Preparation for Alabama begins

Greetings, all-

Hope you’re well and gearing up for next week’s visit to Tuscaloosa. A few notes from being at practice Thursday morning.

1. It has been and will be relatively light through Thursday. Coaches are giving a lot of work to backups to help starters get their legs back. They’re doing a lot of fundamentals work, giving extra time to guys that don’t normally get it. Bill Curry compared it to what happens in bowl preparation. Further, some of the coaches are out on the road recruiting.

Coaches began game planning Tuesday and it’ll continue. The first day of the normal game-week preparation will be Sunday. Curry said something interesting about that that I think will make its way into a story I’m working on.

“When you plan against people like this, you’re real happy for extra time,” he said. “You can watch them for two hours and there’s no obvious weakness. It doesn’t just jump out, O.K., we can run at this guy because we can knock him down. You can’t find one like that.”

2. Some news on the injury front. Linebacker Olufemi Opanubi was out at practice, running under supervision. He saw me and said he planned to play against Alabama. You’ll remember last week Curry said he was done for the year. Curry said it would be “a record” for recovery from surgery. Opanubi had his partially torn meniscus repaired Nov. 1.

Bo Schlechter was also at practice after missing the past two games with a right knee injury. Curry said it was an odd thing – an MRI showed that he had a stress fracture in his knee but then he took another one and the fracture was gone and it was merely a bad bruise. Curry said he “kicked the stuffings out of the ball” without pain Thursday.

I’d say it’s very unlikely he’ll go at wide receiver, but pretty likely he’ll be able to punt. Just don’t expect him to run down Marquis Maze, Alabama’s punt returner.

3. I talked to Star Jackson after practice. He is naturally looking forward to playing and hoping to get on the field.

Some quotes: “It’s been a rough [season]. It’s been pretty tough to just sit here and watch.”

“It’s pretty hard for a guy, any player, just to sit and watch. But it is what it is.”

4. If you’re on the fence about going to the game, you might be interested to know tickets aren’t too expensive. They can be had for $25 on stubhub.

5. I happened to follow Curry out of the parking lot after practice and onto the Connector. You’ll be pleased and probably not surprised to know that he drives the speed limit.

6. Lastly, I was just curious – will any of you make it to all 11 games? Please e-mail me (ksugiura at ajc.com) and let me know. I was thinking it’d make for a good tidbit in a story at some point next week.

44 comments Add your comment

Panama

November 11th, 2010
4:19 pm

Sorry Ken, Only making 9. Maye Proudpanther is running the table.

1st?

Debbie Downer

November 11th, 2010
4:36 pm

I would hope that Mr. Opanubi takes it easy and doesn’t rush back. This has nothing to do with Alabama – I hope he doesn’t expose himself to further injury when he could just wait for next year.

Panama

November 11th, 2010
4:44 pm

Yeah but to miss the opportunity to play in Bryant-Denny…

5150 P.O.A.D

November 11th, 2010
4:50 pm

Did you really think Bill would do anything fast and careless? I hope all the fans that go to the game remember to get there early and do 2 things. Go the the original Dreamland BBQ. Big John’s place is a Museum to Alabam football. The Photos and stuff are great to see and the food is damn good too. You need to make some time to go see the Alabama Trophies and Bear’s old office. If you love college football these are things not to be missed.

Dontavius Supremo

November 11th, 2010
5:17 pm

What a magnificent season this has been for GSU! Well done Coach and players both. This weekend is your well deserved “bowl” game. Enjoy the pageantry of SEC football first hand, don’t fret about the score and just thank God you had an opportunity to play in such a game. Go you mighty Panthers! You cannot lose this game!

Ken Sugiura

November 11th, 2010
5:44 pm

well done, panama.
thanks for the comments, dontavius. i think you win for best name on the blog, ever. (nothing personal, panama)

i imagine some of olufemi’s motivation comes from that possibility, of playing in bryant-denny.

GStateBen

November 11th, 2010
6:42 pm

This is Femi’s audition. He knows that. He wants to play badly. He can recover through spring ball and next summer. Congrats to him and it shows his heart.

Great news about Bo and I don’t expect him to ever play WR again. He can play on Sundays kicking the football. Seriously.

PantherCJ

November 12th, 2010
1:20 am

I’ve been at all the home games plus going to Bama. Its hard to travel in these economic times, but I can’t miss the last game of the inaugural season!

