GSU’s 5 things to watch in football, part 1

Georgia State’s football team entered the 2011 season with many questions that never got answered.

After a 3-8 record punctuated by another offseason of disciplinary problems, those questions haven’t gone away as the Panthers begin practice on Wednesday. They have less than four weeks before they open the season hosting S.C. State on Aug. 30 at the Georgia Dome. They will then dive into their first and last Colonial Athletic Association in a schedule that should be much more difficult than last year’s. The Panthers are joining the Sun Belt next year.

Here’s the first part in the five-part look at August’s practices:

Will focus be an issue considering this is the last year of the CAA, and coach Bill Curry hasn’t announced if he will lead the team into the Sun Belt next year?

Curry said focus shouldn’t be an issue for several reasons:

First, every season has been unusual so this one shouldn’t be any different. The program played its first season three years ago. The second season consisted of a patch-work schedule of opponents. Now, the third, the Panthers’ only one in the CAA, is at hand.

Second, Curry said the team finally has a senior class that has experienced different things, but the main point is they are still at Georgia State, “determined to make this thing work.”

Curry said the team has never made a conference championship, so that shouldn’t be a distraction. The players chant national championship, something he didn’t ask them to do.

“With the incredible thing that happened in April [Sun Belt announcement] we have to teach the guys the truest of the most boring statement coaches make: You really do have to play them one day at a time,’ “ Curry said. “That’s what we didn’t do a year ago. That should make us better.”

Curry praised the spirit of this year’s team.

“I’m really proud of this team already because of the way it has worked in the offseason. I expect very good things from this team. We are all of the same mind: we haven’t played football up to our capability.

“We have a legitimate senior class. Some are great students, some struggled early and are now very good students. Some learned to work hard and are getting the job done.

“One of the things I hated about coaching in the NFL was I had to cut people. In college, people cut themselves. If you do this and this, you are fine. If you don’t, you remove yourself. That has bothered me since the first day I was a coach in 1976. When that happens, you may lose a talented athlete, but it strengthens a team because those who are left are guys who chose to stay on the team.”

Other links for you

Q&A with Jordan Giles

Q&A with Michael Davis

– Doug Roberson, AJC. Please follow me on twitter @ajgcu

55 comments Add your comment

GaStateBob

July 26th, 2012
7:40 am

Ga State Realist

July 26th, 2012
7:51 am

Georgia State is woefully undermanned for competition in the very tough CAA (forget about moving up next year to the top division–they will get trampled), a 1AA league that is, in truth, better than several top division leagues. Admitting anybody who could sign his name has really hurt the program…there have been many defections; i.e. academic casualties, social problems, actual dismissals for criminal behavior.

They will be fortunate to win two games in the CAA

Paddy

July 26th, 2012
8:02 am

To move up to Div 1 after only 3 years is like saying, “that snake oil salesman really seemed like an honest man”.

Coach Curry

July 26th, 2012
8:21 am

If your having control problems just try opps I crapped my pants, because I’m wearing them and I just did!!!

RidgeRunner

July 26th, 2012
8:23 am

Once the season begins we will know whether season 1 or season 2 was a fluke. On paper our 3rd season should be terrible but I feel there are many intangibles/unknowns that can make season 3 a pretty good year. Waiting now for Sept to see. Be there!

Eagle Pride

July 26th, 2012
8:48 am

When did we hire Curry as our coach and join the CAA?

Sluggo

July 26th, 2012
8:55 am

Addition by subtraction! I think this team will gel much better and is poised to win some games this year. Go Panthers!

SMH

July 26th, 2012
8:56 am

It’s clear Eagle Pride is THE BIGGEST LOSER! Good job Nancy.

Paradigm shift

July 26th, 2012
9:08 am

Paradigm shift – a radical change in underlying beliefs or theory.
If you don’t see this coming, then you are obviously in charge of nothing.

Not to be cliché, but no one likes change.

BariBlue

July 26th, 2012
9:19 am

Loving the optimism coming from the team this year. Looking forward to making some noise in the CAA this year. Go Panthers!

GSouthEagle

July 26th, 2012
9:29 am

Sluggo, how do you figure that your team will win more games? You are moving to a conference (even for one year) that has some of the better I-AA teams of which you have yet to beat any of. Granted from what I can see that was only ODU, but they have one of the top QBs in the I-AA and beat you by 23 last year. The CAA is one of the top I-AA conferences in the country and all the teams are tough.

