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 the play-action pass in favor of another Watson run, planning to save the play-action pass for fourth down. However, Watson got dropped for a two-yard loss, putting the Panthers on the 4-yard line.

At that point, Georgia State had to go for the field goal, as going for it fourth-and-goal from the 4 and passing up a fairly certain field goal was too great a risk.

“You kind of wonder ‘what if?’” Bond said. “That’s just football. It happens sometimes.”

3. A rather remarkable thing about Old Dominion’s 229-yard rushing performance. The longest run was 23 yards. Even more so, in 43 rushes, there were only two negative-yard rushes.

It was a little bit like watching Georgia Tech sometimes. Fairly innocent handoffs up the middle ended up going for 10 yards a pop because someone was out of place, which is what option football will do.

“You had to be exactly right and they would pick up on a mistake,” defensive coordinator John Thompson said. “A guy was supposed to be inside and he ended up outside. He was supposed to be outside and he ended up being inside. They attacked us that way.”

4. As you might imagine, Curry was not happy about the four personal foul penalties in the last 17 minutes of the game. He called it “unacceptable.” He wasn’t much happier about the four fumbles, either.

He and others took some solace that Georgia State never gave up. The Panthers drove for touchdowns twice in the fourth quarter, for whatever that is worth.

“I’ve been around some football teams that would have checked it in,” Bond said. “They didn’t. They kept battling.”

32 comments Add your comment

Go Panthers!!

October 24th, 2010
5:38 am

They may not have quit in the 4th quarter, but they sure did in the 2nd and 3rd.


October 24th, 2010
7:29 am

Old Dominion is a model that GS should follow close. It is downtown commuter school with an average looking campus except for its outstanding athletic facilities. They are 2nd to none in Div 1-AA or even some Div 1-A schools. 11.000 plus season tickets and sell outs every home game with ticket prices that are family affordable. They are the largest city in America that does not have a major pro franchise and that is tipping the scales in their favor in attendance and enthusiasm, to be sure. GS has so much potential, I hope they will maximize their advantages and bring this program along following the outline of success at ODU.


October 24th, 2010
7:37 am

I should have said; they are the largest metroploitan area in America that does not have a major pro franchise. My bad!


October 24th, 2010
8:04 am

Watched on ODU TV. Very enthused about the engery we played with for the first 20 minutes, really had them reeling. Also glad to see that we fought to the very end and if we had scored a TD when we were inside the 10 late in the 3rd, the score would have been 24-14 and who knows?
Several observations:
1. Drew is riding a no interception streak that should have ended several times, he got lucky.
2. Disappointed, as many are, with the lack of consistant running game, time to get Evans 20+ carries as I see him as the #1 traditional run threat. Then spread the carries among Hill and Lee and Watson.
3. The Red Zone running game is awful. Need a “Jumbo” set with three tight ends and a guard at fullback with Cole Moon carrying the ball inside the 5. The best play in football is “Power” where all the linemen block down, you kick out the DE and a Fullback isolates the LB with the tail right behind him. Plus all the complementary plays off the power play. Toss, Play action, Bootleg………
4. I thought that we were best on Defense when we brought pressure, ie. 5 or 6 rushers. When we did we really made the QB throw much more quickly and we blew up the running lanes better than being passive.
5. Lost oppurtunities early on the road. If we score 10 points instead of 6 early and if we get just 3 more in the second and capitalize on the oppurtunity late in the third combined with just on more stop in the third and its a different game.
6. Not discouraged though, just disappointed. Much better after 8 games than we realistically could have hoped for, now play with intensity at SA and take care of business at home vs. Lamar and go have fun at Tuscaloosa in the Bowl Game.
7. 7-4 a real possibility……………..


