 runs, nine were for a loss and 14 were for one yard or less. That’s a pretty miserable running game. The crazy thing to me is that the same offensive line that contributed to this fairly non-functioning running game also did not allow a sack of Drew Little in 53 attempts.

2. Offensive coordinator John Bond shared an interesting slice of the game. On Georgia State’s first drive, the Panthers reached the 2 on Rosevelt Watson’s 30-yard run. The first two downs were Watson runs that produced nothing. Just as second down was ending and Bond was dialing up his third-down play, which he planned to be a play-action pass, he heard Bill Curry on his headset saying, “You’ve got two downs,” meaning Curry was planning to go for it on fourth down.

So Bond shelved …

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GSU game thread

Greetings, all-

Sitting in my hotel room in Newport News, Va., about to leave for the game. Some thoughts and we’ll get this going.

1) I imagine  I’ve said this before, but I think a lot of the game rides on Drew Little’s arm. Old Dominion is pretty stiff against the run – 3.6 yards per carry – and you know the struggles GSU has had running it. Further, ODU’s defense has allowed opposing passers to complete 63.7 percent of their passes, a pretty high number. Bill Curry said this week one particular unit he wanted to watch to see how it stacks up are the receivers. We’ll see how that goes. So, also to that end, tackles Grant King and Clyde Yandell will have to be on their games to slow down ODU defensive end Deron Mayo.

2) GStateBen passes along word that the game will be available at He also says that Six Feet Under has DirecTV, so no game watching there.

3) My guess is a big special teams play will factor one way or the …

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Christo Bilukidi Q&A

I promised you a Christo Bilukidi Q&A (whether you asked for one or not), and here it is. The defensive tackle has been among the most consistent and productive players for Georgia State this season. He comes to Atlanta with an unusual football past. The son of a diplomat, Bilukidi was born in Angola and lived in France and Brazil before moving to Canada at the age of eight, where he has lived ever since. He can tell the rest.

Q: What was it like living in such disparate places?

A: I was young so it really didn’t bother me. it wasn’t like I was 14, 13. I had friends from the school I went to but it wasn’t too big. The only big transition from Brazil to Canada was the weather, going from real hot real tropical weather to a really cold moderate weather.

Q: You played only one year of high school football. How much did you know about the game?

A: Not a lick. When I got to Canada, I had played soccer and then when I got to high school, I played baskeball and I was really good at …

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11 GSU-ODU facts

Greetings, all

I don’t have the second part of the CAA stuff yet. Hopefully before too long. But I wanted to toss some knowledge at you about the team and upcoming game against Old Dominion.

1. Expect some wrinkles. There are wrinkles every week – Drew Little has lined up at wide receiver with Kelton Hill at quarterback, for instance, – but this week could be a little different.

Likewise, Bill Curry figures ODU will have its own set of new stuff.

“How we try and anticipate what it will be, we look at where we’ve been weak, and where we’ve made mistakes, and we try to shore that up,” Curry said. “We know they’re going to attack us at certain points.”

2. Linebacker Evan Bostic will return after sitting out the last two games for what Curry called “minor infractions.” Louie Muasau has started the last three games at one of the inside linebacker spots and will remain the starter.

3. The Panthers brought out a pretty standard practice device this week to prepare for Old …

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CAA commish talks about GSU

Greetings, all-

Hope you’re well. I often have the hope of getting two blogs up in a day and today I’ve finally done it. I put in a call to CAA commissioner Tom Yeager for the story that ran today about Georgia State’s season-ending four-game run.

Yeager’s assessment on GSU in 2012: “They’ll be playing teams that have kids that have played a number of years, have started for a number of years, have been in the program. I’m sure the first couple seasons, there’s going to be some continued growing pains. (But) I don’t think there’s any question theyre going to be a competitor fairly quickly.”

We ended up talking about where GSU might land in 2012, which I’ll share with you. He said the plan is “to look at some type of divisional play” when GSU joins and the CAA goes back to 12 teams, which is what it was before Hofstra and Northeastern dropped football after the 2009 season.

The most obvious alignment – putting Georgia State in with the other southernmost schools, Richmond, …

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