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 put that on the coaches for not preparing players better and the players for not being ready to go.

2. What is particularly remarkable about how Drew Little is throwing the ball is that the offense is becoming increasingly one-dimensional and thus more predictable. South Alabama and Old Dominion, in particular, knew that Georgia State had to throw, and yet the Panthers were able to move the ball effectively in spite of that. Plaudits to the offensive line for effective pass blocking.

The Panthers have to get some semblance of a running game going by the time they go to Tuscaloosa, or I have to believe it will be all kinds of ugly. If the Tide can come after Little with little fear of a running game – perhaps the score will produce this situation anyway – that won’t be a good thing for Georgia State.

3. Coach Bill Curry noted after the game that South Alabama “wisely” decided to burn a year of eligibility last year with its freshman class by playing junior colleges and post-secondary academies. (Like Georgia State, South Alabama’s first class of players came in last fall.) Curry is unfailingly gracious to Georgia State opponents, but regardless it was an interesting choice of words for him to call their strategy wise. It’s obviously water way under the bridge, but it makes you wonder how things would have turned out if it had done as South Alabama had. Apparently, Curry might be wondering the same, also. He jokingly said he wished during the game that his team had played last year.

Of course, that’s Curry talking minutes after his team had gotten scorched by a team that was more experienced and simply better. This season would undoubtedly be different, but so would the 2013 season, when the current class of freshmen will be seniors and South Alabama’s first class will be out of eligibility.

46 comments Add your comment

GSU

October 31st, 2010
1:35 am

GSU

October 31st, 2010
1:44 am

No doubt GSU has the better strategy but we won’t know for sure for a couple years. Our running game is down right horrifying and defense is just as atrocious. This young team needs to learn to play 60 minutes! Period.

wsj

October 31st, 2010
2:11 am

Ken, we shouldn’t sweat ‘Bama. Nothing GSU does will make them competitive in that game. GSU should just go through the motions and pick up their paycheck. I’m guessing ‘Bama will pull their starters no later than the first half and let their 2nd and 3rd stringers finish the game.

Realistically, Lamar is GSU’s last game and hopefully they are not a great running team.

83 Alum

October 31st, 2010
2:49 am

At least we did not lose to Florida.

Come on Bill.. We could be almost undefeated. Just a little better. JSU and SA…..

Ken Sugiura

October 31st, 2010
5:39 am

wsj – i hear you, and appreciate the comments. it’s not that i am counting on the game to be competitive. it’s more the scope of the loss.

VSU Alumnus

October 31st, 2010
6:59 am

“Be patient,Grasshopper”, said the Master. “But Master, I want to be playing for a BCS national championship while a member of the Big East Conference with in 6 years”.The Master replied,”These things take time.You must first establish a winning tradition on the 1-AA level and build relationships with high school coaches for a recruiting feeder system.Do not become impatient.Play in state schools to build exposure and reduce travel cost. Valdosta State is a great place to start. Play home and away and invite coaches and recruits to the game.Do this and you will find happiness”.
Then Grasshopper said to the Master. “Why are we both bald headed???”. The master replied,”Shut up and stop asking stupid questions”.

Patience my friends. Patience. BTW…VSU looked horrible on offense yesterday.Our QB threw 3 ints. We won 21-7.

GS

October 31st, 2010
8:32 am

I don’t think eligibility at South Alabama is an issue. Teh NCAA ruled that becuase South is an unclassified program, playing last year does not count against their eligibility. Freshmen that came in and played in 2009 still had 4 years of eligibility left (2010-2013). Freshmen that came in and played in 2010 will also still have 4 years of eligibility left (2011-2014). Whether they played or didn’t play did not impact their remaining eligibility.

Debbie Downer

October 31st, 2010
9:29 am

If SOUTH Alabama puts up 293 rushing yards on us, how many will the REAL Alabama get?

SarasotaJaguar

October 31st, 2010
9:41 am

GS is correct. Playing last year wasn’t counted against eligibility left. Numerous players from other schools i.e. VA Tech, Alabama, Ole Miss transferred to South and could play. They didn’t lose any eligibility either.

Nurse Jag

October 31st, 2010
9:49 am

Ken,

The players that we brought in last year and this year don’t lose any eligibility. 5 years to play 5. It’s essentially a “playing redshirt” because we are unclassified. When we’re playing teams like Tennessee, Navy, Troy, and Middle Tennessee, we’ll have guys with 4 and 5 years of starting experience.