October 24th, 2010
8:19 am

Okay, I have slept on the ODU game and I know this to be a current fact of GSU football. We can’t seem to run the ball consistently nor can we stop the run consistently. No excuses there. Also, fumbles and penalties killed our momentum after the first quarter. On the offensive side of the ball, I do not believe it is so much of a personnel issue as much as I believe it’s a play selection issue. It’s as though we telegraph our running plays to the point that the opposing defense was tackling us in the backfield a great deal of the time. I cannot believe our offensive line is being dominated that badly!!! If so we need to get tougher off the ball. I liked the way ODU used the option style miss direction hand offs. It seemed to keep our defense off balance after the first quarter! Can you imagine Little’s passing game if we had a good running game? Also, no doubt the officials were a little biased as I witnessed numerous ODU holding infractions by their offensive line and especially their wide outs in our secondary. Also, their defenders were all over our recievers holding and play grab butt when the ball was in the air! Our interior defensive lineman were thrown to the ground numerous times and unless your are chop blocking there were ODU hands involved to accomplish this feat. My goodness they finally called holding on ODU at the very end of the game when one of their wide recievers literally threw our defensive back to the ground by his shoulder pads! Also, Danny Williams did not fumble as the replay showed his knee was down. Even my wife called this as she has only been into football for about 5 to 6 years! She is now a HUGE fan and watches plays like a hawk! The honest official called Danny down but he was overruled by the over zealous Head Referee. I believe he was an ODU Alum! Additionally, their secondary was ripping the ball out of our hands everytime we broke into the secondary. They looked more like a rugby team than a football team! What’s up with that? I believe college football needs to address this issue along with the timing of last second freezing of field goal kickers! Tackling an offensive player does not mean “hey let’s all three of us defenders in the secondary grab joe running back or reciever you get him high and I get him low, hold him up off the ground and I’ll take the crowbar and pry the ball out of his arms”!!! As I said earlier, we can expect a little home cooking at an away game but come on I hope these officials are not what we can expect in the CAA. A little Northern Favortism ya think?!!! All said it is still no excuse when we dominated the first quarter and then did not show up in the second or third. I think not scoring a touchdown in the Red Zone the first two opportunities turned the tide of the game. Play selection could have been the culprit! Did you notice that the ODU fans were quite as a mouse in the first quarter? Well enough about the ODU game. We will learn and build from this experience and the Panthers never gave up and I still believe we are well on the way to building a great football tradition at GSU. GO PANTHERS!!!


October 24th, 2010
8:52 am

Everything I saw yesterday I have been seeing since the Shorter game–with the exception of the fumbles. Our defense is either being out-schemed, or simply isn’t playing their assignments. On some level, I guess that’s to be expected, but it’s not like these guys have never played football (too late in the year for the “first-year program” excuse). The offense…well, this is what I worried about earlier in the year. Little needs a consistent running game to be consistent. If we have no running game, we need a mobile quarterback. We have two of those, but Hill seems to have passing limitations, and–because of lack of reps, I’m assuming–Jackson has been less than effective when he’s been given a chance. Both sides of the ball need work, I just hope that we end the year on a good note.

Panther Fan

October 24th, 2010
10:28 am

Little was not the reason we lost this game. Anytime you throw the ball 53 times in a game, you have to expect some of them to be tough throws into tight coverage when the defense is droppping 7 or 8 players into pass coverage. We have to develop a consistent running game, we have to hold on to the ball and we have to eliminate the costly penalties. These are all signs of a young and inexperienced team, but I have faith in Coach Curry and the team will learn from their mistakes.


October 24th, 2010
12:14 pm

ODU has waited for football since I was a student in the early 70s. Unlike Atlanta, there was really not much available but high school football. ODU fans will be content to play in the CAA with nearby rivals like William and Mary. We have developed fierce rivalries with these schools over the years in basketball. ODU fans are not bombarded with constant Alabama, Florida and Auburn talk. The only dog I ever heard bark in Norfolk was a Michael Vick pitbull. GSU will have a difficult time pulling in fans with CAA games in the future. There is really no regional rivalry to be found in the CAA for GSU. It will be interesting to see if Kennesaw and GSU eventually follow similar conference goals. Meanwhile, you are having a great startup year at GSU. Good luck!


October 24th, 2010
1:49 pm

I knew CBC would be livid about those personal fouls. that was just bush league stuff. pouting because we’re losing.


October 24th, 2010
3:32 pm

mnbatty…you are right about natural rivals for GSU is lacking. But GSU has great potential and following ODU’s example is a great formula for success. There is many other things they could work with to develop interest and enthusiasm. For one big thing, the hs football is sooooo much beter in Georgia than it is in Virginia. Getting their share of good players will go a long way to creating interest in the community.

