Impressions from Georgia State’s first August scrimmage

I promised a blog this morning about the offense working to improve its tempo. But after the team scrimmaged this morning, I figured I would blog about that first and then blog about tempo later today.

If you weren’t following on twitter earlier today (what were you doing instead, working? Watching the Olympics? Come on, man!), the offense dominated the first session, which was devoted to red-zone situations. The defense dominated the second session, devoted to full-field situations.

Coach Bill Curry couldn’t have been happier afterward. During Tuesday’s practice, Curry called the team over and began reminding them of the 2010 Iron Bowl.  In that game (sorry Alabama fans), the Tide were blowing out Auburn. In the first half, running back Mark Ingram broke into the secondary and seemed destined to score another touchdown that would put the Tide ahead 28-0. Defensive end Antoine Carter chased down Ingram and forced a fumble that the Tigers recovered. Auburn would go on to win 28-27.

During the first session of Wednesday’s practice, the offense could do little wrong. First-string quarterback Ben McLane, backup Kelton Hill and third-stringer Ronnie Bell all led scoring drives.

On the first possession of the second session, McLane misread a zone blitz. Defensive end C.J. Stephens dropped back into coverage and picked off the pass. It was McLane’s first interception and second incompletion. He went (unofficially) 6-for-7 in the first session, with the only incompletion a drop by tight end Emmanuel Ogbuehi in the end zone.

On McLane’s next possession, inside linebacker Mark Hogan jumped a slant route, made the interception and returned it for a touchdown.

And then came the play of the scrimmage.

On third and short, Ogbuehi caught a short pass, broke a tackle and sprinted up the sideline. Inside linebacker Allen McKay chased down Ogbuehi, caused a fumble and the defense recovered it and returned it to the 5-yard line.

“I couldn’t have orchestrated it better for both sides: this is how it works and this is how life works,” Curry said. “It seems like nothing can stop us and you go in for the half and come out for the half and it’s like you changed uniforms. Frankly, I was very excited to see it this way, to see the defense get stronger.

“We will do a lot of teaching from this.”

Asked if the defense might have been nervous in the red-zone situations, knowing how close they were to the end zone, he said, “No. The offense executed really well and we would have scored on a lot of people.”

My impressions (I don’t do Richard Nixon)

As odd as it might sound, other than the interceptions all three quarterbacks looked sharp. McLane’s passes were all mostly catchable. He seems to have a good connection with Danny Williams. Hill looked good running the option. He started off very accurately, including a nicely weighted touchdown pass on a crossing route, but then had a couple of overthrows. He also made some good deep passes, which is something  he’s good at. Bell didn’t look sharp running the option, but he throws a catchable ball. Unofficially, McLane went 9-of-12 for 113 yards; Hill went 8-of-12 for 107 yards and Bell went 4-of-8 for 26 yards.

Whether it was the offensive line still trying to come together or the defense playing better, the running backs had a tough time in the second session. Donald Russell didn’t play much in the second session. Neither did wide receiver Albert Wilson. They didn’t seem to be injured.

Fourth-string quarterback Mark Weidenaar looked sharp and very calm for a freshman. Curry said he has a good presence on the field.

The special teams were mostly good. Matt Ehasz hit back to back 35-yard field goals. Christian Benvenuto missed a short field goal. The defense tipped a field goal, which sailed wide.

There didn’t seem to be any blown coverages in the secondary and the defensive line produced at least one sack. Melvin King had a good day, making several plays. Linemen Nermin Delic (knee) and Joe Lockley (shoulder) didn’t play because of injuries. Both looked better than in the previous two days.

More links

Who was Curry’s special guest at Tuesday’s practice?

Q&A with running back Donald Russell

– Doug Roberson, AJC

62 comments Add your comment

GSU is in Atlanta

August 8th, 2012
12:09 pm

Doug, Do you think that Wilson and Russell sat out so the coaches could get a read on the other players (b/c they already know how well they will both perform) or b/c they don’t wanna risk them getting hurt?

Thanks for the coverage and good to hear that Curry is seeing something that he likes, I hope there are more positives to come from preseason training.

Doug Roberson

August 8th, 2012
12:11 pm

I think that’s exactly what happened.

