Levick positive about direction of program

Despite watching Georgia State lose its last four football games by a total of 119 points, athletic director Cheryl Levick said she sees a positive future for the football team under coach Bill Curry.

“We all are so competitive, we want to win right now. Coach Curry is, I am.” she said. “Like coach Curry, I really have to work on the patience of developing this program. We experienced success pretty quickly last year and we are playing harder teams this year. We have to be patient on building what we know and how to do it correctly.”

The Panthers went 6-5 during their inaugural season. However, after defeating Clark Atlanta, a Division II school, to open this season, the Panthers have been blown out by foes of various levels: third-year FCS program Old Dominion, established FCS power Jacksonville State, FBS-level Houston and rebuilding FCS program Murray State, 48-24 on Saturday.

“Do I think about [the direction] a lot? Yes,” Levick said. “Have I given up on it? Absolutely not. Are we going to get it turned around? Absolutely, but it just takes focused concentration every day to get it done.”

Attendance woes

In addition to problems on the field, just 10,963 fans attended Saturday’s game. It was the worst attendance of the Panthers’ 10 home games to date. It surpassed the 11,000-plus that attended the loss to ODU in the season’s second week.

Georgia State even moved the kickoff to 2 p.m. and asked fans to wear white T-shirts in an attempt to “whiteout” the game and energize the fanbase.

Levick said they are going to keep the 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. start times for the remainder of the season and will try to come up with more concepts for the fans. The Panthers will play at South Carolina State next week, before hosting South Alabama at 3 p.m. on Oct. 22.

“I’ll go back to the statement that we really are experiencing the growing pains of starting a football program on the field and off the field,” Levick said. “I’m not sure it’s even something that we are necessarily doing wrong that we need to correct right away, or just continuing to do all the good things even more.”

Offensive line

Guard Joseph Gilbert was suspended for Saturday’s game against Murray State for a violation of team rules.

Ulrick John started in Gilbert’s place, the third different position John has played this season.

John started at tackle in the opener against Clark Atlanta, and then at center in the loss to Houston two weeks ago, because Michael Davis sustained a season-ending injury during practice. Davis was starting the game against Jacksonville State because Ben Jacoby suffered an injury in the loss to Old Dominion in Week 2. Jacoby returned to center against the Racers, but left in the second half. Curry said the though Jacoby was OK.

Curry declined to say the team’s troubles running the ball could be pinned on any of the changes. The Panthers rushed for 86 yards.

“Any time you lose a regular in the offensive line, of course it affects you,” he said. “But we’ve had regulars injured, pretty much all year. If you ever use than as an excuse then you’re in trouble.”

Defensive line scheme

During some points of the game, Georgia State sometimes elected to have all three of its defensive linemen stand up instead of using a three-point stance. End Christo Bilukidi said it’s something they’ve been working on for the past two weeks.

The scheme seemed to confuse Murray State during parts of the game, but it clearly didn’t work against the numerous screens and draw plays the Racers like to run.

Murray State rushed for 138 yards and passed for 321. The Panthers did have three sacks but rushed for a 4.5-yard-per-carry average.

“The idea is to be able to move around and be faster to get in the gaps and confuse their running game,” Curry said. “Obviously that wasn’t consistently effective either.”

52 comments Add your comment

itsmeagain

October 8th, 2011
7:50 pm

Thanks a lot for this coverage Doug, i really appreciate it. Disappointing day today, i’m becoming more content with whats going on now with our program, realizing that maybe we do need to slow down a bit more than i wanted at first.

Pensylvania CAA fan

October 8th, 2011
8:40 pm

Nice coverage. I hope this loss stops the crazy talk about three and four years down the road and playing these folks etc. You are not ready to move up. GSU is not ready for prime time. As previously stated – GSU is not even ready for CAA play. Wow. Better focus and change something. JMU, W&M (Blue Hens!!!!) will roll all over this team. Again wish the school the best of luck but GSU will be lucky to survive in CAA play as the team stands….

itsmeagain

October 8th, 2011
9:02 pm

I agree with you. We have a long way to go. However, if the opportunity did come up, i would hope that the administration wouldn’t ignore it.

DJ-Dragon

October 8th, 2011
9:28 pm

Well they can’t say the Ga. State Panthers are inconsistent. We are actually quite consistent.

PantherCJ

October 8th, 2011
10:27 pm

I rather have our inconsistent play of last year when we had ups and downs. We played a few teams exceptionally well last year, but we haven’t done anything this year. Just consistently bad. The coaching really isn’t helping either. Our playcalling is like we are an FBS team, but we clearly can’t play it by the book like we are right now. We need to be more aggressive and do more things that aren’t conventional.

Our playcalling also needs to be smarter and more diverse.