VSU Alumnus

October 24th, 2010
4:50 pm

HELLO…….Its me again. Are you aware that there is an in state university 4 hours south of Atlanta called Valdosta State and they too need natural rivals.There is no rule forbidding teams from different divisions from playing each other. Example Alabama vs. Georgia State. Call us. We will gladly come to the dome. Pick up the phone. Do it now. Go Panthers and Blazers!!!


October 24th, 2010
5:10 pm

Give credit to ODU. They did a good job. It seems like we aren’t executing and are then unwilling to take a few chances. At this point in the season, I’m not willing to say “oh, we are a new team, we’ll get it right eventually.” The fact is that we have shown that we are a lot better than a new start up and the first quarter showed we are able to hang with a good team. I fully believe we can beat South Alabama and Lamar.

VSU alum, I think you probably would have made a better first game than Shorter. Maybe 3rd year if next year isn’t available.

VSU Alumnus

October 24th, 2010
6:54 pm

Gee……I’m feeling better now. We are “probably” a better game than Shorter. They are NAIA and considering moving to NCAA D2 with Valdosta State and into the Gulf South Conference with VSU.That means that Shorter is willing to step up to the plate and play us. FYI.. Lambuth is considering the move to the Gulf South as well. Step up to the plate and let’s play. Good luck the rest of the way out and we hope to see you in the future. Go Panthers and Blazers!!!!!


October 24th, 2010
7:02 pm

Coach, PLEASE start using the I formation!!!!! Put Burkhalter in there as fullback and POUND the ball down the middle. This wildcat/Slashback crap is KILLING US!! John Thompson needs to tell his MLB’s to protect the crossing routes but more importantly STAY AT HOME and protect the RUN!!!! We obviously lost the game because of turnovers so we we’re doomed anyway but PLEASE PLEASE start running the I formation!!!!!!!


October 24th, 2010
7:41 pm

I’d imagine that GSU’s 2011 season is set or almost set and I’ve not heard VSU mentioned as an opponent. The year after that GSU plays the CAA which is 8 games leaving only 3 games outside of conference play. Ga. State will probably look for one FBS money game. I doubt GSU would use VSU for one of those remaining two games. Chattanooga, Ga Southern, Furman, Savannah State are more likely. Best local rivals are Ga Southern and soon Kennesaw State.


October 24th, 2010
7:42 pm

I Formation!!!! I Formation!!!! I Formation!!!! I Formation!!!! I Formation!!!! I Formation!!!! I Formation!!!! I Formation!!!! I Formation!!!! I Formation!!!! I Formation!!!! I Formation!!!!


October 24th, 2010
7:54 pm

I think Shorter was probably a better move for the team than Valdosta because, well, Valdosta is a much better team than Shorter. A win couldn’t be guaranteed against Valdosta


October 24th, 2010
9:25 pm

If you actually become a consistent winning program– rivals will naturally develop………………


October 24th, 2010
9:42 pm

If you can’t run the ball, stop the run, and lose the turnover margin, then you have no shot. Get back to work and get better!


October 24th, 2010
9:43 pm

@ itsmeagain

The Lambuth game had an uninspiring 12,000 fans. With 30,000 screaming fans at the first game, I think the Panthers could’ve whipped any team. ;)


October 24th, 2010
10:21 pm

Ominously , there were only about 75 fans (according to one report) that made the 8 hour drive. This should set off alarm bells for the athletic department. When football becomes old hat at GSU ,how many fans will turn out on the road ? For that matter ,when a northern team comes to the dome , will fans pass up FBS on TV or UGA games (in person) to attend ?

GSU is doing a great thing with football. But they need to attract fans and customers. Its hard to sell unknown northern teams to knowledgeable southern football fans.