It wouldn’t be surprising if you guys went 3-8, at best. It’s time to be realistic and look at what you have and what you are up against. Being a true fan is understanding your team and supporting them, even if you don’t think that they’ll will.

We (Georgia Southern) are poised for a championshp run this year but face many hurdles and I wouldn’t be surprised if we don’t make it past the second round of the playoffs. We could though make a serious run at put another championship flag on the pole.

Blind loyalty isn’t being truly loyal.

Sluggo

July 26th, 2012
9:33 am

WHY ARE YOU WORRYING ABOUT MY PREDICTIONS????? GTF off this blog worrying about GSU and Sluggo, got me?

Sluggo

July 26th, 2012
9:34 am

And that’s directed to GSouthEagle!

Panama

July 26th, 2012
9:38 am

GSU freshman

July 26th, 2012
9:41 am

I love my GSU team.
Can’t wait to see us play.
Go Eagle!!!!

Proud to be a GSU.

Pennsylvania CAA fan

July 26th, 2012
10:04 am

I do love the banter. From an outsider point of view– it is weird to see GA Southern people so upset at this team because of initials. Kind of sad but I am fascinated by this back and forth. I have followed it since GSU joined the CAA. My southern friend advise that this type of behavior is common in the football south. He said it usually only happens with big name teams not teams like the GSUs (no offense).. Auburn/Ala etc. His words not mine–

I think “realist” is on the mark. Two wins will be a miracle. I am going to the URI game just to see the Panthers. (RI in the fall is beautiful if you want to make the trip). Best of luck next year in the Subelt– at least the GSU students should be smarter than all the hillbilly schools in the Sunbelt.

Pennsylvania CAA fan

July 26th, 2012
10:05 am

Let the “Yankee” comments start………now

To GSouthEagle

July 26th, 2012
10:09 am

Well said.
Realistically 3 and 8 is plausible. Hopefully this doesn’t happen, but that is why you play the games. Now is the perfect opportunity for Southern fans to pile on. State’s performance on the field last year was terrible, we have no idea who the coach will be as we head into the Sun Belt conference, our fans support at the games hasn’t developed to the expected levels that we hoped they would be, and we are having problems on the field and off the field with our players as well. That being said if Southern fans experienced all of these problems, your fans that are accustomed to playoff victories would not cope as well as the fans at State. We have fewer fans than you today, but adversity will make our fans better and our fan base larger because we are having to earn every win we can get. The difference? A freshman at Southern shows up on campus with an “I am entitled” perspective on his team. Not the case at State. The State fans today are growing with the team which is completely different than the fan experience generated by Tech, UGA, and other established programs. Unlike you we will be patient, we will take your criticism, we will struggle with all the issues with a new program that you will never comprehend, and we will celebrate when we surpass you and other football programs in strength of victories. One bowl game victory will surpass all your FCS Championships. You and all the Southern fans know this to be true. If you disagree then why after we announced moving to the FBS did your head coach announce an 8 year plan to move to the FBS. This announcement came after 20 plus years of football and several years of having a comfortable status in the FCS. If the FCS championships are as glorious as you and others claim them to be, why not stay in the FBS forever and win many more championships. If you think our decision didn’t affect Southern’s decision to announce a 8 year plan to move to the FBS, then I am afraid naivety has gotten the better of you.

To GSouthEagle

July 26th, 2012
10:13 am

Typo change FBS to FCS on 4th line from bottom, but I think you understand the message and perhaps disagree with the post accordingly.

Jee S. You

July 26th, 2012
10:19 am

This GaSo stuff is really getting pathetic. Grow up people and go haunt the Statesboro Herald – they are the only media outlet that pays you any attention anyway.
As for GSU, it will be very interesting this year. As Curry has said, we were close in many of the games we lost last year. Based on what the team has done in the off season, I think we have made up that gap and more. Now we get to see how that improvement stacks up in an FCS conference. The good thing is that winning season or losing season, FCS will no longer be our concern in four short months – and that is what the GaSots can’t stand.

GNATVILLE

July 26th, 2012
10:49 am

Actually their media outlet is “The George-Anne”, seriously!

toPennCAA

July 26th, 2012
10:57 am

Great…now we have Damn Yankees to deal with along with the GaSo-ers.

