Just settled into the press box at the Georgia Dome. Looking for a strong performance today from Georgia State. First impressions of Savannah State – they didn’t bring many people. I’m counting roughly 50-55 players in uniform for the Tigers.
Here’s my fearless prediction for the game. I think Star Jackson will either score or throw for a touchdown. Also, Georgia State will have its first 100-yard rusher. I’ll go with the chalk and go with Travis Evans. Those of you checking in before game time are welcome to make your own predictions.
Here are two Savannah State facts, the first courtesy of Georgia State sports information guru Mike Holmes. The Tigers have yet to play a home game this season. They’ve played five games, three on the road and two more neutral site. They won’t be at home until November 13.
The second: Savannah State actually used to be called Georgia State. It was founded in 1890 in Athens as the Georgia State Industrial College for Colored Youth. It moved the next year to Savannah. In 1932, the school changed its name to Georgia State College. (The school that would eventually became Georgia State University at the time was called the Georgia Tech Evening School of Commerce, which, among other things, would be pretty hard to fit on a uniform.)
At some point between 1949 and 1963 (the Savannah State website is a little fuzzy), the school changed its name to Savannah State College, and then became a university in 1996.
The Atlanta Division of the University of Georgia became Georgia State College in 1961 and then GSU in 1969.
Something tells me this won’t have a lot of bearing on the game. I just thought it was interesting.
Something a little more pertinent that hopefully I’ll write more about later. Watch for cornerback Brent McClendon in a position called “Gator.” He was working at it this week. Defensive coordinator John Thompson calls it a hybrid safety/outside linebacker/nickel back position. Where McClendon normally lines up opposite a receiver, when he plays Gator he’ll line up more or less where you’d put a safety.
Said Thompson, “You’ve got to have some savvy back there and we’d give him some freedom with some things but also kind of just let him not so much freelance, but we let him kind of sandlot a little bit back there and make some plays, hopefully.”
Obviously, it’s a position where you put playmakers, and McClendon has revealed himself to be such a player.