P.S. So many Georgia State fans made fun of our schedule and told me that playing against a “bunch of glorified high schools” wouldn’t prepare us for “big boy football.” Obviously, your coach feels otherwise

GSUAlum

October 31st, 2010
9:52 am

Went to the game, wish I hadn’t. Seem to be getting worse instead of better. Cannot expect offense to put up 30+ points per game. Defensive coaches need to do a better job scouting. Very embarrassing loss not for the kids but the coaches. Don’t meen to be a hater, love GSU but really, Lambuth, ODU, giving up 21 to SSU? Cudos to USA looks like your team is on the right track!! Your parking sucks though….lol

Go Panthers!!

October 31st, 2010
12:43 pm

Everyone slags USA for their soft schedule.

But I’ve always felt that it was good in that it builds a “winner’s” attitude. Winning is a habit, and USA has shown that they’ve developed it.

On the other hand, what does it say when the cupcakes we scheduled give us all sorts of fits?

I know nobody likes the thought of playing a bunch of cupcake teams next year, but maybe it’s something we ought to do.

Build for 2012.

GSUAlum

October 31st, 2010
3:09 pm

Seriously, who have we played?
Shorter (5-4)
Lambuth (3-5)
Campbell (2-6)
Morehead State (3-5)
Savannah State (0-8)
North Carolina Central (3-5)
Lamar (3-5)

Panama

October 31st, 2010
3:41 pm

@GSUAlum: 6 FCS opponents in year one so far. This week will make it 7 and then of course we end with one FBS opponent. It is arguably with Jacksonville State and Alabama the toughest schedule for a first year start up ever especially since USA may be unclassified but they are as good as us and ODU.

@Ken: Sorry I did not figure out who you were until after takeoff yesterday. Brain Fart moment.

GS

October 31st, 2010
3:59 pm

GSUAlum – You are correct – parking sucks! But give us a few years and (hopefully) we will have an on campus stadium where the game experience can match the game! Schedule for South picks up next year with NC State and Kent State and then a full Sun Belt Schedule in 2012 along with NC STate and MIssissippi State. (I just as glad we aren’t getting a ‘piece’ of Alabama!) It will be fun to see where both of these upstart programs are in a few years,

Panama

October 31st, 2010
4:07 pm

@GS…why not just renovate Ladd instead of spending $60-$100 million for a new stadium? Plus off campus = Beer. ;)

wsj

October 31st, 2010
4:30 pm

Ken, the scope of GSU’s loss will be whatever Alabama chooses.

Ken Sugiura

October 31st, 2010
4:55 pm

Nurse Jag – are you positive that’s right? because, for one thing, usa did play an ncaa four-year school (the last one of the season). plus, players like the randomly selected josh chestang who played last year as freshmen are listed as sophomores. http://bit.ly/9Xoi3v

panama – no worries. i should have introduced myself.

jtaylor27

October 31st, 2010
5:25 pm

Defense and a running game…things we have lacked all season long. Now that we’re playing serious competition, our serious problems have been exposed. It’s year one, so hopefully we’ll make some strides this off-season.

Nurse Jag

October 31st, 2010
6:45 pm

Josh Chestang entered school in fall of 2008. He was a redshirt freshman last year.

Panther08

October 31st, 2010
7:17 pm

1. We may possibly need to switch to a 4-3 base defense instead of a 3-4…..with that being said we will need to recruit defensive lineman…HARD!!!

2. The problem with the run game is toooooooo many zone/stretch plays. Our offensive line (the left side) has great college football experience. We need to get more of a straight ahead run game. Ideally, we could be able to do this with a FullBack….and thus again we need to be trying to recruit a couple of strong fullback.

3. With my previous two statements being about recruiting at positions we are not particularly strong at….How is our recruiting class shaping up?

Panama

October 31st, 2010
8:08 pm

RE DL: It will take time. The 3-4 takes time to install in the NFL with highly paid, experienced , 27 year old resources. We are dealing with 18 and 19 year old kids. Contrary to popular belief Defensive Line play is not just “Bash the Guy in Front of You With a Club”. There is an art that has to be learned and few if any high schools run the 3-4. It’s asking some kids to re-learn some skills and techniques. I would hate to play this very physically talented, heavily stunting and by then very experienced defense in 2012.

TampaGator

October 31st, 2010
8:37 pm

Georgia State has a football team? Wow.

No…seriously…a football team. Have they already given up on basketball?

Seriously….when are they going to get a baseball team? They may have a chance at winning in baseball…don’t you think.

Seriously…..I hope Georgia State knocks of Alabama when they play them. The odds are good….don’t you think. By the way….what genius scheduled that game….in the first year of your program? I am sure it will be against Bama’s practice squad, right? You might have a chance it that was the case.