You guys got lucky at Gettysburg !!

Happy Valley

July 26th, 2012
11:00 am

GSU has come a long way in a short time!

There is GSU...

July 26th, 2012
11:19 am

And there is GJU, Georgia Jealous University! What a horrible trait to have.

Howdy Doody

July 26th, 2012
11:23 am

Doug, how are season ticket sales going?

Have you guys heard the new?

July 26th, 2012
11:34 am

Georgia Jealous University (GJU) to the WAC-E based on a tweet that had absolutely nothing to do with it! BAAHHHAAAAAABBBBAAAAAHHHHHHAAAAAA!

spider

July 26th, 2012
11:40 am

hey ga southern people, there can be more than 1 GSU. there are three OSU that i know of ohio, oregon, oklahoma, two USC, cal and carolina, ASU arizona and app st, just to mention a few and im sure there are many more duplicates i could drum up if i took the time so whats the big deal???

Georgia Jealous University

July 26th, 2012
11:44 am

The problem is nobody wanted us and now we feel like jilted lovers! GSU did in two years (FBS) what we couldn’t do in 30. So every chance we get we make outlandish comments trying to undermine them.

Karl Benson, what about us?!?

Panama

July 26th, 2012
11:54 am

…I always come on here to read War and Peace

I want to give all the interloper…er outsiders…um I mean visitors a heartfelt thank you for your constant concern for our tiny insignificant program. We are so happy that you care so much about us to write multi-paragraph and sometimes one long run on sentence about how misguided our lives are for having attended such a horrible school. How else would we know how horrid our city is? Thank you so much. We are not worthy to use the name GSU (that we have been using since 1969). I especially want to thank the posters from CAA member schools who have always been so generous and fair. Thank you so much. I will the dignified, civilized discussions; the fair officiating. And what can we say of Georgia Southern and the city state of Statesboro. Georgia Southern, so fair so true. The city and campus at the center of the modern civilized world. Your libraries and museums shame us all. How nice of you to never give up on us but instead show up on every blog and every thread on every message forum in the websphere to grace us with your presence. How else would we ever remember how many championships you have won? How would we ever remember how un-Utopian our campus and downtown are? I realize takes a lot of time out of your days as V.P.s of large corporations, as Doctors, as lawyers, to search the internet for any and all references to a school you dont play just so you can bring forth your wisdom unto us. You have won the internet. Congrats. We appreciate all you do. Thank You.

To Panama

July 26th, 2012
12:04 pm

Hall of fame post from Panama…..
You left out the vision that the entire football program displayed to decide to move to the FBS after State The infamous 8 years plan or after some 40 plus years of football, but that’s just coincidental I guess.

Love this… copy and paste into sarcasm font in 3-2-1

“The city and campus at the center of the modern civilized world. Your libraries and museums shame us all. How nice of you to never give up on us, but instead show up on every blog and every thread on every message forum in the web sphere to grace us with your presence. How else would we ever remember how many championships you have won? How would we ever remember how un-Utopian our campus and downtown are? I realize takes a lot of time out of your days as V.P.s of large corporations, as Doctors, as lawyers, to search the internet for any and all references to a school you don’t play just so you can bring forth your wisdom unto us. You have won the internet. Congrats. We appreciate all you do. Thank You.”

Panther

July 26th, 2012
12:42 pm

Let’s put all this banter behind us and look toward the future. Sure, Georgia Southern is the better team for now, but GA State will be ruling this state in football in the near future,

GSUAlumBaseball81

July 26th, 2012
1:10 pm

egeagle

July 26th, 2012
1:47 pm

Wow. lots of bloviating for a team and program that has done nothing of consequence. Even your invitation to be Homecoming fodder for Sunbelt teams is not impressive. Some goob above said something about earned success and victories? That’s exactly what we’ve done– EARNED all of our victories and titles. There is virtually no sense of entitlement at Georgia Southern, just a tradition of hard work and a bad case of the wants. Also the earned pride of developing a championship program from scratch. That legacy was left to us by the great Erk Russell, All the insults and petty comments can’t take that away from True Blue Eagles. As for a little parting smack, when do we get our CAA title flag? We sent them packing in last year’s playoffs, so don’t we deserve that too?

I like Bill Curry, but...