RoguePanther

November 12th, 2010
8:15 am

All 11 are hard to attend when you got a job to keep, but all home games.
Wanted to go next week, but out of USA.

Enjoyed sooo much for the GSU Panther Football.

Bama has no weakness, make some by gang up on a couple with bunch; like 2 against 6.
May have to do some out of wall unorthodox play, Panthers got to be extra fast.

Hope for the very best, Goooo Panthers!!!!

GSUtimes2

November 12th, 2010
8:55 am

Been to all the home games but none on the road.

Did anyone see the UT-San Antonio move to the WAC? Gives me hope that we could dart to an FBS conference!

Fire Rodney Ho

November 12th, 2010
10:53 am

I’ve made it to 6 games and 7 ‘Fire Rodney Ho’ rallies, the average attendance for all of them was about 17k.

panther prowler

November 12th, 2010
12:03 pm

Ken, you do a great job of covering the team but I have a question for you. Why is the 3rd team QB covered on a weekly basis? Every player on the team wants to be on the field but you report on Jackson every week. You probably are keeping him further from the field when you print his quotes. It is what it is!

Tom

November 12th, 2010
12:52 pm

Ken, I’d rather know what kind of car he drives?

This should be an interesting game. With the game being on ESPNU on a Thursday night, that is tremendous. Although its not the main game on Thursday. Anyone correct me if I’m wrong.

My advice would be to PLAY EVERYONE. You are going to need fresh players; so rotate guys in and out constantly.

Try not to get killed….literally

schmeckdawg

November 12th, 2010
1:05 pm

Can the Panthers hold the Tide to under 100 points? Just curious!

Panther Prowler!

November 12th, 2010
1:17 pm

Great to see you again today, Ken. Thanks for starting this GSU vs. Bama blog early!!

GO PANTHERS!!!

downtown Atlanta + college football = CRAZY DELICIOUS!!!

November 12th, 2010
1:21 pm

@schmeckdawg: we need UGA to focus more on destroying tech so we can cement Georgia State as Atlanta’s team. Seriously, we appreciate your help with that!!

schmeckdawg

November 12th, 2010
1:23 pm

I would love to destroy the Joke By Coke and help you good folks out!!!!!!

Ken Sugiura

November 12th, 2010
1:23 pm

tom – you are correct. ucla-washington is the main game.
i’ll be curious to see how much they break from previous patterns. the problem with rotating in a lot of backups is that they are backups for a reason. in some positions, the gap between backup and starter isn’t so big, but it is in others.
as for why i write about star jackson, it’s because to people who don’t follow the team as closely as you all do, he’s still the most identifiable player on the team.

Fire Rodney Ho

November 12th, 2010
3:01 pm

Ken what are your thoughts on Rodney Ho’s pending termination? How much longer does he have? 3-5 days? 2 weeks?

Fire Rodney Ho

November 12th, 2010
3:02 pm

Also Ken, thanks for following me on Twitter @FireRodneyHo, I appreciate your support of the Fire Rodney Ho Foundation.

GSUtimes2

November 12th, 2010
3:59 pm

Today, I went home and did a search in my TV’s program guide. Found the “Georgia State at Alabama” listing. Pretty much made my day. Yep, doesn’t take much for me.

Ken Sugiura

November 12th, 2010
5:57 pm

FRH – I am going to guess Rodney is pretty safe. Sorry to disappoint.
Times2 and others – apparently, espnu is in more houses than i had thought. it’s on the comcast digital package, for instance. channel 298, i’m told.

Itsmeagain

November 12th, 2010
7:41 pm

You know what’s awesome about ESPNU? You can actually see the line that the player has to cross to get a first down… Stupid CSS…

Road Trip of a Lifetime!!

November 13th, 2010
8:36 am

Is GSU is going to have Thursday night all to itself as far as televised college football? Talk about great publicity! See you fine folks in Tusk Town!

GSUtimes2

November 13th, 2010
9:35 am

And I’m assuming we’ll have instant replay….not sure that’s a good thing in this situation…

VSU Alumnus

November 13th, 2010
10:04 am

What is GSU’s position on Arthur Blank’s desire for a new open air stadium? I hope you are against it. I’m a CFA Bowl standing ticket holder and I love the dome.If Blank wants a new stadium he needs to get off his wallet and pay for it himself.The dome is a great venue.Keep the dome, Dump the Falcons.

