Before we review Georgia State’s 56-0 loss to Houston, I’m asking you, the fans, to let me know what you would like to know about the athletics department. I’ll be interviewing athletics director Cheryl Levick on Tuesday for a state-of-the-department interview. I have topics I’m interested in, but want to make sure you get a chance. I can’t promise I’ll ask all of your questions, but I’ll try to get the topics covered one way or another. Please post your questions on the blog.
Now, on to the game that was:
Houston 56, Georgia State 0.
As expected, Georgia State fell behind quickly to Case Keenum and Houston and gave up the second-most points in the program’s short history. It’s hard to gauge positives and negatives considering the caliber of the competition, but the Panthers did have a few things to proud of, and a few questions that still haven’t been answered.
What we learned
1. Who is Georgia State’s quarterback. Bo Schlechter, who started and played the majority of the season’s first three games, didn’t play at all against Houston. The coaches wanted to give Drew Little, last year’s starter, and Kelton Hill, yet to play this season because of suspension, long looks. Both had good moments: Little hit a couple of nice passes (117 yards, two sacks, one interception) and Hill (33 rushing yards) had some nice runs, but neither really stood out as the team heads into its off week.
2. Georgia State may want to run the ball more. Travis Evans and Donald Russell have ran hard and effectively this year. Evans showed more of the same on Saturday, averaging 5 yards on 14 carries. Russell missed the game because of a knee injury. Because of situations, the team hasn’t had too many chances to establish a run game this season. It’ll be interesting to see if they try to do so against Murray State.
3. Georgia State can pressure the quarterback. Much was expected from defensive ends Christo Bilukidi and A.J. Portee this season. Because of a leaky run defense, the duo haven’t had too many chances to pressure the quarterback. They looked good against the Cougars, providing pressure that allowed others to collect three sacks.
Safety Demazio Skelton (shoulder) is day to day. There are two others who didn’t play because of injuries, Donald Russell (knee, day to day) and Ben Jacoby (knee, could play against Murray State).
Houston rolled up the most yards that the Panthers have allowed in their 15-game history. The Cougars passed for 561 yards and rushed for 171.
“I want to see resolve, and I want to see work ethic. I want to see guys who are as embarrassed as we are as coaches and are ready to go to work and get better.”
– Bill Curry
The Panthers special teams played much better than in the previous two games, averaging 32.8 yards per punt with none blocked. … Demarius Matthews filled in at kick returner well for the injured Albert Wilson. He averaged 19 yards on three returns. Travis Evans averaged 16 yards on three returns. … Danny Williams caught four passes for 70 yards, his best game in terms of receptions and yards this season.
Georgia State has an off week before it hosts Murray State on Oct. 8. The Racers will provide yet another in a long line of quality tests for the Panthers. The good news is the coaches and players have time to regroup and try to figure out their strengths and how they can be utilized for the rest of the season.