Georgia State’s 2012 football schedule won’t be easy

Georgia State’s 2012 football schedule includes plenty of firsts: its first trip to Rocky Top, and its first eight games in the Colonial Athletic Association.

The schedule, released today, likely won’t be easy: aside from the Panthers going 3-8 last season, which brings its own issues in all areas, four of their conference opponents made it to the FCS playoffs last season.

The Panthers, whose bye doesn’t come until the season’s last week, will open at the Georgia Dome, either on Thursday, Aug. 30 or Friday, Aug. 31, depending upon the Atlanta Falcons’ schedule.

Season tickets are on sale. Call 866-GA-STATE for more information.

“Our schedule is a great step forward for us to go and compete in this league,” coach Bill Curry said. “We’ve got to make a great leap forward with this team, to be competitive. That’s what we intend to do. We started working the day after the season, and we are continuing to work so that we will be competitive in the CAA.”

Tough start

The Panthers will begin to see if they have improved their offense, defense and special teams, each of which struggled in 2011, by hosting South Carolina State, a traditional power in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. The Bulldogs averaged 28.5 points per game, allowed just 18.5 last season and defeated the Panthers 23-13 in a sloppy game in at S.C. State.

Of course, coach Bill Curry and his staff must keep the team focused on S.C. State and not on the next week’s game at Neyland Stadium, which seats 102,455. It could be the most fans the Panthers have ever played in front of, surpassing the 101,821 that watched them lose at Alabama in the 2010 season finale. Of course, Georgia State will receive $500,000 to play there.

Georgia State will then return home to face Texas San Antonio, another recent start-up program. The Roadrunners defeated the Panthers 17-14 in overtime at the Alamodome last season.

CAA begins

The Panthers will begin their first official season in the CAA by hosting Richmond. They couldn’t have asked for a better opponent. The Spiders went 0-8 in the conference last season.

The Panthers will then travel to William and Mary, a traditional power in the CAA that went 5-6 last season.

Georgia State will host New Hampshire, the first of the four conferences foes that made it to the postseason. The Wildcats will be without quarterback Kevin Decker, a senior who passed for more than 3,200 yards last season. But do feature linebacker Matt Evans, who led the FCS with 7.67 tackles per game last season.

The Panthers will then travel to Rhode Island, which went 2-6 last season, before hosting Villanova for homecoming. The Wildcats went 1-7 in the conference last season.

CAA gauntlet

The fun, if that’s what it can be considered, ends with Villanova.

The Panthers close at James Madison, are at home against Old Dominion for the second consecutive season and end the regular season with a pack-a-coat game at Maine. That trio went 27-12 last season and each participated in the playoffs. Only Maine advanced past the second round, losing to Georgia Southern in the quarterfinals. Of course, the Panthers were handily beaten by the Monarchs last season at the Georgia Dome.

“There’s a tendency to look at those and understand how difficult it is,” Curry said. “We have to look at the first part and divide it into thirds and look at how we prepare for each one. Hope is by the time we get to the last three we will be toughened up by other battles and not beat up so that we can play our best.

“Teams that are reasonably healthy do the best down the stretch. Hard work we are doing right now is the most important thing we can do to get ready for not only that stretch, but for the whole season.”

Georgia State schedule

Date  —  Opponent —  2011 Record — Comment

Aug. 30 or 31  — South Carolina State  —  7-4  — Defeated GSU last season

Sept. 8 — at Tennessee —  5-7 — Panthers’ second game against a SEC school

Sept. 15 — Texas San Antonio — 4-6 — Defeated GSU last season

* – Sept. 22 — Richmond — 3-8 — Panthers’ CAA opener

* – Sept. 29 — at William & Mary — 5-6 — First CAA road game

* – Oct. 6 — New Hampshire — 8-4 — Lost in 2nd round of FCS playoffs

* – Oct. 13 — at Rhode Island — 3-8 — 0-8 in conference last season

* – Oct. 20 — Villanova — 2-9 — Homecoming opponent for Panthers

* – Oct. 27 — at James Madison — 8-5 — Advanced to 2nd round of FCS playoffs

* – Nov. 3 — Old Dominion — 10-3 — Defeated GSU last season

* – Nov. 10 — at Maine — 9-4 — Advanced to FCS quarterfinals last season.

* – Colonial Athletic Association games

61 comments Add your comment

NEVER BEEN

January 19th, 2012
12:25 pm

FIRST BEFORE.

Doug Roberson

January 19th, 2012
12:27 pm

Congrats NEVER BEEN

Panthersville.com

January 19th, 2012
12:36 pm

So no non-Saturday games other than the opener…..oh well. At least I get to be in Tennessee on my birthday!

Panthersville.com

January 19th, 2012
12:38 pm

So no non-Saturday games other than the opener…..oh well. At least we get to have a good road trip to Tennessee this year!

Jee S. You

January 19th, 2012
12:40 pm

Road trip to Tennesssee…..cool.

GSU

January 19th, 2012
12:40 pm

My prediction: 1-2 out of conference, 3-5 in conference. 4-7 season.

Lucky to avoid Towson in the CAA.

