GSU’s 5 things to watch in football, part 2

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 next part in the five-part look at August’s practices (parts, 3, 4 and 5 will come out Monday-Wed.):

Will there be any improvement in special teams?

The Panthers were worse than their opponents in kick returns, punt returns, punt coverage and field goals last year. They committed penalties in all areas that affected field position. Coach Bill Curry said the team has been working to make the players understand that field position directly affects wins and losses.

“We have to convince the guys the way to fix the little details: don’t hit a guy in the back,” he said.

Curry said he was part of last year’s problem. He didn’t want to play some starters on the different units. He said he won’t shy away from doing that this year. He said some starters, notably Emmanuel Ogbuehi, have asked to be put onto the special teams units.

“That’s an example of the way the team’s grown up,” he said.

Matt Ehasz and Matt Hubbard will likely be two of the specialists. Kicker Christian Benvenuto remains suspended after allegedly being involved in a bar fight. It was the same fight that resulted in the dismissal of backup quarterback and punter Bo Schlechter and linebacker Dexter Moody.

Here’s part 1.

– Doug Roberson, please follow me on twitter @ajcgsu

26 comments Add your comment


July 27th, 2012
7:25 am

Special teams will be better and Punter Matt Hubbard is back after an All American type Freshman season.


GSU freshman

July 27th, 2012
8:35 am

Why don’t ya’ll go to see the real GSU eagle play?

GSU is in Atlanta

July 27th, 2012
8:43 am

Doug, don’t you mean Matt Ehasz will be the starting kicker, not punter?

If Matt is our kicker, can he kick it into the end zone every time? Special Teams were atrocious last year and having to watch the other team run the kickoff back was hard to watch, so we need touchbacks this year.

GSU Freshman

July 27th, 2012
8:48 am

Sadly I chose the wrong school to attend and what awaits me now is a career of trucking and watching my FCS eagles on PBS…


July 27th, 2012
9:00 am

Matt is our current starting kicker and no way will he be the starting punter after Hubbard’s 2012 performance. That kid could punt for many SEC and ACC teams. I wasn’t sold last year on Benvenuto as our starting kicker and if he likes bar fights so much then put him on kick coverage teams!

Doug Roberson

July 27th, 2012
9:02 am

I believe you are right about Ehasz

Averitt Trucking Co.

July 27th, 2012
9:34 am

@GSU Freshman, We will be hosting a truck driving career fair on the Georgia Southern campus the day of your first home game, please feel free to drop by and fill out an application. FYI: Our corporate HQ is in Cookeville, TN, which happens to be home to one of your fellow FCS peers, TN Tech. However, since TN Tech has engineering degrees, they will run logistics from an office while you man the big rigs. We pay 20 cents a mile and will help with a down payment on your mobile home.


July 27th, 2012
10:00 am

Coach Curry

July 27th, 2012
10:09 am

Should have saved the opps I crapped my pants joke for part 2. “The Panthers were worse than their opponents in kick returns, punt returns, punt coverage and field goals last year.” As a coach I try to teach consistency. See we were worse than our opponents 74% of the time last year, we’ve got to improve on this and I think playing in the CAA will help. This year we will be worse even worser, now thats consistency.

Tom Cochrane

July 27th, 2012
10:18 am

I wanted to come here and thank all of the Georgia Southern truck drivers on here for giving me inspiration to write my famous song “Life is a Highway”.

My good buddy Steve Miller wrote his classic “Fly like an Eagle” for Georgia Southern Fans and it truly turned out to be quite prophetic in regards to your FBS situation: “Time keeps on slippin’, slippin’, slippin’…into the future”

I wish I was funny

July 27th, 2012
10:23 am

there are some jokes about curry that are funny, but the oops i crapped my pants one is about 10 years too late. might be time to step into this decade and learn some new lines…kinda like the 5 hour energy line from previous blogs, now that was a good one.

Jee S. You

July 27th, 2012
10:23 am

So is Christian’s suspension indefinite? If it isn’t going to be resolved soon, there doesn’t seem to be much reason to keep him around.

[...] A look at GSU’s special teams. [...]

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

July 27th, 2012
11:21 am

Shouldn’t it be 10 things to watch split in to 2 parts instead?
If you had 5 thinks to watch and split them in 2 parts each would have 2.5 things.

GSU is in Atlanta

July 27th, 2012
11:24 am

Comment above…not so smart


July 27th, 2012
11:55 am


Red Panther

July 27th, 2012
11:56 am

Panther special teams will be special this year; so it is written, so it shall be

Georgia Tech is in Atlanta

July 27th, 2012
2:16 pm

Red Panther,

More like special ed. Panthers will stink the place up just like last year. Mark it down. They’ll be lucky to win more than one game.

Jackets in ATL

July 27th, 2012
9:11 pm

All it takes is a 3-8 record to move up? Impressive…


July 28th, 2012
12:46 am

Looking forward to changing perceptions! Go Panthers!


GSU football recruit

July 28th, 2012
1:34 pm


About getting new players, could we get some players from Penn State?

Howdy Doody

July 28th, 2012
3:22 pm


What do season ticket sales look like? And why should we believe attendance will be any better this year?


July 29th, 2012
1:10 am

Winning will bring the people at this point. Georgia State fans and students have become used to a losing tradition in basketball and many other sports. With football having a trying year in 2011, it will take us getting a minimum of 7-8 wins a couple of years in a row to get people heading back in the direction of the Dome. Plus, let’s be honest, in the South the CAA teams don’t ring a bell with most fans and the majority of people don’t care about FCS football down here at all to begin with (Sorry Georgia Southern). Let’s hop into the Sun Belt, get some more quality opponents on the schedule, win some games and bring in a couple BCS conference opponents to the Dome on a year in, year out basis and attendance will be a non-issue. Go Panthers!


July 29th, 2012
1:20 am

Really it’s just one thing…getting the tar beat out of you before halftime.


July 29th, 2012
1:21 am

I was planning to go to a few games but not anymore. I hope you lose every game.

A person SMART enough to know...?

July 30th, 2012
11:34 am

That BLT tastes like sh/t