Losers

August 8th, 2012
12:12 pm

<————— This is what Georgia State and UGA fans will always be.

GStateBen

August 8th, 2012
12:20 pm

Great stuff Doug! The Donald and AW2 do not need to risk injury. Great job by the coaching staff here. We know what those two can do.

Tuscon

August 8th, 2012
12:21 pm

Sounds like we’relooking sharp out there. OL is an issue, but we knew that and it’s stil early.

TECHnique

August 8th, 2012
12:21 pm

Agree with the guy above, he knows what he is talking about. Tech’s football tradition is unmatched in this state and watching GSU dilute the football landscape is making me nauscious.

Why does GSU even have a sports page in the AJC?

hammer22

August 8th, 2012
12:22 pm

Thanks for the article Doug. I hope we go ahead and get the QB stuff out of the way. A solid strong leader is better than 2 people sharing reps.

Jee S. You

August 8th, 2012
12:24 pm

Not that I’m a fan of UGA, but for GSU to be put in the same sentence with them must mean we are doing something right.

As for the scrimmage, was Curry happy about the individual performances (I ask because it seems he is never satisfied), or just about the way both sides had a period of success?

gsu01

August 8th, 2012
12:25 pm

Ah yes, that famous Tech “tradition”. The one that can’t fill a stadium with out Clemson or UGA accounting for 50% of the fans in attendance.

Doug Roberson

August 8th, 2012
12:26 pm

That both sides played hard and learned that consistent effort is rewarded

Chicken Bone

August 8th, 2012
12:29 pm

Your a NISSAN nique! GO AWAY…..

Panama

August 8th, 2012
12:32 pm

Nice job Doug. Keep it coming

RidgeRunner

August 8th, 2012
12:33 pm

Good work Doug. We must be doing well for haters like Losers to keep trolling.

TECHnique

August 8th, 2012
12:33 pm

…I have to wash my petticoat

TECHnique

August 8th, 2012
12:35 pm

@ Tech Trolls in General

If you’re scurred SAY you’re scurred!

GSUFAN12

August 8th, 2012
12:35 pm

Melvin King
Had 3 sacks nd two assist tackles at today’s scrimmage, but now I’m bout to get some sleep then get ready to lift nd go to these meetings

We ron this city

August 8th, 2012
12:36 pm

<——————Georgia Tech

UGA & GSU play follow the leader!

GSU_MEX_ALUM

August 8th, 2012
12:47 pm

Good coverage! How did Jordan Giles do Doug?

Bob

August 8th, 2012
12:48 pm

Sounds like GT Trolls are scared that, in a few years The GSU Panthers will truly run this town, and relegate GT to 3rd in Georgia FBS Football…..lol

Go Panthers!!!!

Doug Roberson

August 8th, 2012
12:52 pm

I think he was held out. He tweaked his elbow on monday. Standing on the sidelines, with that flat view, it’s hard to catch all the players coming in and out

Red Panther

August 8th, 2012
12:57 pm

Sounds like a good scrimmage for both sides of the ball; oline will take time to develop, then they will come on strong and dominate

WaycrossWizard

August 8th, 2012
1:12 pm

That’s excellent! I’m with Curry, I love when real game situtaions develop right there on the practice field (forced fumble). Nothing like real experience to get across to young minds how to always finish the drill (sorry Richt) and how fickle momentum can be. Thanks Doug!

Georgia Tech is in Atlanta

August 8th, 2012
1:24 pm

Bob,

I’ll be surprised if you guys are even on the same level as West Georgia and Valdosta State in a few years.

Blue Land

August 8th, 2012
1:31 pm

Doug,
Were you able to see if Midget was the reason for the Defense showing up in the 2nd session. He is a great motivator and I’m pretty sure he gave them a “come to Jesus speech”!

Trolls

August 8th, 2012
1:36 pm

All negative comments are coming from Georgia Southern Trolls that used to hold themselves out as Southern fans, but since they are still FCS and will be during their entire lifetime, they now use a Georgia Tech alias. Sad.

headley lamar

August 8th, 2012
2:12 pm

you GSU guys don’t even know what trolls are. Go to the Tech blog and watch me and my buddies troll and hope that one day you are relevant enough for us to troll your site too.

shocked

August 8th, 2012
2:17 pm

How many games will State win tis year?

