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.”