Two days to Tuscaloosa

Greetings, all-

Hope you’re well. Some notes, and I’ve got to get out to practice.

1. Hope you read the Drew Little story that ran today. One thing that I wanted to get in that I couldn’t that intrigues me. Little very nearly wasn’t the starting quarterback this season. If you’ll remember, Georgia State opened camp with Little, Kelton Hill, Bo Schlechter and Star Jackson all vying for the starting job.

After the first couple weeks, Jackson moved to the front. John Bond told me in an interview last week that he thought Jackson would be the starter. However, Jackson got sick and missed several days of practice. By that point, Schlechter had played himself out of the running, and so Bond said he used the time to look closely at Little and Hill. With each getting more reps, they had more chances to kind of find a groove.

“It completely cleared the picture up because of what he was doing with those added reps,” Bond said of Little.

It’s an interesting (I realize I use that word a lot) what if, of what might have happened, had Jackson not gotten sick. It’s conceivable that perhaps Little would have ultimately won the job, but hardly a given. Ultimately, it may be something that shapes or alters the direction of the program.

2. I’m working on a story for Wednesday about how the coaches are trying to game plan for what looks like a pretty significant mismatch. I asked John Thompson a question, or at least started to, about if there’s been a moment where the strength of Alabama’s team really hit home.

I got as far as, “When you first started watching film, was there a moment when you…”

And he completed my question, “threw up?”

But the short answer is that Thompson and Bond and the other assistants have tried to approach it the way they have every opponent. There will be a few wrinkles here and there, but I’d be surprised if they try something out of the ordinary.

Said Bond, “We’re not going to go in there and be silly.”

One thing they’ve been doing, though, is trying to point out mistakes that Alabama players have made to try to get past the name and the jersey.

“Coach Curry has been telling us all week they’re human too, they make mistakes,” defensive end Kalan Jenkins said.

3. The team practiced outside Monday in a steady rain. The Georgia Dome was not available, though I’m not positive the team would have used it anyway. If you’re wondering, the Weather Channel forecast for Tuscaloosa Thursday is partly cloudy, high of 65, low of 34 with a 10 percent chance of rain.

43 comments Add your comment

Humphrey

November 16th, 2010
9:42 am

Panther Prowler!

November 16th, 2010
9:44 am

2 days is 2 days too long to wait for this!!

462 JC Camp Student Center

November 16th, 2010
9:48 am

That Kennesaw win over Tech last night kind of takes the edge off of GSU’s horrible loss to Clark Atlanta last week. I guess it means we have two coaches in town now on the hot seat.

GSU

November 16th, 2010
10:42 am

In three days our attention will turn towards basketball aka another nightmare of a season. Alabama look out, the Panthers are rolling in town with bad intentions! Go State, beat Bama!

English

November 16th, 2010
10:43 am

Ken, I think Jeff Schultz is trying to move in on your GSU territory!
http://blogs.ajc.com/jeff-schultz-blog/2010/11/16/so-i-can-get-georgia-state-and-42%c2%bd-vs-alabama-hmm/?cxntfid=blogs_jeff_schultz_blog

Defend your position as you have the high ground and you don’t want to lose the GSU strong hold that you’ve developed all season.

In Ken We Trust!

Panama

November 16th, 2010
11:04 am

@English

LOL! You are the best brotha. A post worthy of an old school Panther.

Hey Ken, after a YEAR people are just now noticing my email signature THIS week. ;)

Shock The World on 9/18

English

November 16th, 2010
11:29 am

@ Panama, thanks. Ken made the trips and did the dirty work. It’s only appropriate that he gets pearl (GSU/Alabama game) in the end. I noticed your signature since you initially posted it. A mortal will wage war with a God this weekend and a nation will root for the underdog.

Go State!

blazerdawg

November 16th, 2010
11:58 am

Go Panthers! Yew can dooooo it!

GSU Fan

November 16th, 2010
12:22 pm

Beat down scheduled for Saturday. Ouch!! Double Ouch!!

GSU Fan

November 16th, 2010
12:23 pm

Meant on Thursday.. Triple Ouch!!

GStateBen

November 16th, 2010
12:29 pm

Many, many more talk on this game and I did an interview with the folks at RollBamaRoll.com:

http://www.rollbamaroll.com/2010/11/16/1816655/georgia-state-blogger-q-a

Great work Ken! Thursday can’t get here fast enough!

Ken Sugiura

November 16th, 2010
1:26 pm

ha ha. i’m very glad to share space with Jeff. as he mentioned, he will be posting a column on bill curry that, knowing jeff and knowing curry, will be good reading. jeff will be at the game thursday, also.

Ken Sugiura

November 16th, 2010
1:28 pm

team practiced in the dome this morning, by the way. last practice of the year. hard to believe the season’s two days from being over. they’ll bus out tomorrow morning and have their walk-through at bryant-denny stadium in the afternoon.

NCBamaFan

November 16th, 2010
1:33 pm

GSU has no chance but they have to be admired for taking on Alabama in their first year. Saban will not run up the score – will get booed by Bama fans if he does. Hope Star Jackson gets to play some. He’ll get a warm welcome.