Seriously….I hope you guys built a solid football program and stop playing Alabama…ever again. Stick with Newsome State….better idea.

TampaGator

October 31st, 2010
8:39 pm

Seriously….I am just having some fun. Georgia State is a great school with an excellent business program….I hired some really good people from there….but playing a football game against Bama in your first year….NOT SMART.

Panama

October 31st, 2010
8:48 pm

Yep, not smart. Just a $435k payday and maybe $10 million in free publicity since the game was announced. Not to mention having your university’s commercial played on a nationally televised Thursday Night Football game on ESPN. Oh and there’s the fact that this group of 18 and 19 year olds will never fear another team ever after they stare down the beast on Nov 18th. Just not smart.

JagMan

October 31st, 2010
9:11 pm

Ken, Nurse Jag has it right. It doesn’t matter that USA played four year schools, what matters is the unclassified status. With that ruling from the NCAA, yesterday’s starting QB, CJ Bennett, is eligible until 2014 since he essentially redshirting while he plays. We had a great recruiting class last year because of this selling point.

Ken Sugiura

October 31st, 2010
9:28 pm

wow. that’s remarkable, nurse jag and jagman. game experience with no loss to eligibility. i can see why curry would approve.

SouthJag

October 31st, 2010
11:23 pm

Why Curry would approve? Apparently, Curry wasn’t even aware of the guys free year to play last year!! So much for researching a start up program.

FYI – The only players who don’t get the “free year” are players who previously burned their redshirt year. Players that played last year were technically classified as being redshirted. Thus, if a player already burned his red shirt year before transferring in, he does not get to take advantage of that. This was the last year that that was in effect. Next year will be the last year that a FBS player can transfer to us and not have to sit out a year.

Ken – I’d be curious for you to broach this subject again with CBC and see what his response is. After all, doesn’t that totally negate his argument against putting together a schedule for GaSt last year then?

SouthJag

October 31st, 2010
11:33 pm

I’m curious if, after the clarification from Jag fans about our players eligibility status, if you still think you have/had the better strategy?

The majority of our players will be around come 2013, and this past signing class in 2014.

SouthJag

October 31st, 2010
11:43 pm

@ Panama – Actually, we sell beer at on-campus sporting events. Plus, Ladd Peebles is city owned, which we need/want to get away from, isn’t in a great part of town, and just isn’t the same as the environment as an on-campus facility. Talks are happening now. They won’t publicly acknowledge it (getting use of Ladd Peebles for free so why piss anybody off), but we’ll have a stadium on campus either by the time we are full FBS (2013) or the year after.

Old Jaguar

October 31st, 2010
11:56 pm

$435K and 10 Million in free pub. I guess any time your name gets mentioned it is good…even if you are called stupid. Kent State is getting 1.2 million for their game next year against Bamer. USA will not play a money game for less than 900K.
I guess $ 435 will rehab a lot of those broken bodies. Next time you decide to offer up your young to the football gods get more Money . And you still get the free pub.

GSU

November 1st, 2010
12:21 am

Who cares about USA’s strategy. The game is over…you won, congratulations. See you in the dome next year!

Panama

November 1st, 2010
9:24 am

@GSU: Exactly!

GStateBen

November 1st, 2010
9:47 am

@Old Jaguar $435K is about as much as any FCS school can get from an FBS school. South Alabama will get more money because they are reclassifying FBS by 2012. The only reason Kent State is getting twice as much because they are an FBS school and that helps Alabama in the BCS standings. From the BCS’ computer’s POV the game on Nov. 18th isn’t even played. That’s why it’s likely that Alabama will stay in the exact same position or even drop on the Nov. 21 BCS standings.

Beat Lamar!

Mobileman

November 1st, 2010
11:41 am

Ken, I think (not sure) that NCAA rules may be different for schools moving to BCS (like USA) versus schools moving to FCS (like GSU). Elligibility may have been an issue for GSU, but it wasn’t for USA. In fact, I am not sure that the USA coaches fully realized that before they began. Just one of those kwirky things, I guess.

GSU

November 1st, 2010
1:25 pm

@Mobileman, USA is going FBS, not BCS–stark difference there.

GSU Alum 98

November 1st, 2010
3:28 pm

Hey y’all, just glad I still had my wheels after having to park in some crackheads front yard. Seriously though, met some REALLY nice USA folks, beer was only $3 and two USA fans offered to buy me beer!!!! Wish we would have one but there’s always next year. Oh, by the way, for the USA fans that might come to the dome next year, plan on spending a lot more on concessions. You will like the parking though.

