I know that we are in the middle of hoops hysteria, but Georgia State will begin spring football practice on Wednesday.
To that, I’ll post five spring questions about the team that will bear looking at until practice ends April 6.
I encourage you to post your thoughts about each area because I enjoy what you have to say and I appreciate the feedback.
Anyway, part I:
1. Who will become in the impact player on the defensive line?
Whether because of scheme, size, technique or luck, Georgia State’s defense had many issues last season. The unit that gave up 31.2 points and 403.3 yards per game. Those issues started on the defensive line, which neither consistently chased the quarterback or tied up the other team’s blockers so that the linebackers could make plays. Former defensive coordinator John Thompson changed his team’s scheme midway through the season and there was some improvement, but few will forget losing to NAIA St. Francis, which gashed the Panthers in a 30-27 overtime loss.
“We fell short in every area last year,” Curry said. “The emphasis is get your pad downs, defeat the blocker, run to the football, over and over again.”
Gone from that unit are Christo Bilukidi with his team-high five sacks, and utility player Kalan Jenkins.
A.J. Portee, who transferred in from Connecticut, was mostly quiet with just two sacks and five tackles for loss. He will lead a group that includes C.J. Stephens, Terrance Woodard and Allen McKay.
The defensive line doesn’t have to produce the impact player if it can occupy the other team’s offensive line long enough to allow the linebackers or safeties to make plays. But Curry wants his defense to get after the other team, which the defense didn’t do last year. The team finished with 21 sacks and opponents scored 80 percent of the time in the red zone.
“We didn’t create as much pressure,” Curry said.
The defense was going to switch to a 4-2-5 scheme, which Curry felt better used the talents of the players. However, with Thompon’s resignation and no coordinator yet hired, it remains to be seen what scheme will be used as the base.
Here’s the depth chart on the defensive line:
– Doug Roberson, AJC. Please follow me on twitter @ajcgsu