Little will back up Schlechter for GSU

Drew Little, at one time suspended for the first four games of Georgia State’s season, will back up starting quarterback Bo Schlechter in Friday’s season opener against Clark Atlanta.

Little was suspended during the offseason by coach Bill Curry for a violation of undisclosed team rules. However, Curry said there were numerous factors that led him to reduce the suspension. The most important was that he said Little endured as much punishment as any player that Curry said he has ever coached without complaining or slacking off. That punishment included missing spring practices, going on more than 30 morning runs,  and 20 hours of study hall a week during the spring and summer.

However, just because Little is the backup don’t expect to see him play on Friday. Curry said that Schlechter will play most of the snaps against Clark Atlanta.

Little, a native of McDonough, was last year’s starter, passing for 2,102 yards and 18 touchdowns. He hasn’t been made available to speak to reporters.

Secondly, because backup Kelton Hill was also suspended for at least the opener, Curry said he didn’t think it was fair to force freshman Ben McLane into action and risk depriving him of a redshirt season. Curry said he hasn’t decided if Hill will be forced to sit out any more games.

Should Schlechter need a break or sustain an injury against Clark Atlanta, the Panthers have been working on a “Wildcat” package.

State rivalries

Curry said he would love to play more in-state games, such as the one against Clark Atlanta. However, the CAA schedule the Panthers will add in 2012 will make such in-state games difficult.

Clark Atlanta, Morehouse and Valdosta State, teams Curry said he at one time was interested in scheduling, are Division II programs. Assuming Georgia State would defeat them, it wouldn’t help them earn an at-large berth in the FCS (formerly Division I-AA) playoffs.

Because the CAA is so tough – its teams have won or played for the past five national championships — he said there’s not much incentive to add another good in-state team like Georgia Southern, which has won six national titles, to the schedule as one of the three non-conference games. However, Curry didn’t rule it out. The Panthers played two team from Georgia last season — Shorter (NAIA) and Savannah State (FCS).

Running game

Offensive coordinator John Bond and center Ben Jacoby said an improved offensive line should improve the Panthers’ running game this season.

The team averaged 123.3 yards per game last season. Its leading rusher was Hill, a backup quarterback. However, Jacoby said another year of playing together, improved depth and work in the weight room should make for a more effective unit.

“We’re concentrating heavily on the run game,” Jacoby said. “We’ve practiced situations so that we have the experience running plays. The offensive line in particular has been working on keeping the pads low and on the explosion off of the ball. That in combination with the work in strength and conditioning will lead to more yards per carry.”

Bond said because the team had just 29 practices together before last year’s opener it was hard to develop the chemistry necessary to complete some of the blocking schemes. With a fall, spring and August worth of practices, he said the team should be much better at running the ball.

Stopping the run

Defensive coordinator John Thompson said an improved attitude by the defense should reduce the 187.4 rushing yards they allowed per game last season. And he said it’s not fair to blame the defensive line for the issues.

“People can say it’s the D-line or linebackers, but it involves a little bit of everything,” he said. “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.”

He did say that he thinks the defensive line has improved more than any other group. The group shuffled personnel in the offseason, switching Christo Bilukidi to end from tackle, Kalan Jenkins from tackle to nose tackle, and adding transfer A.J. Portee to the other side of the three-man line.

“Our D-line has been more committed to doing the right things,” Thompson said. “We’ve got good things at linebacker and secondary, but the way the game is now, it comes down to being physical up front.”

52 comments Add your comment

GSUAlumBaseball81

September 1st, 2011
10:29 am

Awesome News! GO PANTHERS!!!

GSUWI94

September 1st, 2011
10:33 am

This is good! I believe he will be ready for the Old dominion or Jacksonville State Game. I expect great things from this young man this season. He should be better prepared to make better decisions. He should be more experienced and definitely has learned a life long lesson. However, I am excited to see Bo and his athleticism.

ajg panther

September 1st, 2011
10:43 am

Good for Drew. It sound like he has been humble and hard working since his unnamed infraction. I am sure that Coach Curry wouldn’t have reduced the sentence unless he was sure that Drew has his head on straight.

[...] AJC Link [...]

GSUtimes2

September 1st, 2011
10:50 am

As if I needed another reason to be excited about Friday….

GSUGrad06

September 1st, 2011
10:53 am

This is great news! Congratulations to Drew for stepping up and handling this situation like a man. I’m excited for the ODU game.

Panama

September 1st, 2011
10:54 am

Great to hear. One Day Left. Come to The Party. The Encore begins tomorrow! So lets fill the Dome on 9/2. Tradition Begins With YOU!
http://www.panthertalk.com/2011/09/01/georgia-state-football-tradition-begins-with-you/

Jee S. You

September 1st, 2011
10:57 am

Good to hear – still hope Bo can play every snap though, he has earned it.

Ryan

September 1st, 2011
11:10 am

Awesome news. Good job Drew!

GSU Men's BB Fan

September 1st, 2011
11:17 am

Woot! Woot! I’m excited for some football!