Mark

November 13th, 2010
11:24 am

Ga State fans,
I’m a Bama grad, and just a note that I’m sure current UA students are very happy about this game because classes have been cancelled all day on that Thursday because of the game. The campus in Tuscaloosa is so full of fans, tailgating, etc., on game days that it would be nearly impossible for regular classes to be held on the Thursday of the game. So UA students have you and Ga State to thank for a day off.

Good luck in the game. If you’re going, by all means plan to spend some time on campus at the Bryant Museum, or just checking out tailgating on the Quad. It’s a special atmosphere in Tuscaloosa on game days. You’ll enjoy it, no matter the outcome of the game.

GSUtimes2

November 13th, 2010
1:25 pm

Mark, thanks for the kind words. GSU is looking forward to this opportunity for our growing program. We’ll talk to our boys and make sure they don’t run the score up on ya too much. ;)

Wish I could be there!

Sidenote: I hope we wear our blue jerseys….

yo mama

November 13th, 2010
4:15 pm

go panthers all the way from Los Angeles! I am a former panther ncaa d1 soccer player who has totally enjoyed the success and excitement this season has delivered. I am so proud that the school got this done. Thanks GSU, Dan Reeves, GSU AD, and the fans!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! got my jersey and hat.
lets make it two thursday’s in a row with upsets(falcons big win over ravens)

VP

November 13th, 2010
6:52 pm

How does our schedule look for next year? Are we playing another Division I school next year?

I know that it is not realistic, but i would love to see GSU host a division-I school at the Dome.

wsj

November 13th, 2010
7:28 pm

Atlanta is adamant that it has a covered stadium so it can host Super Bowls, Bowl games in general, the Final Four, etc. So either we keep the Georgia Dome and Blank has his open air stadium or Atlanta builds a stadium with a retractable top.

itsmeagain

November 13th, 2010
8:14 pm

Lol. Build a new stadium. Change the name of the Dome to the Georgia State Dome. Let the GWCC remain in charge, change the seats out to blue, white, and red, and get the city to advertise the Panthers to help fill it up (and therefore get a constant supply of money to pay for it). Wishful thinking i know, though i don’t see them tearing it down, which could legitimately make the Panthers the major tenant. Hmm…

EagleDawg

November 13th, 2010
9:16 pm

Good luck Ga.State with Alabama!

Itsmeagain

November 13th, 2010
10:18 pm

Anyone else watching the Alabama game?

GSU Idiots

November 14th, 2010
12:21 pm

Alabama will put 70 points on Georgia State. This is a game your coach – Curry the alumni – should have never scheduled. He was never much of a coach at Tech or Alabama…..it shows. Finally, Georgia State should have continued to be a strong non-traitional college rather than starting a laughable college football program to cater to snot-nosed teens.

Panther Fan

November 14th, 2010
1:01 pm

@ GSU Idiot – Now go crawl back in your hole and keep your mouth shut.

wsj

November 14th, 2010
2:40 pm

@___ Idiots — Georgia State has football, they attract enough fans for an FCS program, the Alabama game will pay over $400,000 to GSU, and Georgia State has shown they can compete at the FCS level so they should do as well as we can expect from an FCS team against ‘Bama. Get used to it.

GSUtimes2

November 14th, 2010
5:44 pm

@idiot– nice spelling retard.

Gen Neyland

November 14th, 2010
6:15 pm

I dubbed this one the Brick Bowl last summer and if anybody tries to say they named this game the Brick Bowl and not give me credit, I’ll throw a brick through your picture window…Discalimer : I wouldn’t really throw a brick through anybody’s window…

Gen Neyland

November 14th, 2010
6:22 pm

GSU idiots : After reading your posts, I now understand the inner mind of someone that would toss a brick through a Head Coach’s picture window…

Pitiful

November 14th, 2010
8:58 pm

who cares, bama is yesterday’s news..

GSU Alum 98

November 14th, 2010
9:02 pm

Yo mama, thanks for keepin it real on the West side!! It’s been a great season and I have enjoyed every minute. Headed to Tuscaloosa on Thursday and good to know that the Panther nation is Coast to Coast.
Peace..

GState08

November 15th, 2010
12:42 am

@Tom- Coach Curry drives a Lexus. I saw him coming out one of the parking decks one day when I was on campus.

GSUGrad06

November 15th, 2010
11:31 am

Itsmeagain: I’ll be watching the game on ESPNU, can’t make the trip because I’ve already spent too much time off recently. I’m excited to see our boys on TV. I was in the Dome for the other televised games so this will be cool.