Sluggo

January 19th, 2012
12:41 pm

Games are won in the offseason. Put the work in now guys!

Panther

January 19th, 2012
12:41 pm

It’s a good schedule… If we can beat anyone at least

blazerdawg

January 19th, 2012
12:42 pm

4-7, maybe.

Good luck on Rocky Top, Panthers!

Doug Roberson

January 19th, 2012
12:42 pm

I think the schedule sets up well. Most of the tough CAA games are on the backend.

blazerdawg

January 19th, 2012
12:44 pm

Ron Hunter for DC!

hammer22

January 19th, 2012
1:29 pm

I’ll still support my Panthers no matter what. But, it’s not looking good this year.

There is not one game I see as an easy win. Best case scenario we win 5-7 games. I don’t even want to think about the worse case scenario.

A person SMART enough to know......

January 19th, 2012
1:37 pm

Chicken Crap VOLS. They will PAY for a WIN against Ga State but will not RISK a H-n-H with Georgia Tech. Geez the mighty VOLS have really fallen.

Panther

January 19th, 2012
1:42 pm

“We have to look at the first part and divide it into thirds and look at how we prepare for each one. Hope is by the time we get to the last three we will be toughened up by other battles and not beat up so that we can play our best.”
IMO, above quote indicates the negative and looser attitude of the coach towards the season. I think he should take some attitude lessons from Ron Hunter

Doug Roberson

January 19th, 2012
1:45 pm

Panther: breaking up the schedule into thirds or fourths is a pretty common tactic by coaches.

A person SMART enough to know......

January 19th, 2012
1:46 pm

Panther…………you need to LEARN about FOOTBALL. The COACH KNOWS how to play a season of Football. You know WHAT about a football season?

GSU '80

January 19th, 2012
1:56 pm

GREAT JOB ON THE SCHEDULE……………. very poor listing, home/way etc.

very poor

DesignerJacket

January 19th, 2012
1:56 pm

Totally winnable. Ok just kidding, but this Jacket hopes the Panthers show up and make it a real game.

Panther

January 19th, 2012
2:07 pm

I completely agree breaking up season into thirds or fourths is a good tactic. My concern is specifically to the statement which “hopes” to get tough by the last three games of the season to play our best. Why not toughen up now and put in the best effort from the beginning of the season?

Doug Roberson

January 19th, 2012
2:17 pm

I think that’s implied Panther.

Rick James

January 19th, 2012
2:22 pm

I would still love to see Georgia St.in Conference USA (or whats left of it) someday..

glsjunior

January 19th, 2012
2:24 pm

Don’t forget that Old Dominion was picked to finish next to last in the Colonial. This team will be full of RS Juniors and senior JC transfers, we should be ok.

GSU

January 19th, 2012
2:28 pm

When do we get to play UGA and GT? I heard other FCS teams have both of them on their upcoming schedules.

PTC DAWG

January 19th, 2012
2:32 pm

When are they going to play the REAL GSU?

They would get frog hammered by Southern.

biff pocaroba

January 19th, 2012
2:34 pm

nobody gives a damn about ga. state football,are you listening kennesaw state

hammerhead

January 19th, 2012
2:35 pm

Go Panthers!

GSU_2012

January 19th, 2012
2:39 pm

I would had loved it if we could have had another Thursday Night game. I also would have loved it if we could had our first game figured out with the Atlanta Falcons before the schedule went out. I know that there are probably reasons for why neither of these things could have happened, but it still would have been nice.

Best case scenario: We win 7 games by upsetting William and Mary and Old Dominion and not losing any games to teams that would be a close matchup. This scenario would bring new life to the Panther’s football. While I do believe that this scenario is difficult I do not think that it is impossible. A lot of our players will have two full years under their belt. Hopefully our defense will be strong after another year of growth and we have a quarterback who is a leader.

Worst Case Scenario: We do not win at all. Again while I do not believe that is easy, I also believe that it is possible. This would kill a young program and it would take years to recover. This scenario would happen if we have off-season problems like last year that would create a leaderless team, our defense would show no improve, the offense line would have diminished to the point where we could not establish a running game and Kelton would not have any time to throw a ball.

It will be very interesting to see what happens this year. It is a really important season for the panthers. I know a lot of you have been calling for changes in the coaching staff, but what I am hoping is that last year humbled the coaches as much as it did the players and this offseason they will recognize that they are playing for the future of the program and their jobs.

A person SMART enough to know......

January 19th, 2012
2:49 pm

biff pocaroba
January 19th, 2012
2:34 pm

nobody gives a damn about ga. state football,are you listening kennesaw state

Kennesaw State is in the Suburbs and will get a lot of Local Talent. G State is downtown and in the dome. I think you will be surprised how well supported football will be at KSU. First they will build the team from Walton, Pope, Wheeler, Lassiter, Riverwood, Holy Innocence, GAC, and such schools to get the FAMILY and local fans to buy into the team.

dtanner

January 19th, 2012
2:59 pm

it’s junk games like this that is driving me as a fan away from college football, since the NCAA started allowing a 12th game years ago you are seeing more of these worthless payday games,tenn vs ga state, georgia vs buffalo,fla atlantic,coastal carolina etc.,everybody knows these games are gonna be 56-3 blowouts and over with mid way thru the first qtr,basically a rip off for the fans who pay to watch this garbage, are you listening greg mcgarity

"Fun"

January 19th, 2012
3:20 pm

“The Fun ends with Villanova?” I guess you didn’t see them dismantle UMass at the end of last season. They struggled, using 3 or 4 different QBs during the season and starting just one senior all year, that won’t be the case in 2012.