AllTheWay

September 1st, 2011
11:22 am

So Curry just lets Little off the hook because he doesn’t have anymore QB’s…wow, real class act there Coach.

GStateBen

September 1st, 2011
11:24 am

@AllTheWay He did what he was supposed to do. It had nothing to do with QB depth and everything to do with Little’s attitude.

That being said, I do not believe Drew will play tomorrow night barring an injury to Bo.

dGSU

September 1st, 2011
11:35 am

Nice. Welcome back, DL!

GSUPanthers

September 1st, 2011
11:39 am

GStateBen- are you Coach Curry? If not, you can’t read his mind and no one will ever know whether it was attitude or depth. Not saying you’re wrong, just saying that we don’t know.

GSUPanthers

September 1st, 2011
11:40 am

With that being said- GO PANTHERS!!! I’m PUMPED!!!

Tuscon

September 1st, 2011
11:50 am

Thinking it is probably a combination. He said it himself that it wouldn’t be fair to McClane to not let him RS his first season and I happen to agree. He’s basically said “You messed up, but have gone above and beyond to fix it. You are not suspended but have to play behind our punter.” He also said the other day at the presser that the punishments on the team have resulted in a net gain the way some of the guys handled it. To me, it sounded like he was referring to Little and how he has fixed whatever issues he was having.

Montinod

September 1st, 2011
11:50 am

Great news for Panthernation!

GeorgiaState1913

September 1st, 2011
12:07 pm

@AllTheWay: Stop being a troll. Drew made a mistake, but clearly he has done everything possible to take responsibility for his actions and redeem himself. CBC doesn’t mess around. He would not just let this kid off the hook unless he deserved it.

former GSU fan

September 1st, 2011
12:15 pm

I sooo am a former GSU fan… Drew was suspended for 4 games for reasons not mentioned is very interesting and i think that it is such a cover up for him…even if Hill was suspended for 1 game he is serving his suspension,, Drew;’s suspension should have been upheld b/c i’m pretty sure the reason was substantial…. Good old boy COVER UP at its best !!!!!!!!!

STATEment

September 1st, 2011
12:18 pm

Great news! I hope him and Kelton have been doing work to stay up at practice so when they get back in they don’t miss a beat!

outsider

September 1st, 2011
12:43 pm

@ataltheway, there wouldn’t be another program besides Penn State that I would want my son to be a part of when it comes to integrity. If Coach Curry feels this man repaid his debt, I would have to believe him.

AllTheWay

September 1st, 2011
12:59 pm

Glad to see you guys are siding with Curry just because you’re fans of Ga State. Once your program matures a little, maybe you’ll question status quo and wonder why he is no longer suspended. Until then, keep on doin what you’re doin.

GStateBen

September 1st, 2011
1:08 pm

I’m not Coach Curry but in nearly every public comment this Spring when asked about Little, he’s exceeded his every expectation. Why would Seniors endorse someone that was obviously not taking himself serious?

Pain of discipline, pain of regret. You choose.

WOW

September 1st, 2011
1:17 pm

this is SUCH crap. Little is suspended for 4 games and Hill only suspended for ONE, however Curry decided to lessen Little’s suspension to NONE? wouldn’t it make more sense and be logical to lessen Hill’s suspense seeing how it would be less of a stretch. alright.

GStateBen

September 1st, 2011
1:36 pm

@WOW LB Olefemi Opanubi was suspended indefinitely then worked his way back. Fred Barnes was suspended for Spring practice and quit then came back.

BTW, Curry didn’t suspend Hill. The University did.

If you prove that you can atone for mistakes, you deserve a second chance, right?

Go Panthers!!

September 1st, 2011
1:38 pm

I would have expected a reduction to one game, but none? That’s a surprise.

Either way, let’s get it on tomorrow!

Henry County Hawk

September 1st, 2011
1:52 pm

Another Henry County Hawk doing better! I wonder if Patterson (Stanford) or Ambles (USC), Little’s favorite targets in high school, are gonna get some playing time this year?

GSUtimes2

September 1st, 2011
1:56 pm

@WoW. Curry doesn’t have the power to reduce Hill’s suspension. That suspension was issued by the Dean of Students? Correct? Someone correct me there if I’m wrong, but I believe there is a one game suspension from the school and Curry has the power to suspend him from more games if he chooses. So, if he chooses not to suspend Hill, he will have effectively given them the same amount.

GASTATE PANTHER

September 1st, 2011
1:57 pm

Can’t wait for the game tomorrow night! Looking for a big win out of the Panthers. I think we’ll be much improved this year although our record may not show it because of the overall tougher schedule. GO PANTHERS!

GSUtimes2

September 1st, 2011
2:00 pm

@Henry County Hawk. GO WARHAWKS!! Ehem, On our City’s eastern border, reared against the sky, proudly stands our alma mater, as the years go by…

@GStateBen- thought you’d also like the above since you are an ELHS guy…LOL

Ricky

September 1st, 2011
2:33 pm

This program will never last, having attended graduate school at Georgia State it is obvious the student body is not going to support the team. A large majority of the students are foreign and the rest are not your typical football fan. The rare few who are football fans already root for a real school like UGA, GT, Georgia Southern. The campus/buildings are old and littered with homeless scum with no attractive girls. Why any recruits decide to go there blows my mind.