Panther4life

October 8th, 2011
10:44 pm

Totally Disgusting. I do not mind losing but I DO mind NOT being competitive. I think it’s time to admit we are not a good team. Since nothing we are doing is working maybe we should scrap everything and start over with our entire playbook. I can tell you everyone has figured us out and we are not fooling anyone. What I find interesting is that it seems all you need to do to beat us is run a hurry up offense. Why is it that everyone else is running this and we are not? I hope we are at least running it in practice but clearly we are not since our defense cannot keep up with it. Again, maybe we need to start over…..

Sad GSU Fan

October 8th, 2011
10:50 pm

This game was terrible. Worst tackling defense I’ve seen in a while. Did they put vegetable oil on all the defenders gloves? And students, where were you at? You asked for these changes, they accommodated and you still failed to show up. What’s your excuse now?

About the team, they have no energy on the sidelines. I’m concerned that when Drew Little comes off the field after an unsuccessful drive he’s not walking around trying to pump up the offense. He walks over to the end of where the team is standing and does nothing. You are the QB, be a leader. This team just looks mentally weak.

Laura Smith

October 8th, 2011
11:58 pm

I agree with them playing tougher teams and it takes time to build this program up. Curry and the Panthers will win when they start league play next year in CAA……The players will be experience and
ready to face the teams in league.
I never give up on Curry, the Coaching Staff and players and I’m glad the Athletic administration isn’t giving up on them too. Good things are going to happen for Curry’s Panthers, just be patient. Believing in Curry’s Panthers and never giving up on them.

Hairy Dawg

October 9th, 2011
12:28 am

Time to get FireBillCurry.net up and running, I suppose.

Georgia State will be fine. I can’t imagine being a fan of a start-up college football team. It isn’t easy to win at the FCS level. Curry (or his future successor) will get it figured out, but the students need to support that team. It may not be sexy to watch the Panthers play against Murray St., but dammit, it’s your school. You’re paying good money to put that team on the field.

Itsmeagain

October 9th, 2011
2:34 am

Indeed Hairy Dawg

Laura Smith

October 9th, 2011
8:44 am

Agree too with Hairy Dawg.

Laura Smith

October 9th, 2011
8:56 am

I don’t agree with getting FireBillCurry.net website to be up……..You don’t fire a Coach like Curry who is getting a program started in just there second year. Give it time and I know Curry and Panthers are going to win and plus Curry is a winner in my book with how he teaches the players.

GSUAlumBaseball81

October 9th, 2011
9:22 am

Please, please, please try something other than the 3-4 defense! It’s not working! We are NOT big and tough enough up front to handle the offense lines we’re facing PERIOD!!! Also, what’s up with the special teams? Night and Day from last year! No excitement on the coverage teams PERIOD! Headhunters is what we need. Stay in your lanes and hit and tackle! Come on guys don’t call it a season. Keep your heads up because we’ve got South Carolina State next Saturday!

UnderSTATEd

October 9th, 2011
10:02 am

ODU, beats URI to go 5-1 looks like we’re getting left behind. Wish we would have gone the USA route for the first two years to get our fundamentals down. At this point I’m not even sure about the St. francis game. If we continune this way we will go 1-10. Both of our lines were bigger and should have dominated. Maybe someone from the risk management school could help Thompson break down film.

UnderSTATEd

October 9th, 2011
10:28 am

When you take out CAU and HOU, do you see the trend here Thopmson? Hey Bond, why haven’t we scored one point in the 4th Qtr?

QTR Opp GSU
1 27 27
2 42 14
3 23 21
4 33 0
Ttl 125 62

GSWho

October 9th, 2011
10:45 am

Yeah looks like the wheels fall off. Pretty suprised about the 4th qtr though.

Pantherdad

October 9th, 2011
11:03 am

Discouraging to see the trend line here. I know the coaches can’t tackle, throw or catch, but I’m worried that whatever message Curry is sending is not getting through, because there’s just too much bad football going on. Plus, why is Donald Russell not starting, and on the field for every series? The guy is head and shoulders our best back. And can we not find anyone who can punt with just a little hang time? End-over-end line drives set up several big returns by MSU.

On the plus side, the band ROCKED Saturday!! Whoever’s in charge of that deserves a raise and contract extension.

GSU

October 9th, 2011
11:40 am

Sorry to be redundant for I totally agree w/ Panther4life we are not good. Statistcally we are terribe and the reality is if your take out Shorter and Clark we have only beaten Savannah St. NC Central, Morehead St. Campell and Lamar. If you take out Morehead St. we have beaten each of the other teams by less than 1 TD. Time to wake up and smell the roses and yes they do smell like poo poo.

GSU

October 9th, 2011
11:49 am

Correction, if you take out Morehead and Savannah St.

STATEment

October 9th, 2011
12:08 pm

Not too sure what Pollard is doing either, 4th qtr results might be a result of S&C. Hopefully Pugh can beef up the recruiting soon we should have had a bunch more FBS transfers this year. If we have a losing season those folks will be harder to get.