Doug Roberson

August 8th, 2012
2:18 pm

Midget was pretty active throughout both sessions.

Dawgonit

August 8th, 2012
2:21 pm

@headley lamar, I am glad you and your internet buddies (Tech is full of those) equate relevancy to trolling, sounds like something to be proud of!

I really hope GSU steps it up in the near future and puts Tech athletics into 3rd place b/c we all know UGA will always be #1.

Gettin' HEADley lamar

August 8th, 2012
2:31 pm

I have 500 internet friends and we troll other people to make us feel better!!! Someone gimme a cyber high five?

GSU_MEX_ALUM

August 8th, 2012
2:33 pm

Thanks Doug!

High five for Lamar and his buddies at GT… lol.

Looking forward to see which QB is going to step up!

Georgia Tech is in Atlanta

August 8th, 2012
2:56 pm

Lamar is a partisan of the Cesspool in Athens and likes to post all over the Tech blogs, kinda like some of the Panthers’ dozen or so fans sometimes do.

DownTownATL

August 8th, 2012
3:08 pm

GSU has everything going for it. Growing campus, huge alumni, rising in the rankings… in 5 years, GSU will be unrecognizable, a Football Giant has been born.

Home Park Victim

August 8th, 2012
3:31 pm

Someone just stole my laptop and real doll….HELP!!!

RealGSUFan

August 8th, 2012
3:41 pm

how’s the TE spot looking. I hear Ogbuehi’s looking good in camp. Any updates on that?

Pantherfan93

August 8th, 2012
3:50 pm

Does anyone else get the feeling we really only have 1 or 2 trolls, but one of them has several split personalities and a lot of time on their hands?

Doug Roberson

August 8th, 2012
4:28 pm

Ogbuehi had a bit of a rough day today. But he has looked good.

shocked

August 8th, 2012
5:09 pm

Do you guys also realize that next year you will have to recruit high school…the days of drop down transfers is over.

you guys are gonna get destroyed…i don’t see you guys winning 4 games in the next 2 years

GSU is in Atlanta

August 8th, 2012
5:14 pm

Look out Captain Obvious above!!!

Wanna make a bet on us winning more than 4 games in the next 2 years? I’ll take over and you take under. You can go ahead and pay me at the end of this year.

To Shocked

August 8th, 2012
5:16 pm

I don’t see Georgia Southern winning in their own FBS conference ever.
I think I win.

shocked

August 8th, 2012
5:55 pm

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Jeff Sagarin NCAA football ratings
FINAL College Football 2011 through games of January 2012

RANK Class W L Strength of Schedule
1 Alabama BS 12 1 ( 15)
2 LSU BS 13 1 ( 7)
21 Georgia BS 10 4 ( 23)
56 Georgia Tech BS 8 5 ( 76)
81 Georgia Southern CS 11 3 ( 139)
208 Georgia State CS 3 8 ( 173)

GSUAlumBaseball81

August 8th, 2012
6:05 pm

Shocked it was our SECOND year of football ever! You are a statistical genius! Get REAL dude. lol

shocked

August 8th, 2012
6:15 pm

2010 – 6 wins and 5 loses
2011 – 3 wins and 8 loses
2012 – 1 wins and 10 loses

Things are going in the right direction!

Drago

August 8th, 2012
6:19 pm

How long is tek gonna dodge state and southern?

Marie

August 8th, 2012
6:35 pm

I thought this was the Georgia State site – GO AWAY.

Pantherfan93

August 8th, 2012
7:02 pm

Keep getting 12,000 in attendance to playoff games… that you get you an FBS invite.

Pantherfan93

August 8th, 2012
7:02 pm

*will get you an FBS invite

Panama

August 8th, 2012
7:26 pm

Doug any numbers on season tickets sold? Wondering about IMG’s effect.

shocked

August 8th, 2012
10:38 pm

2010 Attendance average 17,000

2011 Attendance average 14,000

Things are going in the right direction!

BariBlue

August 8th, 2012
11:09 pm

Glad to see the team is practicing as a more cohesive unit this year… looking forward to a 360 degree turn around. Go Panthers!