Goose

November 1st, 2010
4:56 pm

Was really hoping for a stop on that last USA drive while listening to the game on 88.5. We had a lot of momentum. Oh well, a lot of lessons learned from this game and season. We all know our weaknesses. Not sure we can even solve them for this game. Regardless, I’m proud of this team for showing fight. I question play calling and coaching quite a bit, but overall we should have success in 2012. Last home game of the year. BEAT LAMAR!!!

RoguePanther

November 1st, 2010
5:26 pm

Sorry to say, but the Panthers are destined to repeat their freshman year for 2011, also the Coaches do not seem to get the good grade to keep their hope scholarship.
But oh, no, they will get paid anyway, no grading system, not f-a-i-r.

Two more games to go, I will back you up since I’m a Panther.

Let’s get ‘em Lamar this Saturday, get some respect back, boys!!!!!

GO PANTHERS!!!!!!

VSU Alumnus

November 1st, 2010
7:46 pm

On campus stadiums….beer sells…..$$$ games vs. SEC teams…..conference memberships…..FCS vs BCS ??? I know I’m just some guy from South Georgia and must not be very smart ,but I’m REALLY confused. VSU plays in Valdosta High School’s stadium,does not sell beer,does not play $$$ games ( because no one will schedule us) and we play in division 2. WHAT ABOUT WINNING FOOTBALL GAMES!!! Sorry, I lost it for a minute. Must be the native Valdostan in me. Go Panthers and Blazers. Call us for a game.

GSUAlumBaseball81

November 1st, 2010
9:59 pm

@ All of the blogging Jag fans

Welcome to the AJC and ATL! A little more happening here than in Mobile! Went to the game and have to say you must build stadium on campus!!! Bad part of town! You will be the laughing stock of FBS football if you make visiting fans travel and attend games at Ladd Pebbles!!! No parking and very seedy area. On the other hand, USA has a good start to a program. Overall quality of players at most positions were good. Skill players on offense were especially impressive (C.J. Bennett and Courtney Smith)! Not sure about eligibilty, but I would suspect players that started in 2008 might get a little burned out by 2013-14 don’t you think??!! I think this issue may set off an NCAA investigation of sorts! Better be sure of your strategy in the Redneck Riveria. I believe that Panther08 may be on to something! We may need to look at the 4-3 defense since we are not even coming close to stopping the run. If we could reverse this issue, I believe we could have changed 3 of the 4 losses so far this year. We need a big running back and better tackling and quickness on defense. Also, the absence of Bo Schlechter punting the football against USA was a deciding factor in the first half! Ken, how long will Bo be out? Finally, to TampaGator you’re correct GSU has an excellent Business school, Law school and other majors. GSU won the CAA in Baseball in 2009 and participated in the NCAA playoffs but got defeated in the first or second round. Baseball in Georgia is alive and well and has been for many years. No worries there! Finally, I am very proud of our first year Panther football team. Sure it would be great to be 9-0 but we have played schools other than Junior Colleges and Military Academies. We are moving in the right direction and I believe we can take this program forward with the coaches and players we currently have and the future recruits we secure. Look forward to the Lamar game at the DOME (CONCRETE JUNGLE) as well as seeing our team face off with BAMA. We may not win at BAMA but we will not back down! Our kids have alot of heart and they will go the distance. Much more so than alot of you nay sayers out there that probably have some regets in your closets!!! GO PANTHERS!!!!!!!!!!

GSU to Pac 10

November 2nd, 2010
8:23 am

You call Mobile a road trip? Wake me when we play Oregon.

GSU_MEX_PANTHER

November 2nd, 2010
1:53 pm

So I hear from several players that Star Jackson is looking at transferring again… What a shame that we didn’t play him more to see if he really could have been the star quarterback we need. Not saying that Little is bad by any means.

Also, the scuffle on the sideline the other day was because Drew is targeting his friend Danny Williams and some of the other WR are feeling left out(Haynes).

GSUtimes2

November 2nd, 2010
2:26 pm

I’d hate to see Star go because I believe he is a good quarterback. It’s tough to have that situation, but I’d rather have three good than none. As I understand, Star came to this program late (June/July of this year?) and had a lot of learning/catching up on the play book to do. He may have started too far behind Drew to catch up. Where is he looking?

drzlstrangelovejr

November 2nd, 2010
5:20 pm

Excuse me, could you direct me to the georgia southern eagle blog?

jim

November 2nd, 2010
6:54 pm

It’s amazing how we look pass Kelton Hill. I see nothing but excitment when he comes into the game. I also see the opposing teams scrambling trying to make ajustments when he enters the game. I REALLY wish GSU would give him a chance to show what he is capable of doing, before he get decide to leave our program.