Archive for August, 2012

Let’s do a mailbag; season-ticket sales and other stuff

Georgia State will open its 2012 football season on Thursday against South Carolina State at the Georgia Dome.
What questions do you have about the team?
Post them in the comments section below and I’ll answer them on Monday.
Also, if you aren’t already a subscriber, you may want to consider subscribing, or at least purchasing the Sunday paper. The AJC’s college football preview section will be in that day’s edition.
Thanks, and I look forward to your questions.

Season-ticket sales

Georgia State’s season-ticket sales in football have increased 22 percent this year to 3,918 from 3,220 in 2011.

Here are a few more facts, specific to the South Carolina State game. The Panthers will open against the Bulldogs on Aug. 30 at the Georgia Dome:

Category
2012
2011
Percentage Increase/Decrease

Season Tickets
3,918
3,220
22%

Group Tickets (SC State)
2,114
1,756
20%

Individual Games (SC State)
391
323
21%

Other links (click on the blue)

Georgia State soccer trying to regroup …

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Georgia State soccer trying to regroup after tragedies

Georgia State’s soccer team had just learned how to win last year.

It made the Colonial Athletic Association tournament or the first time. It earned its first at-large berth into the NCAA tournament.

Since that pinnacle, the Panthers have suffered losses deeper than on any field of play, losses that coach Brett Surrency is still trying to come to grips with.

Two players killed. Another player seriously injured. Three tragedies in three months.

Now, with the season set to begin Friday, the team is learning how to go on, and that the little things are so important.

A hug from a stranger. A random phone call. A simple red wristband.

Surrency calmly recounts the offseason that changed everything:

• June 27: Midfielder Tim Nixon, who had graduated in December, wrecked his car near Underground Atlanta and died.

• July 5: Defender Jordan Weise, who scored three goals last season, fell down a flight of stairs at home in Roswell, bruising his brain and causing swelling. He …

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Georgia State men’s non-conference basketball schedule released

Georgia State released its non-conference men’s basketball schedule today. Most of these games have already been released or reported, notably the Nov. 9 opener against Duke, which will be played at 7 p.m. and will be on ESPNU.

The Panthers went 22-12 in coach Ron Hunter’s first season. He added a solid recruiting class, featuring notable big men T.J. Shipes and Markus Crider, and several shooters, led by his son, R.J.

Here is the schedule. The Colonial Athletic Association schedule usually is released in September.

Date Opponent Time

Oct. 29  Life University (Exh.),  7 p.m.

November

Nov. 4 Albany State (Exh.), 6 p.m.

Nov. 9 at Duke (ESPNU),  7 p.m.

Coaches vs. Cancer

Nov. 13 Tues. at BYU, TBA

Nov. 19 Mon. Tennessee State vs. South Alabama, 4 p.m.

Georgia State vs. Monmouth, 7 p.m.

Nov. 20 Monmouth vs. South Alabama Atlanta, 4 p.m.

Tennessee State Atlanta, 7 p.m.

Nov. 21 Monmouth vs. Tennessee State Atlanta, noon

Georgia State vs. South Alabama, 3 p.m.

Nov. 26 East …

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GSU hopes defensive line continues to surprise

On the day Georgia State reported to camp, defensive coordinator Anthony Midget gathered his linemen together and talked about perception.

He said people think, based upon last year, you are soft. He said other teams think they are going to run right over you.

He shared the stats as evidence: 180.5 rushing yards allowed per game.

“We talked about that was reality and how do we want to be remembered for this year,” he said.

If Georgia State’s defense is to improve, playing better must start up front. The line, which lost three starters to graduation, seems to have taken the talk to heart. Though its first two teams feature as many as six underclassmen, the groups manning the front four have been one of the biggest surprises in camp, making numerous plays in every scrimmage. The team will open against S.C. State on Aug. 30 at the Georgia Dome.

Midget also talked about expectations. He told them they will be expected to stop the run every week. He wants the …

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Curry increases scholarships; Hill in the wildcat?

Georgia State coach Bill Curry rewarded several football players with increases to their grant-in-aids in the past few days.

These increases bring Georgia State’s total in football to 68. As you may have read (hint: click on the blue), there is a two-year rolling average that the Panthers must meet next year, the last in a two-year transition to the FBS level.

Curry said he wishes he could increase more grants-in-aid (he’s big on using that phrase, rather than scholarships). He also noted that a few of the redshirt juniors who were rewarded have been with the team since the first practice.

