Archive for August, 2011

Q&A with Georgia State DC John Thompson

Georgia State defensive coordinator John Thompson answered a few questions earlier this week ahead of Friday’s season-opener against Clark Atlanta at the Georgia Dome:

Q: What concerned you most after last year and how does that area look so far?

A: We’ve got to play better against the run. People can say it’s the d-line or linebackers, but it involves a little bit of everything. We’ve made some adjustments to be better against the run. It’s more of a team commitment to play more physical, more gap control, be more responsible.

Q: Which unit has improved most during August?

A: I think we’ve improved … our d-line has played better. Our d-line has been more committed to doing the right things. We’ve got good things at linebacker and secondary.

The way the game is now, it comes down to being physical upfront.

Q: Are you surprised how quickly you’ve been able to build depth?

A: It’s helped our depth with some of the packages. Some of these guys have played some ball. It’s helped …

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What did coach Curry have to say today?

Here’s a transcript of Georgia State coach Bill Curry’s press conference on Tuesday, courtesy of the sports information department:

On facing Clark Atlanta:

“When you look down their lineup, they are physically the match of anybody we play, especially on the defensive side of the ball. They played defense really well last year, they struggled a little bit on offense.”

“They’re an improving team because coach Daryl McNeill knows exactly what he’s doing. That’s the other thing that you notice – they are well-coached. They know how to line up. They know how to run to the ball. They get in the right gap control. They run their plays well, they block well. They have a good deal of talent, so they will be a load for us.”

“They run what is now considered – I never thought I’d say this- an unusual offense. They play two backs with a tight end- which is all we saw up until about six or eight years ago.”

On team goals:

“Our goals are simple: we want to still beat the teams that we’re …

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Q&A with GSU OC John Bond

Georgia State offensive coordinator John Bond spent a few minutes after Tuesday’s practice answering a few questions. The Panthers will open the season against Clark Atlanta at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Georgia Dome:

Q: Which position were you most concerned about entering August’s practices and how have they performed:

A: Quarterback, because of all the uncertainty and drama that went on during the summer.

I’m very pleased with Bo Schlechter. He’s had a great camp and is a tremendous athlete. He got a volleyball scholarship to Boise State, which tells you what kind of athlete he is. Quarterback has become very important to him. He’s had a good camp. He’s got a big arm.

Q: I saw him throw a 60-yard pass yesterday without even trying.

A: He’s got a lot more than that too. He’s got a quick release.

Like many first-year quarterbacks, if they will take training to field and not become untrained when  the glass starts breaking.

Q: Is decision-making the area you wanted him to work on …

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Georgia State will play Georgia Southern in basketball

Georgia State will play Georgia Southern on Dec. 22 in the non-conference portion of its men’s basketball schedule, which was released Tuesday.
The Panthers will open the Ron Hunter era at the BTI Tournament in Seattle on Nov. 12. The field also includes Washington, Portland and Florida Atlantic.
The Panthers will take on McNeese State in its first non-conference home game on Nov. 18.
The CAA schedule will come out later this year. All times are TBA.

Oct. 31 Southern Poly (Exh.) Atlanta, Ga.
Nov. 5 Oglethorpe (Exh.) Atlanta, Ga.
Nov. 12 Washington, Portland, FAU Seattle
Nov. 13 Washington, Portland, FAU Seattle
Nov. 14 Washington, Portland, FAU Seattle
Nov. 18 McNeese State
Nov. 22 at Samford
Nov. 26 Liberty
Nov. 29 at South Carolina State
Dec. 1 FIU
Dec. 10 Rhode Island
Dec. 17 at Utah Valley State
Dec. 22 Georgia Southern

Colonial Athletic Association Championship
Mar. 2-5 Fri.-Mon. at Richmond Coliseum Richmond, Va. tba

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Short practice update

I didn’t get to go to Wednesday’s practice because I was working on some other stories, but I’ll recap what Georgia State sent out:

The running backs had a strong day: junior Malcolm Smith, redshirt freshman Rendell Wilder, sophomore Cole Moon and junior Donald Russell combined for highlights. Smith, from College Park, continued his strong August with a 70-yard touchdown. Russell, who has been working himself into football shape, scored on a 5-yard touchdown run. Wilder blocked well. Rosevelt Watson and Parris Lee are injured.

Georgia State will conduct one more two-a-day on Friday.

“That will be tough, but that’s what football is supposed to be,” Curry said. “After that we’ll be into our regular mode with classes starting Monday.”

