GSU’s 5 things to watch in football, part 3

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:

Can the defense improve?

Last year’s unit gave up 31.2 points and 403.3 yards per game. It had trouble stopping the run — 180.5 rushing yards and 24 rushing touchdowns – and trouble finishing games – 123 points allowed in the fourth quarter, the worst of any quarter. Defensive coordinator John Thompson, who tried many schemes, resigned to accept the same job at Arkansas State. Anthony Midget was promoted into his first coordinator’s role and decided to continue teaching the 4-2-5 system, which Thompson elected to install before he left. The goal is try to take advantage of GSU’s speed.

Midget’s job hasn’t gotten easier with the dismissal of three players projected to start: linebacker Dexter Moody, who led the team with 65 tackles last year, and ends A.J. Portee and Qwontez Mallory. Those losses leave him with linebacker Mark Hogan as the only returning starter among the front seven. The secondary is the strongest it has ever been with three starters returning.

“The defense has to grow up in a hurry,” coach Bill Curry said. “We have worked since the day the last season was over to address each of those areas.”

Curry said the team will likely have to use some true freshmen, potentially defensive tackle Joe Lockley, and redshirt freshmen David Huey and John Kelly.

Hogan said the defense has spent time bonding during the offseason. He said the players are also much stronger than they were the previous two years after getting a full offseason in strength and conditioning coach Ben Pollard’s workout program.

Here’s part 2 of the 5 things

Here’s part 1 of the 5 things

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

31 comments Add your comment

Panther Man

July 30th, 2012
7:40 am

“D” will improve under Midget—–2011 was really poor defense; Thompson leaving is a big plus++++

GSU

July 30th, 2012
8:34 am

Ironically, the majority of the kids kicked off on defense called themselves #TrippeGang. Getting those cancers out of the locker room and off the field should prove to be a productive move. Good riddance.

Coach Midget will bring youth and enthusiasm, but I’m not sure if that will translate into stopping the run etc. Only time will tell. Go Panthers!

RidgeRunner

July 30th, 2012
9:34 am

Wondering if defense could be any worse this year. Think the first two comments are on the mark. Hopeful that this will be a good defense rebuilding year.

GStateBen

July 30th, 2012
9:39 am

Having Kentucky transfer Nermin Delic and UMASS transfer Theo Agnew will be a HUGE plus on the defensive line. Lockley has been tremendous thus far and definitely interested in seeing how it translates on the field starting this week.

The secondary is definitely the strength of this defense. Loaded at corner and safety.

One month until #STATEOFSHOCK

GSU

July 30th, 2012
10:14 am

Also, we definitely need to be healthy coming out of training camp considering our lack of depth at key positions.

Georgia Tech is in Atlanta

July 30th, 2012
10:22 am

Five things to watch for this year:

1) Panthers get drubbed repeatedly and finish in the CAA cellar.

2) More suspensions and dismissals from the team.

3) Curry retires after the season with the glorious distinction of having left two Atlanta college football programs in shambles. If Curry doesn’t elect to retire then Becker and Levick will show him the door.

4) Panthers’ puny fan base will be in temporary meltdown over the numerous beatdowns and the realization of just what lies in wait for their atrocious team in the Sun Belt Conference.

5) After the season ends, aformentioned twelve fans return to their usual delusions.

Trippe Gang

July 30th, 2012
10:23 am

New album out August 30th, we will be selling them in the parking lot of the Dome before the SC State game, come pick one up!

TVC

July 30th, 2012
10:27 am

Tech Virgin Club here! We are stuck in Purgatory with CPJ at the helm, never going up, never going down. I guess the 100+ years of tradition that we have doesn’t really hold too much weight anymore and so we need to come and rip on GSU b/c we are actually insecure about their potential.

p.s does anyone have any tips on how to get laid?

Fort Valley State University

July 30th, 2012
10:40 am

Can we schedule y’all for our Homecoming game?

Georgia Tech is in Atlanta

July 30th, 2012
10:55 am

I think that Paul Johnson is overrated. But noone is insecure about State’s potential since, well, they don’t have any. By the way, have you considered offering free tickets to students and vagrants in an effort to get attendance up? Maybe you could even consider paying people to go to games on a trial basis.

07alum

July 30th, 2012
11:02 am

Is Midget a “motivator?” Meaning, can he make guys believe they can hit, tackle, fly to the ball, make a stop? Thompson’s defense just folded over and over, the tackling was pitiful for much of the season and they just had no mental toughness. These aren’t bad athletes (argue about the size of the D-line, but still…), they just had no heart and were soft, with a few exceptions. That’s what I want to see out of them in preparation for big boy football.

