Archive for October, 2010

Who’s the best start-up ever?

Greetings, all

Hope this finds you well. I don’t know if you read the story about Georgia State starting 5-2, but if you didn’t, here’s the link. But anyway, I said Tuesday I was going to compare Georgia State with other first-year teams and, if you read it, you realize that I didn’t do that. I had a lot of things I wanted to get into the story – some of which was on the blog Tuesday – but I was not able to, mostly because to touch on all the things I wanted to, the story probably would have had to be twice as long as it was.

Anyway, I did end up looking at the best start-ups, at least for FCS. It wasn’t quite as easy as I’d hoped. For one thing, do you include schools that had football previously and then started it again decades later? Plus, the  NCAA’s list of schools that have started football since 1968 doesn’t seem to be complete, which makes me wonder if there’s schools not listed that also were start-ups that I’m not aware of.

That said, here are my …

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GSU questions, answers

Greetings, all-

I am working on a story for Wednesday about the team’s 5-2 start and hoping to put that in some kind of perspective compared to other start-ups. For the story, I talked to Cheryl Levick and Bill Curry, who gave me a lot of time this past Thursday for the story. I’ll give you some snippets of the interview and also toss out a call for any questions you might have for Coach Curry. He has his weekly press conference today (Tuesday) at 1 p.m. I am not saying I will ask every question, but hopefully can get to at least a few.

CL on attendance:  “In July I thought, if I can get an average of 10,000 a game, I’ll be happy. And we are at 17, almost 18,000 a game, so I’m ecstatic about the attendance. That goes back to great support by the students,  faculty and staff, as well as alumni and fans . They’re coming and they’re enjoying it and they’re already passionate about the team.”

on kickoff times for 2011: “I’d like to do a survey of our season-ticket holders and …

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Looking back, looking forward

1. I am very interested to see how this game this Saturday. I don’t know that I’m even so interested in whether or not Georgia State wins or not more than just to see how the team stacks up, play to play, against Old Dominion.

I think Georgia State coaches have a lot of respect for what Old Dominion has done in two years, particularly going 9-2 in its first season. (From what I could tell, strength of schedule was roughly similar. Old Dominion’s 2009 schedule and GSU’s 2010 schedule have three common opponents, Campbell, North Carolina Central and Savannah State. The one exception, of course, is a certain Alabama state school on GSU’s schedule.)

The Monarchs, playing a tougher schedule this year, are 3-3. Regardless, it’ll be a good test. ODU can score and, its 50-37 loss to Cal-Poly two weeks ago (which is ranked No. 13, but will likely drop after losing Saturday) excepted, can play pretty good defense, also. Further, Old Dominion has had two weeks to get ready for the …

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Three post-game thoughts

Greetings, all-

Hope you enjoyed the game.  The team was as you might imagine exuberant over the win. I don’t think I’ve seen Bill Curry that excited a game except for maybe the first. Anyway, a few quick thoughts and I’ve got to get back to cranking out my stuff for Sunday.

1. A lot of resilience on the Georgia State sideline, starting with Kelton Hill. The quarterback fumbled his two first carries of the game, and I figured he was done for the day. However, Curry and offensive coordinator John Bond stuck with him, and he finished with 71 yards on nine carries and was one of the most dependable (following the fumbles) parts of the Panthers’ offense.

2. Best run defense effort of the year. After giving up 143 yards in the first half on the ground, Georgia State allowed only 32 in the second half and overtime. Adjustments were made and players tackled better. Defensive coordinator John Thompson said it was the best game the defensive line played of the season.

3. It was very …

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GSU game thread

Greetings, all

12:09 p.m. Hope you are on your way to the game or cozying up to your radio or, if in fact the game is on, firing up the laptop (though I can’t see how it would be, as I don’t believe the game is on TV anywhere except the end zone video boards.