Here is the list

From no grant-in-aid (scholarship) to full:

Cade Yates, redshirt junior

Rendell Wilder, redshirt sophomore

From no grant-in-aid to half:

Mitchel Vinson, redshirt senior

Jon Marshall Sauls, redshirt sophomore

Jamaal May, redshirt sophomore

Bo Carter, redshirt junior

From ½ grant-in-aid to full:

Scott McQueen, redshirt junior

Nathaniel Minor, sophomore

Malcolm Smith, …

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Q&A with promising GSU freshman Joe Lockley

During a pass-blocking drill in a recent practice, Joe Lockley slammed into his blocker and pushed him backward like he was wearing roller-skates. They lined up again, and Lockley pushed his guy backward, turned him sideways and moved him a few more yards.

Watching nearby, Bill Curry turned on the bullhorn and reminded Lockley the goal was to get to the quarterback, not win the wrestling match.

Lockley, a true freshman from Portal, has proven to be a a block of granite on the defensive line and could see playing time this season in coordinator Anthony Midget’s 4-2-5 scheme. Because Lockley is so strong and plays with good leverage, he is hard to move inside, which could help a running defense that allowed an average of 180.5 yards per game last season.

Lockley, who weighs 290 pounds, suffered a slight injury to his shoulder, but has returned to play in most of the drills.

Q: How’s your shoulder?

A: It’s getting better day by day. We’ve got an excellent training staff. …

Continue reading Q&A with promising GSU freshman Joe Lockley »

Which GSU freshmen football players will redshirt?

First some breaking news: Police have found a vehicle sought  in connection with the slaying of Kunle Lumpkin.

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Because it is moving up to the FBS level, Georgia State isn’t eligible to compete in the FCS playoffs this year, nor is it eligible to play in bowls in  the 2013-14 season.

That’s two seasons with no possibility of postseason rewards for the Panthers’ players.

With that in mind, I asked coach Bill Curry if that will affect how he decides which players will redshirt this year.

“It will not,” he said. “It will strictly be, with us and our numbers, it will strictly be a roll of the dice.

“Like with Ben McLane last year, we came inches from having to play him and there were other guys that we did have to play. This year will be the same thing. It will just be a matter of if we need them to go win a game.

“When you’re down to one [back-up], you can no longer think about redshirting, so that doesn’t remain a priority.

“Where possible, we have some really good young …

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Defense dominates again at GSU scrimmage

Georgia State’s defense has stifled the offense for much of preseason camp.

It’s not the ideal situation for the Panthers but, for coach Bill Curry, it’s the next best thing.

“if you have to choose, it’s a lot better to have the defense ahead at this stage of the year–a lot better,” Curry said. “Because that’s how you win. I know today’s football is different. You have got to drive and score. You have to. But you’d better play some defense.”

The Panthers have done a lot of that during camp.

The defense dominated during the first scrimmage last weekend. GSU’s offense responded with a better effort Tuesday but the defense was back in command during the scrimmage Saturday, which Curry said would be the last featuring starters vs. starters.

The Panthers had six interceptions during the scrimmage periods.

“We always focus on turnovers,” freshman linebacker Joseph Peterson said. “We have to win the turnover ratio a lot in games. Turnovers are a big deal for us and that …

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It’s Wolf, not Panther at Georgia State

(Note from me: This was up for a little while Wednesday morning, but there were some other things going on that day so I took it down. Here it is again)

The job title is Wolf.

The job description seems better suited for a superhero.

Georgia State’s new 4-2-5 defensive scheme features a hybrid position that’s a cross between a cornerback, a safety and linebacker. The position, known as Wolf, must be able to cover the small and fast slot receivers in the three and four wide receivers sets that are en vogue, or step up and take on a 220-pound running back rampaging through a hole.

That’s not all.

The decision to go with the receiver or move up in run support or even blitz off the edge must be made in the same time it takes you to read a tweet.

“It’s the best position on the field,” Akeen Felder said.

Felder is one of the players, along with D’Mario Gunn, Bryan Williams and Mitchell Vinson, who will be playing the challenging position for the Panthers this …

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Who will be Georgia State’s next coach?

With Bill Curry’s decision to retire at the end of the season, athletic director Cheryl Levick has a lot of time to decide what she wants in the next coach and then to find the person to continue leading the team to the highest level of college football.

Levick knows what she wants: someone who “is a teacher, a leader, a motivator, a recruiter, and a winner.”

The process to find the person to fit the criteria began Thursday. Before Levick even left the practice facility after Curry’s press conference, she had received several e-mails from parties about the job.

“It really has to be someone that has I know the competency, the energy and the recruiting ability to take us into the Sun Belt and have us be very successful,” she said.

She said the university will conduct a national search and that a firm will assist them. She doesn’t yet know which firm. Parker Executive Search assisted Levick when she hired Ron Hunter to coach the men’s basketball team. Curry said …

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