PT

October 9th, 2011
1:18 pm

I’ve attended about every home game the last two seasons. GSU is not improving as a team. They have some good players but by and large they are out manned. They could overcome some of the talent deficiencies by being well coached and disciplined. People will not pay to come see this team play. They will get destroyed in the CAA next year. They will get 50 put on them most every week.

NC

October 9th, 2011
1:37 pm

The team played it’s best quarter of the year in the third. Got to build off of that. We had some bad calls go against us. The personal fouls for our defense putting hits on the other team were terrible and deflating. Tackling was awful. Whatever coach said at halftime worked for one quarter. Once we missed the easy field goal the team gave up…just gave up. On the bright side the band put on the best halftime show they have ever had. Really enjoyed the music! The team could learn a lesson from the band…have fun and give it all you got.

Mark

October 9th, 2011
5:14 pm

Time to pull the plug on this joke of a program! White out?? Really??? When you cannot even begin to make a dent in filling the seats?

GSU is in Atlanta

October 9th, 2011
6:34 pm

@Mark

It is not time to pull the plug, nor should it ever be pulled. However, they need to cut the gimmicks and all the things associated with filling seats besides winning games.

GSWhoCares

October 9th, 2011
7:56 pm

We suck…..We are not a good team hell, McEachern would give us a run for our money.. This season is a major disappointment for me. Really looked forward to it but now just want it to be over. Hopefully we can still recruit well enough to compete in the CAA. Think Dan Reeves missed the boat we should have gone FBS straight away. That would have put folks in seats.

GSUalum89

October 9th, 2011
8:21 pm

Straight to the FBS? Hell, lets just not waste time and jump into the NFC South. This dumb, ignorant of how college football works attitude is half the problem. We better straighten this out or this program will be dead in ten years.

ajs84

October 9th, 2011
8:25 pm

At this point, it is ridiculous to attempt a “white out” or even a “blue out” on a Saturday. Besides, they only had 3,000 t-shirts to give out. It might work on a Thursday night but not Saturday. See if adding more Thursday night games helps next season. I would also advise asking students and alumni directly as to why they do or do not attend games rather than playing guessing games with kickoff times. Attendance went down this time.

Maybe Curry needs to lighten-up on his strict discipline as these suspensions seem to be throwing the team of its rhythm. Consistency in the starting line-up might help

Pantherdad

October 9th, 2011
8:26 pm

NC: totally agree with your comment about the band. Wow! Whoever is in charge of that deserves a raise and a contract extension. Those kids work hard and excel — love it!

GSWhoCares

October 9th, 2011
10:20 pm

@GSUalum89,
USA, UTSA?? You are obviously the ignorant one here. If Dan Reeves had proposed FBS when they were expanding 4 years ago, we would not only have had 20 more scholarships, we would have been on our way. Do you honestly think USA and/or UTSA are better than us in terms of athletic programs? You should do your homework before making stupid comments.

PantherAlum

October 9th, 2011
10:29 pm

Amen Whocares. Reeves dropped the ball, GSU & USA were playing club together since the early 2000’s. We never should have extended w/ the CAA. He didn’t see the forest through the trees.

TheOne

October 9th, 2011
11:48 pm

If we wanted to be successful against teams like Clark Atlanta, why didn’t we just join D2? Serious question. It seems like we won’t be competitive with FCS teams. The program should look into the steps needed to reclassify to the division 2 level.

GSU_2012

October 9th, 2011
11:50 pm

We did what we did and we need to live with it right now. Thinking about what should have been done 4 or 5 years ago is pointless at this point. Next home game will be homecoming and attendance will be larger for that, for those that care. Personally, I believe that if this team was winning right now attendance would fix itself. Hopefully they will figure it out but right now it is just tough to watch.

GState08

October 10th, 2011
12:35 am

Extremely disappointed. It’s hard for me to justify paying money to see our team get blown out, but we have to continue to support our team. The coaches really have to something to inspire these guys because honestly we look worse than last year.

GSU

October 10th, 2011
2:12 am

The coaching staff is inadequate and the administration is too secretive. But what’s worst is having some lame moderator tell you what you can or cannot say. Who cares if admin or parents read a site? The only one who needs to adjust his expectations is said lame moderator. Predicting we go 5-2 in our last 7 is just silly. What a tool that Mr. Think I know everything is!

GSUAlumBaseball81

October 10th, 2011
3:44 am

Yea posting here is a bit of a mystery! All I can say is the coaches need to re-evalute the 3-4, the special team coverage and the offensive strategy. All three are lacking at this point.

GSU4EVER

October 10th, 2011
9:26 am

It’s just embarassing at this point. We need to re-evaluate the program. Perhaps we should be in D2. There’s nothing wrong with that, when we succeed there we could move back to FCS. Just not our time.