Dawghater

November 16th, 2010
1:39 pm

Two days and counting to what, a killing! Curry’s back in Alabama the scene of his worst career move. Curry’s calling was TV not coaching!

collegefootballfan

November 16th, 2010
2:20 pm

Georgia State should be congratulated for what they have done in its first year, but it seems many fans are not being realistic about things, and not just the Bama game. GSU is not going to the big time in the next 20 years. Enjoy the fact you have football, and just hope you can compete once you get in a conference. This talk about the SEC or even Conference USA is silly. Your fine school has not even indicated that it is willing to make the financial commitment needed to play major college football. You would have to increase your scholarship numbers, almost double the salaries of your coaching staff and this would mean increases in the women’s sports coach’s salaries to ensure you meet all the gender equity requirements. With all that, you are talking millions more dollars. Be happy with 1-AA football, many schools have played it for years and are happy to do so.

itsmeagain

November 16th, 2010
2:49 pm

I’ll keep my mouth shut. For now

GSUtimes2

November 16th, 2010
2:56 pm

So, if your friend calls you up and says they have two tickets to the Alabama-GSU game for you, what do you do? That’s right, drop everything! I’m going to Tuscaloosa!!!! GO STATE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I hope we score so I can sing our fight song in Bryant-Denny Stadium!!!!!!!!!!

reebok

November 16th, 2010
3:26 pm

very proud of GSU’s fledgling efort, this will be the experience of a lifetime for these young men…proud of coach curry, too.

GO Panthers

November 16th, 2010
3:35 pm

Sooooo proud of the Panthers. great season guys. the best is yet to come.. GO PANTHERS!!!!!

English

November 16th, 2010
3:41 pm

Drew Little for the Nobel Peace Prize!

Go State!

GSUGrad06

November 16th, 2010
4:33 pm

@ itsmeagain: It’s tough but just do it. As we’ve already established people get upset (angry/jealous/scared/worried/etc.) when they see someone who could move in on their turf. GSU’s actions will speak louder than any of our words in the next few years.

It’s clear he doesn’t know what he’s talking about because no real GSU fan has mentioned moving into the SEC, that’s not a good fit for us and we all know that.

GO PANTHERS!!!

Ken Sugiura

November 16th, 2010
4:55 pm

why are you keeping your sights so low, english? i think drew little would make a fine pope.

Itsmeagain

November 16th, 2010
5:09 pm

Thanks GSUgrad. I needed that

Drew Little for president!

'93 Grad

November 16th, 2010
5:25 pm

All in all, an impressive first season. Good luck Panthers!

English

November 16th, 2010
5:45 pm

You’re right Ken.

Drew Little for Pope and then on to becoming a Saint.
(Doesn’t a Saint have to perform 3 miracles) 101,821 will see his first miracle Thursday night.

GO STATE!

November 26, 2010....

November 16th, 2010
5:51 pm

Hoping for an entertaining game Thursday night.

Reminder: Auburn will be getting the death penalty sometime next year!

VSU Alumnus

November 16th, 2010
6:01 pm

@collegefootballfan You are right,but you won’t get much love for that advice here. I’ve followed Valdosta State football for 20 years and I know how much time it takes to build a program. There are exceptions like Georgia Southern and Erk,but the rule is time. After 25 years of football VSU has a network of high school coaches who push players to VSU. Many South Georgia high school coaches are former VSU players and alums.I was at the Charlton Co Clinch Co. game and VSU head coach David Dean was there and the stadium was buzzing about it.You are right. Enjoy what you have and be patient. There is an element of luck in this. Go Panthers and Blazers!!
P.S. Wish us luck. We are in the playoffs saturday vs. North Alabama.

GSUtimes2

November 16th, 2010
7:25 pm

North Alabama doesn’t stand a chance against VSU. But good luck!

GSUGrad06

November 16th, 2010
7:45 pm

@collegefootballfan: You’re right, it would take millions of more dollars to accomplish. GSU won’t have an issue with that.

@VSU Alumnus: You can’t compare the program building at VSU to GSU. GSU is bigger, has more alumni and more money available. Just the facts. I’m not saying we’re going to be all “built” up in 3 years but I’m just saying it’s a little different situation at GSU.