Jee S. You

July 30th, 2012
11:05 am

…you mean the way Tech used to give tickets to GSU students to help fill seats in BDS?

Glsjunior

July 30th, 2012
11:06 am

Be nice Tech maybe we will lend you some coeds.

GA Tech Posters By Any Other Name Are Still Trolls

July 30th, 2012
11:12 am

GA Tech Posters By Any Other Name Are Still Trolls trying to belittle everyone else in hopes it raises there status from a very boring level to anything else.

Georgia Tech is in Atlanta

July 30th, 2012
11:17 am

Jee S. You,

Who told you that? The same dummy that started that silly, unfounded “GSU to play Florida in 2013″ rumor? Oh well, maybe you guys can use that as an excuse for lack of attendance (again) this year.

Glsjunior,

You mean housewives?

A person SMART enough to know...?

July 30th, 2012
11:29 am

I saw a pretty girl at Tech one time. She was a server in the cafeteria.

Home Park Mugger

July 30th, 2012
11:49 am

Tech is such a nice campus for me to prey on its students. I mean, they ran me out of GSU and left only the vagrants (which still get in my way on Tech’s campus), so the next logical place for me to go was to Tech and its surrounding areas. These dorks have no street smarts and it’s like taking candy from a baby. I would attend their football games, but since they run the same offense my high school (which i dropped out of) I don’t need to.

Jee S. You

July 30th, 2012
11:50 am

Who told me that? Uh….the person from Tech who handed me free tickets after I showed my GSU student ID?

Until you guys can sell out your own place without help from UGA fans, you really shouldn’t talk – that is pathetic for a school with your history. Granted, you are trying to fill the North Endzone that should have never been built (and is a huge black eye for an engineering school given its horrible design), but that was your choice.

GSU

July 30th, 2012
12:03 pm

Don’t be fooled! All these negative comments are from the same LOSER! Even after all that drivel, we’re still FBS and your GNATs are desperate to be wanted by any one who will consider. Enjoy playing that D-II schedule for next century! LOSER!

John Portman

July 30th, 2012
12:03 pm

Jee S. You, You should know that the endzone design came from one of our architects, not engineers. If you know anything about architecture (which obviously I don’t b/c of the atrocities that I left standing in Atlanta) then it shouldn’t surprise you that we built such an ugly addition to Bobby Dodd. I mean it is pretty well know that we don’t excel all that much when it comes to our architecture school.

Donor

July 30th, 2012
12:25 pm

Tech fans talking trash about the attendance of a program in it’s third year? Now that is cute. Tech should be turning over all gate receipts to UGA and Clemson since those are the two only sellouts at legendary Bobby Turd Stadium. Must be nice for UGA to have a guaranteed home game to end the season every single year.

BariBlue

July 30th, 2012
2:07 pm

I’m thinking the defense will be much better this year. However, with the increase in competition, they will need to improve VERY quickly. 2012 is the year to prove everyone wrong! Go Panthers!

GSU Eagle Fan

July 30th, 2012
3:52 pm

Atlanta college football fans are funny! Too bad neither of you can fill your stadium, and come to this GSU Eagles blog to bellyache. There there, you both can look forward to beating up on Kennesaw. Maybe.

Tailgater

July 30th, 2012
4:57 pm

What is the tailgate scene like at the dome for games? I haven’t been to one yet, just know the lots for Falcons games, cant imagine it is that widespread, is it in one area?

GSU is in Atlanta

July 30th, 2012
5:31 pm

It is primarily concentrated to the orange & brown lots immediately next to the dome, and then those 5-6 pay lots that are located south of there. There are probably others, but these are the ones that I have tailgated at.

Pantherfan93

July 30th, 2012
5:32 pm

Typically the Alumni lot is Orange, and the Brown lot has a lot of tailgating too.

GSUtimes2

July 30th, 2012
6:14 pm

The new trolls from Tech say more about them than it does about GSU. Tech fans, can you give me one good reason for you to comment obsessively on our blog other than fear of what we might become in 10 years?

VSU Alumnus

July 30th, 2012
8:50 pm

Dudes…….I love this blog. First ,it was State vs. Southern and now Tech has jumped in. Keep it up! Get after each other!

Kennesaw State Will Own Your Asses

July 30th, 2012
10:11 pm

Come up I-75 when you’re ready to take your ass-kicking like men. That goes for you too, Techies.

Nobody gives a Hoot

July 30th, 2012
10:25 pm

KSU has a football team? Where do you play, when do you start playing, who is the coach, what is there to do in Kennesaw (except hang out with families and surround yourself with strip malls)?

Georgia Tech is in Atlanta

July 31st, 2012
4:59 pm

Kennesaw State and Georgia State should start a rivalry in football. We could call it “Battle of the Basement”.