The Dome Is Our Home

October 10th, 2011
9:56 am

Bill Curry was great to get our program started – look at all the press we got! But he’s not winning and the team seemed to give up Saturday. Something needs to change – schemes, personnel, something.

RoguePanther

October 10th, 2011
9:59 am

Come on Men. But this is the reality, 1-10 may be the best the Panthers for this season can do under what it is.
Noboy learned anything from the losses experienced. Losses were expected, but how.

GSU must keep the program, others will pass on to whatever, looking at their athletic abilities, may be a rocket scientists, there is a project building a base on Moon.

The coaches should retire, don’t have ability to teach.
New program, but they are all supposed to be pro on teaching kids how to.

GSU91

October 10th, 2011
10:05 am

Yes, I think the coaching sucks, Curry needs to get rid of Bond & Thompson and move Joe Hamilton to QB coach. Additionally he might as well start and play Kelton for one entire game and see what happens. Regardless these kids lack any energy. Every other team is flying all around the ball and we are always confused looking. We need to start practicing more for the hurry up offense and play it ourselves sometimes. We also need to consider using the I formation to help Russell with the blocking we are not getting from our O line. Finally the scholarship players need to be reminded that they are there on a free ride and they need to earn their keep.

Panthersville.com

October 10th, 2011
10:06 am

Losses are tough, but this is a long-haul proposition. The future of the program lies in FBS, they are just taking a conservative path to get there. Not great for the fans, but hopefully will pay-off long-term.

Pride

October 10th, 2011
10:36 am

I would have thought with no Public TV coverage there would have been a larger turn out. I would love to take the students back in time about 15 years ago to see what campus life was like without football and dorms, and the additional amenities. I really think they would appreciate it more. As a football fan I enjoyed watching the Ga Tech, UGA, and Ga Southern games this weekend. Why? Because those were good games. Alternatively, I didn’t enjoy the Falcons or the Ga State games. Sorry, but as a State Alumni, I’m just being honest. I like football and I support Curry and the Panthers, but the games are painful to watch. Still think football is a great addition and I will continue to watch and support the program, but we have a long, long, long way to go.

GSU91

October 10th, 2011
11:29 am

@ Pride, Agreed but it would be helpful if you bought tickets and came to the games. Not sure how you have the right to judge the kids…just saying.

Pantherman

October 10th, 2011
11:34 am

Did I miss it or did Donald Russell not even start Saturday? What’s with that? He is clearly head and shoulders our best back. With him and Hill back there we might actually have a ground game, which would then open it up for the occasional pass. And one other thing: Can we PLEASE find a punter who can put a little hang time on it? Those end-over-end line drives set up one big return after another Saturday….

GStateBen

October 10th, 2011
12:15 pm

The comments about S&C are symptomatic of people who know nothing about football. Murray State ran 46 offensive plays in the first half. The defense was gassed. LB Dexter Moody also threw his helmet and was benched for the rest of the game. Losing a player of his caliber hurts a ton with tackling.

In the third quarter the defense played very well as the offense was able to rally back.

I’m confident about the progress of the young players that are getting valuable playing time and we’ve still only played 16 games as a program. Expectations people. Set your expectations correctly and you will not be disappointed.

GSU

October 10th, 2011
1:04 pm

So your expectation of winning 5 of our last 7 is realistic? How about you adjust your expectations and stop trying to control the narrative. I will only say that one time!

GSU91

October 10th, 2011
1:58 pm

I am not disappointed that we keep losing, I am disappointed how we are losing. If you told me we would go 1-4 and the average loss would be a TD I would be fine with that. The issue is that we are not even being competitive.

GSU4EVER

October 10th, 2011
2:04 pm

GStateBen should be the head football coach- LOL!

Too bad Dexter Moody was on the bench, there was no one out there to commit personal fouls!

Pride

October 10th, 2011
2:29 pm

GSU91
I was at the game.
A DVR is a beautiful thing you should look in to it!
Only missed one home game this season so you must be referring to that one or the away games. If so your right I don’t have a leg to stand on currently, but I am planning to road trip to Tennessee next year.
Go Panthers!

Pride

October 10th, 2011
2:37 pm

Oh yeah one more thing.
Thanks for the coverage Doug. Prior to the GSU football teams inaugural season I don’t think I have ever had so many blog conversations with alums. Win or lose I still love football at Ga State!

Fightin' Blue Hens

October 10th, 2011
3:56 pm

You all have to show a little patience with your team. You’ve played all of 16 games in FCS in just under 2 seasons. I was at UD when we moved from D-2 to 1-AA. We were either getting hammered by 1-AA and 1-A schools or hammering our old D-2 opponents. Reeves made the right choice – in FCS and Curry.