July 26th, 2012
1:48 pm

it may be time for him to go next year. If not next year then CERTAINLY the year after that. He’s done a great job, and starting a college football program must be a thankless job. However, being on GSU’s campus and knowing some of the guys they let in to play ball, I really must say I expected more from him. Some of these guys are just not good people, or at least they put on a really good show trying to hide their abilities (i.e., Drew Little). Of course, there are some guys men on the team who represent GSU very well, and I am proud of them. But, I mean, come on…when starting a program and you know you are going to take some lumps I think character has to be a bigger deal that it has clearly been for this staff. I’ll be at all the home games, and I hope we do well. I just have this nagging feeling that another year of bad football is in order.

GSU_MEX_ALUM

July 26th, 2012
2:21 pm

@Panama: Couldn’t have said it better!

Hey egeagle

July 26th, 2012
2:25 pm

NDSU just scored again!

Take your pee-wee titles and shove them up your you know what. Two years of FCS ball to now starting year 1 of FBS transistion is what GSU is focusing on. Jealous much?

GSU_MEX_ALUM

July 26th, 2012
2:33 pm

I don’t see BC signing an extension… We need a coach that can reenergize our football program like CRH did with basketball.

To Hey egeagle

July 26th, 2012
2:34 pm

I fixed it for you

NDSU just scored again and Ga Southern didn’t.
One touchdown against NDSU really? After 20 plus years that’s all you got.

MEH

GSUtimes2

July 26th, 2012
2:45 pm

Irony (n.) Aih-run-ee
1. When a Georgia Southern Troll accuses GSU commenters of being petty and and insulting whilst posting on a Georgia State blog.
2. An unknowing paradoxical schism created when a Georgia Southern fan formulates a thought. Typically, this thought is in direct contradiction to reality unbeknownst to the Southern fan.

Example:

“Go Blue Eagles! I’ll take our 6 national championships over the Slum Belt any day!!” [Next day writes email to Southern AD demanding why they aren't FBS yet.]

GNATVILLE

July 26th, 2012
2:53 pm

Hey Georgia Jealous University, the team that STOMPED you at last year (NDSU) went from 3-8 to 9-5 to 14-1. See how that works? Now get off our blog and keep fighting for Pee-Wee titles.

Argentina Blue

July 26th, 2012
3:17 pm

@Ga. State Realist – Best post of the day so far. The CAA is not actually rated higher than several FBS conferences but it is VERY close to the Sun Belt as are several other FCS conferences. The top two teams in the CAA would probably beat the majority of the teams in the Sun Belt.

@I like Bill Curry, but – Curry’s a crappy coach but in his defense I seriously doubt it would have make much difference who State brought in to start the program…or who they bring in next.

GSUWI94

July 26th, 2012
4:06 pm

ALL OF THESE COMMENTS ARE AMAZING. PEOPLE WAKE UP. THERE WILL BE BUMPS AND BRUISES FOR THE NEXT SEVERAL YEARS. GSU WILL BE COMPETITIVE LIKE FIU. THE LOSSES SHOULD NOT BE TAKEN AS A WEAKNESS.

SMH

July 26th, 2012
4:11 pm

Try telling that to a bunch of degenerate Georgia Southern fans.

GSUtimes2

July 26th, 2012
5:07 pm

Lol, yeah. The top teams in the CAA would beat any team in the Sun Belt. Keep telling yourself that. If you think it up, it must be true!

Monday morning QB

July 26th, 2012
8:52 pm

I always enjoy reading this blog.State is in Atlanta or the ATL if you speak hip-hop, and Southern is in Statesboro which is so depressing that even the Allman Brothers couldn’t do enough ‘rooms to liven it up.

[...] Here’s part 1. [...]

[...] Will GSU football keep its focus? [...]

David

July 28th, 2012
8:57 am

Enter your comments here

David

July 28th, 2012
9:05 am

Will Georgia State University keep its focus? Yes, the football players and coaches will be ready and focus for the upcoming season. Now, will the fans and students will be focus only – time will tell. winning football games will keep everyone focus. Right now, it is not hard to get football tickets at Georgia State home football games.

GSU freshman

July 28th, 2012
12:41 pm

No, I love my GSU team.
Can’t wait to see us play.
Go Eagle!!!!

Proud to be a GSU.