Anyway, hope you read the Brent McClendon story in Saturday’s paper. He could be a star in the making, and as I wrote, I think it really says something that coaches put him at Gator (which I wrote about – it’s basically a roverback sort of position. In the words of defensive coordinator John Thompson, he can “sandlot” from that position. (One reason I appreciate Thompson is that he has no problem with making verbs out of nouns.) If you’re watching, if McClendon isn’t lined up over a wide receiver, he’s probably playing Gator. He played about 30 snaps there last Saturday.

One thing I will (hope to remember) to watch is how NCCU does on first down. North Carolina Central, I think, has a running game to be …

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Curry (avoids) talking about ‘Bama

Greetings, all-

Hope all are well. I’m finishing up work for the week and then will spend the rest of the day staring at a clock, counting down the minutes to kickoff. Or perhaps not.

A couple notes for you.

1. Don’t know if you read the notebook in Wednesday’s paper, but I had an item about someone asking Bill Curry at the press conference about Alabama losing to South Carolina, and if he was disappointed about not getting a chance to play the Crimson tide undefeated and No. 1. He said how if he or his team spends any time thinking about Alabama right now, “there won’t be anything left of us to play against that last team.”

I thought it was interesting that he didn’t refer to the Tide by name, although he did later. The rest of the answer:

“I watched the game. I’m a football guy. I couldn’t help but watch it. I was really impressed with the job that South Carolina did. I did not think that kind of performance was possible against this Alabama team. You just have to take your …

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About the Wildcat

Greetings, all-

I’m in the middle of working on a couple stories for the next few days (one is about Georgia State cornerback Brent McClendon), but had a few notes to offer.

1. There was a post on the last blog from GSUALumBaseball81 (I’m going to go out on a limb and guess he graduated from Georgia State in 1981 and played baseball. I will always remember 1981 as the baseball strike year.) about the possibility of Kelton Hill and Drew Little getting on the field at the same time.

I followed up, but will include a quote here from offensive coordinator John Bond. They ran that a couple times against Savannah State and I would expect we’ll see more of it Saturday. As I said in a post, a lot of it is to give opposing teams one more thing to work on in practice. Coaches seem to enjoy engaging in such subterfuge.

Bond (responding to a question about the intent of the package): “Double passes. Tricks. All those kinds of things. The possibilities are pretty endless. We try to be as …

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GSU’s Curry talks up NCCU

Greetings, all

Sorry for the delay. I’ll give you a few notes and let you get back to debating the relative merits of Georgia Southern and Georgia State.

1. It sounds like North Carolina Central should be pretty tough competition. Coach Bill Curry went on and on about the size of the Eagles’ players and their excellent special teams units. (He somehow neglected to mention that their kicker is 6 for 15 on field goals. In fairness, though, the Eagles have a returner who’s taken back two kickoffs for touchdowns.) But he’s right about the size. NCCU – I should point out it’s the “real” NCCU – has a 283-pound fullback, which I don’t think I’ve ever heard of before. The Eagles average 310 pounds across the line of scrimmage. Given the problems Georgia State has had defending the run, this could be problematic.

Nose guard Khiry Karriem and tackle Christo Bilukidi are going to have to have a man-up kind of day Saturday, I think.

2. I asked Curry if he thought Georgia State’s …

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Three post-game takes on GSU

Greetings, all

Hope you enjoyed the game. Not a bad performance for the mighty Georgia State Panthers.

1) Georgia State turned a corner. It’s the first time the team put two strong overall performances back-to-back. The easy thing to say is, Yes, but it was Morehead State and Savannah State, and that’s obviously the case. Regardless of who the opponent was, though, the Panthers played well enough to win on both sides of the ball – +3 in turnover ratio, outgained Savannah State 433-263,  a lot of big plays on both sides.

This is a very different team than the one that slopped past Campbell two Saturdays ago.

2) Cornerback and punt returner Demarius Matthews could be out. Coach Bill Curry called it a sprain and didn’t know more at the post-game press conference. Hopefully it’s a sprain and he’ll be back soon, but it didn’t look good.

3) Run game improves, but run defense can be better. Don’t know if you think it’s hunting for blemishes, but Savannah State did run the ball …

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Georgia State game thread

Greetings, all

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. …

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