Just a thought…


October 24th, 2010
10:36 pm

I think 75 fans is a miracle. I don’t know how they managed it, I certainly couldn’t. Regarding Valdosta as the first game, I drove to see VSU win the national championship three years ago I think, they’re certainly not a team to look over


October 24th, 2010
10:37 pm

ODU and Georgia State will be the powers in the conference before to long. I lived in Atlanta for the last 7yrs and grew-up in Norfolk and i know the area produces lots of talent! There was a artical in the USA paper several years ago rating the Hampton roads area the 4th highest for talent in the country i don’t remember what Atlanta’s was but i’m sure there close. Can’t wait to see it all unfolds in the next 5yrs.

playing time

October 24th, 2010
11:32 pm

GSU needs to recruit a big athletic JUCO nose tackle if they are going to run the 3-4, otherwise they will continue to struggle stopping the run.

Debbie Downer

October 25th, 2010
8:34 am

If OD got more then 200 yards rushing against the Panthers, what will Alabama do?


October 25th, 2010
10:09 am

Soooo Ken…

Since you already used up “Trounced” this week, what are you going to use for November 18th? Dont answer that. I still have faith.

VSU Alumnus

October 25th, 2010
10:33 am

Be patient in building your program.It may take years because there is a real element of luck here. Southern got lucky early with Erk. He was a legend that every recruit in the state knew.It took VSU about 12 years of .500 records before we got lucky with Coach Hal Mumme and a short private school QB from the Macon area named Chris Hatcher.Mumme and Hatcher captured everyone imagination with a wide open passing offense. When Hatch took over as coach in 2000 he took it to another level when he got lucky and brought Dusty Bonner from Kentucky with him.He also had two more D1 transfer receivers to throw too.Now VSU is known as a passing school that recruits want to go to.TIME and LUCK. You need both. Go Panthers and Blazers!!!!


October 25th, 2010
10:55 am

@Playing Time. We have a JUCO NG in Khiry Karriem and a freshman 300lbs. NG in Terrance Woodward from Ocilla, GA. The defensive line wasn’t the issue on Saturday as the linebackers missed a tremendous amount of tackles and were out of position over and over leading to us not being able to stop the run. We played a Cover 1 and Cover 2 zone in points and that puts the pressure on the LBs to make plays.

The consensus about the fumbles is this, if the turnover margin is -4 the game shouldn’t have been a 2 touchdown margin. ODU couldn’t stop our offense and if you see where two of the fumbles occured (one on the ODU 48 in the 2nd Q and the other was on the ODU 29 to begin the 4th) you’ll see an even game.

The team will learn from this and again, a tremendous effort by Drew and he’s thrown 189 passes without an INT. That’s big league folks.

On to South Alabama!


October 25th, 2010
11:51 am

Better than expeced score with ODU. But there are many good and bad shown in the plays by the players and coaches.
Talking about the Foundamental is one thing, but practicing is another.
It’s not easy to do.

The selection of the plays is responsible by the coaches, and their executions are by the players,
Both group can screw it up, but the coaches must be better to gude the boys to suceed since they know the capabilites of the boys.

It’s a slippery ball, everybody knows that. But my daughter said I don’t lose my candy like that.
It’s a kid talk what she knows.

Panther boys learn another lesson, we will be far better when meeting Bama boys.

Go Panthers!!!!!


October 25th, 2010
12:08 pm

Okay, you’re on your first drive of the game against the home team ODU and you’ve drove the ball down their throats to their 2 yard line with a 6′5″ 250 lb. quarterback at the helm. What is the logical first play you might consider??? How about a quarterback sneak? Or better yet you’ve run the ball down to the 2 yard line successfully maybe find your giant tight end for the score. I believe that broke out pyschological back and if that one didn’t the second similar result did for sure!


October 25th, 2010
8:14 pm

Well, GSU tried a quarterback sneak against NCCU to ice the game but it didn’t work. Drew is a big guy but he can’t guarantee 2 yards much less 1. Football is full of tough breaks and disappointments and it’s the teams that can overcome them in the course of a game that win. I will always remember a coach telling his team that in football, bad things happen, it’s the nature of the game, but you can’t dwell on them, you have to out and try again.


October 26th, 2010
5:13 pm

GSU needs to utilize a quarterback with mobility, who can extend the defense. Hill can throw the ball and the only limitations are the coaches. This kid threw the ball before and during the spring, so I say let him throw the ball and utilize his ability to extend the field. T