GStateAlum11

September 1st, 2011
2:50 pm

Glad to hear Little is back. I have a feeling he’ll be even better this season! the suspensions or reductions are not for us to be concerned about, as much as it is to get those guys back on the field and stay in line with the rules.

and @Ricky, the only thing I agree with you about is the homeless population around campus. all your other points are debatable and are found at every other campus you will find in the country or even just GA for that matter.

Go Panthers!

GStateAlum11

September 1st, 2011
3:01 pm

oh and Ga Southern isn’t a “real” school. more like an STD cesspool.

joe

September 1st, 2011
3:34 pm

Lets go Drew get your job back

DontBeIgnorant

September 1st, 2011
4:05 pm

GStateAlum11

Please provide documented evidence supporting your statement. For example, comparisons of STD ratios between Ga State and Ga Southern Fans

glsjunior

September 1st, 2011
4:10 pm

duh…winning!

VSU Alumnus

September 1st, 2011
4:22 pm

What???? Coach Curry ,you need to go into politics.Your answer regarding future scheduling was totally elusive.Do you want to play more in-state games or not? I know.I know. GSU is D1 and Valdosta State is D2,but it would be great gate,low travel cost,and good exposure for GSU in South Georgia.Come on ,coach! Let’s play! Go Panthers and Blazers !

462 JC Camp Student Center

September 1st, 2011
4:39 pm

Ricky didn’t go to GSU. He’s obviously never been on campus. What a troll.

I don’t care if the Panthers play the Division II schools like Clark Atlanta or Valdosta State, but I would like to see them schedule other FCS schools, like Georgia Southern.

Paddy

September 1st, 2011
4:41 pm

Any guess on the total attendance for the home opener??

AgentOrange

September 1st, 2011
8:04 pm

Glad Drew is back… if this game is close we’re going to need him.

GState08

September 1st, 2011
9:01 pm

LOL@ Ricky. You obviously haven’t been on campus within the past 10 years or more. Anyway, glad to hear that Little handled his business. Ready for kickoff tomorrow!!

GSUW94

September 1st, 2011
9:45 pm

Ricky,good way to get some attention!! Calling the homeless scum is pretty heartless. I am way sure that you are safe from anything perilous that will cause you to lose your home. You are immune from such degradation. A millionaire I presume? Well anyway. GSU is GSU. Everthing has to be what it is. It is an urban institution that is growing. By the way there is a 1 Billion dollar effort under way to replace several and build new buildings. Look for the information. I am sure that you will be able to research it. Or, you may be able to get one of your servants to do that for you. Why would’nt someone not want to attend a premiere research institution. Think student- athlete in that order. Try to see if you can be accepted into Westwood College before you speak again.

GSUpporter

September 1st, 2011
9:55 pm

Glad Drew is back, he paid his penalty. Check the scoreboards folks, dosen’t look like 10-1 is totally out of reach GO PANTHERS. Please CBC get the kids under control after tomorrow’s win. ODU is a good team and we do not need anoither Lambuth situation.

GSUpporter

September 1st, 2011
10:12 pm

SC State SPANKED, JSU barely beats UT Martin and their QB is done. Washun Ealey made a BIG mistake not coming to GSU!!!

GSUpporter

September 1st, 2011
10:13 pm

USA up 10 (by bad officiating) about to be only up 3 to West Alabama….lot of Hype this year folks…

GSUpporter

September 1st, 2011
10:56 pm

At least SC State lost. USA dosen’t look good, and JSU is DONE!!

GSUAlumBaseball81

September 2nd, 2011
8:46 am

Yea cannot wait to play ODU, JSU and USA. I believe those boys are going to be unpleasantly surprised in 2011 with the GSU PANTHERS! In fact, we told the USA trolls a few weeks back that they had better tighten their chin straps when they play N.C. State.They are going to get their bells rung for the first time when they play their first BCS opponent. No more we are undefeated by our own scheduling of JUCOs and first year teams! lol

Bill Curry

September 2nd, 2011
8:55 am

Curry said…there’s not much incentive to add another good in-state team like Georgia Southern…to the schedule as one of the three non-conference games.

GSU ALUM 89

September 2nd, 2011
8:55 am

Congradulations to Drew Little for stepping up and taking his punishment like a man!! He did not complain at all to the media (no Facebook or Twweets). I hope the pro athletes take notice.
Also, BO KNOWS FOOTBALL!!. He has been a quartereback his whole life. Good enough to obtain a scholorship from Coach Curry. Can’t wait for tonight.
GO PANTHERS!!!

Bill Curry

September 2nd, 2011
9:03 am

Also glad to see Little is not a whiny beeyotch that that dude from Texas Tech, and have a dad use his power and influence on ESPN to use propaganda to slander the head coach on national TV.