I don’t know if Villanova will be a playoff team in 2012, but they’re not going to resember the 2-win team that you saw this past fall. It’s a home game for GSU, but all of these CAA games will be a battle. As last season taught us, don’t look to the past to predict the future. Maine and Towson came from nowhere to compete for the conference title — anyone can be a challenge.

zgoldAtl

January 19th, 2012
3:20 pm

I know where I’ll be September 8th.

GSU

January 19th, 2012
3:26 pm

FCS vs FBS games aren’t always”56-3 blowouts”

2011:
September 3:
Richmond 23, Duke 21
Sacramento State 29, Oregon State 28 (OT)
September 17:
Indiana State 44, Western Kentucky 16
September 24:
Sam Houston State 48, New Mexico 45 (OT)
North Dakota State 37, Minnesota 24
Southern Utah 41, UNLV 16

[...] Georgia State’s 2012 football schedule won’t be easyAtlanta Journal Constitution (blog)Georgia State’s 2012 football schedule includes plenty of firsts: its first trip to Rocky Top, and its first eight games in the Colonial Athletic Association. The schedule, released today, likely won’t be easy: aside from the Panthers going 3-8 last …NCAA Game Summary – Georgia State at NortheasternW*USA 9all 35 news articles » [...]

CFB Fan

January 19th, 2012
3:30 pm

Alabama/GSU: 45-21

GIVE ME A BREAK

January 19th, 2012
3:39 pm

Good for you, Coach Curry. I’m glad to see you schedule OOC games that are exciting for the players and the fans. I’d like to see GT schedule the Panthers in the future. ‘ GO JACKETS & PANTHERS “

A person SMART enough to know......

January 19th, 2012
3:52 pm

Give me a break are the one that is Friends with Supersize, 5150, Delbert, and 1 4 GT?

dtanner

January 19th, 2012
3:53 pm

@GIVE ME A BREAK,do you call alabama 56 ga.state 0 exciting for the fans who paid 50bucks a pop to watch this junk

tron

January 19th, 2012
4:04 pm

oh man we’re screwed…

Class of '71

January 19th, 2012
4:14 pm

Best wishes to Coach Curry and the Panther team!!

KREEDHAM

January 19th, 2012
4:16 pm

I know they’ve got to get their conference games in but GSU should play GSU every year!

kreedham

January 19th, 2012
4:19 pm

Georgia Southern would probably sell more tickets for Ga State than any other school they would play!

MG

January 19th, 2012
4:25 pm

The concrete cats are looking at a 2-9 finish at best for the upcoming season. They will not make any vast improvement as long as Mr. Good Guy is the head coach.

Jimmy Baron

January 19th, 2012
4:40 pm

There will NOT be over 90k in Neyland for the GSU game. In case you haven’t noticed, Tennessee fans have been staying away by the thousands lately.

blazerdawg

January 19th, 2012
5:08 pm

SMART @ 2:49

Riverwood? C’mon man.

Good luck to KSU, but my family and I will be in the Dome rootin for the Panthers. Hope to get the Ga State/Ga Southern/Ken St/Val St/West Ga rivalries going in the coming years.

SteveJ

January 19th, 2012
5:08 pm

@kreedham

Georgia Southern played Alabama this year. I doubt that Georgia State vs. Georgia Southern would draw more than what Bryant-Denny holds.

Dylan

January 19th, 2012
6:21 pm

I don’t really know why KSU has any relevance to this story, but you better believe that Kennesaw is going to be a very well supported football team. Students never stay on campus over the weekends because there is nothing to do on campus here. The basketball teams have rarely played at home this year, also. Kennesaw State’s football team will do wonders for the school. It will inspire more pride in the school as well as convince more people to stick around on the weekends. I can’t wait for the team to get here in 2014!

Go Owls!

And good luck next year Panthers! I have a lot of respect for Coach Curry.

Bulldog Briscoe

January 19th, 2012
7:31 pm

Hey Tennessee: whats a matter– wern’t The Sisters of Perpetual Sorrow or Disco Tech available?

Raccoon Coat Mac

January 19th, 2012
9:27 pm

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz …kill GSU football … Save the student fees

Boo hoo!

January 19th, 2012
10:13 pm

@Racoon Coat Whiner – If you are a student and don’t like the fees then transfer somewhere else. You do have a choice. Students voted for the fee increase so don’t let the facts get in the way of your little cry fest.

Doug Roberson

January 19th, 2012
10:47 pm

Actually, students didn’t vote for the increase, per se. The increase was approved by a student fee panel. It wasn’t put to vote to the entire student body, is my understanding.