GSUAlumBaseball81

November 16th, 2010
8:38 pm

I grew up a DAWG fan as my Dad played High School football with Phil Ash in the late 50’s at Stone Mountain High School who ended up Fran Tarkenton’s center at UGA. Additionally, I ended up playing football with UGA’s Tim Crowe in the late 70’s at Stone Mountain High School. Tim started on the defensive line for UGA on the 1980 National Championship team. I played baseball at GSU after two years at DeKalb Central JUCO. After graduating from GSU, I always knew that football was in GSU’s destiny and it has finally come true!!! Coach Curry is the greatest and I ironically graduated with his wife with a BBA in Business and her a PHD in 1987. Saw coach Curry and his wife on Decatur Street after graduation. Thought to myself, wouldn’t it be cool if he could someday be our football coach at GSU. Pipe Dream Huh??? Wow, it certainly came true thanks to his wife, Dan Reeves as well as many others. I am SO PROUD of our players, coaches, band, cheerleaders and the rest of the staff/organization. What a year! I wish you all the best of luck Thursday night as I will be cheering for you while watching on ESPNU. Attended all but three games this season. We leave early Friday morning to see my step-son at Fort Benning who will most likely be in the Middle East fighting for our freedom soon. His first pass since starting basic. To the MEN in BLUE, you have many behind you giving you strength Thursday night. All of you true Georgians, as well as Alum and Students of GA. TECH, UGA, KSU, Clayton State, GA. Southern, VSU, Georgia Perimeter and all of the other higher learning institutions in Georgia, get behind the PANTHERS and cheer them on because they will be representing all of us at Alabama. Anything is possible as I am sure Coach Curry has told the team!!! He should know!!! He has certainly been there many times after listening to his many of his motivational talks. GO PANTHERS!!!

Go Panthers!

November 16th, 2010
9:34 pm

This UGA graduate and Dawg fan will be watching GSU Thursday and hoping for a great showing against Bama. I got my masters at Alabama, and I usually pull for Bama when it doesn’t involve UGA. But I will be a Panther all the way Thursday night! I will be very disappointed in Bama if they don’t show good sportmanship. I have a former student on the roster at GSU and I have been pulling for them every game. I just hope they go to Tuscaloosa and enjoy the ride because they have had a great season! I’ll go back to being a Bama fan when they play Auburn!

lovemypanthers

November 17th, 2010
1:08 pm

I am glad there are people who believe in the Panthers. They’ve shown fight and spirit all season long and that’s what it’s about. We have a great team behind Little and we will not go down in embarrassment in AL. Fight Panthers to victory – I am with you all the way and I believe in you. Hearing Curry on the radio this morning just ensured that we have a great coach for a great team. GO PANTHERS!!!!

Panther Prowler!

November 17th, 2010
1:16 pm

Playing Alabama for the last game will be a hard act to follow. Can we arrange for GSU to play the previous year’s champion every year? See you in Oregon, Panther fans!

Mark in Tuscaloosa

November 17th, 2010
1:18 pm

A couple of things about this game: First, it’s not going to turn into one of those Boise/Oregon run up the score at all costs blowouts. (And definitely not the shameful garbage Wisconsin came out with against Indiana last week where Wisconsin was throwing long passes at the very end of the game to run up the score beyond 80 points.) Nick Saban will not run the score up on Georgia State like that. He doesn’t need to, and it’s not his style. I’m certain he’d like to get a big lead early so he can rest his starters for the Auburn game. But that’s it. If Bama gets a big lead, they won’t be throwing 80-yard passes in the fourth quarter.

Secondly, I expect Curry will have Georgia State about as ready as any outmanned team could be for Alabama. You can’t expect a team in its first year to go into Bryant-Denny Stadium and stay close in the game until the fourth quarter. It’s not impossible, but it’s not going to happen.

But for Bama, this is one of those can’t win games when it comes to public opinion. If they destroy Georgia State, they’ll be criticized for even scheduling the game. If the game is close, they’ll be criticized for looking ahead to Auburn and others will claim Bama’s overrated.

What I expect is a final score around 48-3. Saban probably just wants a good scrimmage and nothing more or less, and to get out of the game without major injuries. Georgia State wants a big payday to help their program, and to that extent, they’ve already succeeded.

GSUtimes2

November 17th, 2010
1:39 pm

I agree with Mark in Tuscaloosa. I’ve been saying all along this is a no-lose situation for GSU. Even if we hang with them for the first quarter, it will be considered a success. (The press coverage alone leading up to tomorrow has been well worth it.) If we get our brains beat out, nobody will blame us. It’s all about managing expectations. Curry needs everyone in the world to expect us to get blown out, but only needs those boys in blue to believe they have a fighting chance.

On the other hand, Bama can’t leave this game without criticism. But we’re glad to be playing with the defending national champs no matter what the outcome.

English Boob

November 18th, 2010
12:12 am

Looking forward to seeing Georgia State take an ass thumping! The program should not exist. Go ahead GSU fans….take your best shot at me. Where do you think this pitiful program will go bowling? Strictly bush league! Will never be an elite team!

GSUtimes2

November 18th, 2010
8:30 am

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz………….

GSUtimes2

November 18th, 2010
8:35 am

GSUGrad06

November 18th, 2010
9:09 am

GSUtimes2: My head hurts after attempting to read that mess.

English

November 18th, 2010
9:35 am

Thank you for staying inspired Boob.

GSUtimes2

November 18th, 2010
9:58 am

Yeah, my favorite was either the cutoff logo for GSU (which wasn’t our logo) or the line:

“The 10 th Red Tide try to avoid the possibility that the iron circle of next week when they host former coach Bill Curry and FCS team in the State of Georgia, who plays the end of its inaugural season.”

Ken, can this guy intern for you?!?

Blazerilla (BA '92)

November 18th, 2010
1:28 pm

Best of luck to my GSU Panthers! If they display good sportsmanship and good humor, they will be winners no matter the score. And…GO GO GO to my other alma mater, Valdosta State!