The Panthers open against Clark Atlanta at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 2 at the Georgia Dome.

– Doug Roberson, AJC

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GSU running backs performing well

Georgia State’s running backs are beat up, but the coaches like what they are seeing from the group through the first two weeks of camp.

Coach Bill Curry didn’t want to brag on his players, but said Travis Evans and Malcolm Smith are practicing well. Smith, from College Park, has been consistently praised through the first two weeks.

The group was bolstered on Tuesday by the return of Rendell Wilder, who has been out with a concussion.

“Running backs have been valiant because there have been so many of them injured,” Curry said.

Curry expects a lot from the running backs, who averaged 123.3 yards per game last year. He wants more yards, and he wants them to protect the ball better. The group had two of the team’s 12 lost fumbles last year. New running backs coach Joe Hamilton said that’s still two too many.

“You never know when they are going to come, could be a game-winning drive,” Hamilton said. “If we keep on preaching enough and honing it on enough they will …

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Hill readmitted to GSU and is back with team

Quarterback Kelton Hill has been readmitted to Georgia State University and began practicing with football team today. Hill was arrested and charged with burglary by campus police on June 22. The Fulton County District Attorney has decided not to pursue the charges as long as Hill graduates within four years, according to a letter sent from the Fulton County District Attorney Paul L. Howard Jr. to Georgia State President Mark Becker. If Hill fails to graduate, the district attorney retains the right to revise the charges. The letter doesn’t specify that Hill has to graduate from Georgia State.

Calls to Georgia State’s Dean of Students haven’t been returned. The investigation into another student, Omotayo Akintoye, who was listed in the incident report has been dropped, according to Sgt. David Hickey of Georgia State’s Campus Police.

The Georgia State athletics department has suspended Hill for the Sept. 2 season-opener against Clark Atlanta. Coach Bill Curry said Hill will …

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McLane’s first day of practice

Many fans are keen to see how quickly true freshman quarterback Ben McLane can pick up Georgia State’s offense. Though Curry hopes to redshirt McLane, he understands that he is an injury to Bo Schlechter away from possibly having to play McLane, less than a year after he led Brookwood to the 5A state championship. Drew Little, last year’s starter, is suspended for the first four games of the season. Kelton Hill, who won the starting job in the spring, was recently arrested and charged with burglary. He is no longer on the roster and Curry isn’t allowed to comment on Hill’s situation.

The team used three quarterbacks on Thursday. Curry said he may not move another player to quarterback, pointing out that they can run a lot of wildcat formations if they need.

McLane had an expectedly rough start on Thursday, throwing an interception and fumbling a snap during an 11-on-11 drill.

“I’ve got to keep going, I don’t like to make excuses,” McLane said. “The speed of the game hit me a …

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New faces you will see in camp

Here are some of the new faces you will see if you attend Georgia State’s first football practice of the fall:

Running back Donald Russell (formerly of Kentucky): He was the Wildcats’ third-leading rusher with 293 yards, a 4.6 average and two touchdowns last season. He has two seasons of eligibility.

Tight end Alex Smith (formerly of Kentucky): While in high school in Cincinnati, he was No. 11-rated tight end in the nation by Rivals.com. He redshirted last season and has four seasons remaining.

Defensive end A.J. Portee (formerly of Connecticut): He attended Mays High School. He played in nine games last fall at Connecticut, with six tackles. He has two seasons of eligibility.

Inside linebacker Dexter Moody (formerly of Fort Scott CC): Moody’s travels are well-known. Can he stick at GSU?

Freshman signees who didn’t attend summer school: placekicker Christian Benvenuto (Palm Coast, Fla.), wide receiver Mark Young (Charlotte, N.C.) and athlete Lynquez Blair …

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What Curry and players said on media day

Here’s a transcript of some of the interviews during Georgia State’s media day, courtesy of the sports information department:

Georgia State Head Football Coach Bill Curry:

Thank you for being with us today and celebrating with us the next step in this wonderful program that we have worked so long and hard to establish. I could take hours and talk to you about what has happened and who has done it because so many people have contributed for us to be able to come to this moment.

We have changed the profile of our football team from the standpoint of personnel. Two years ago, at this time we had one player, Mark Hogan. We added a class of about 40 people two years ago. A year ago, we brought another class not knowing if the two classes would blend or clash. As last season wore on, we began to show our youth and our inadequacies. We were an inconsistent football team. I was not pleased at all with our performance. A lot of people were. A 6-5 season was perceived as …

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