Previewing Georgia State vs. Richmond

Three storylines for Saturday’s 3:30 p.m. game between Georgia State and Richmond at the Georgia Dome:

1. Can Georgia State’s offense do something? The offense has scored three touchdowns in three games. Two drives were led by starting quarterback Ben McLane and one by backup Ronnie Bell. The lack of production can be traced to poor execution, bad luck and the opponent’s skill and strategy. But the team has playmakers in running back Donald Russell, who has averaged 7.1 yards per carry, and wide receiver Albert Wilson, who caught an 84-yard touchdown pass, the longest in school history, in last week’s loss to Texas-San Antonio.

2. Can the defense rebound? The unit is giving up almost 500 yards per game, including 199 rushing yards. The defense has yet to post a sack, which means opponents’ wide receivers usually have time to get open. And the defense can’t get off the field, allowing opponents to successfully convert 50 percent of their third-down plays.

3. Will the fans show up? Georgia State spent a lot of time and money marketing last week’s game, the first Saturday night affair in program history at the Dome. Fewer than 12,000 people showed up, and few of them were students — which was the group that said it wanted the night game. The season-opening game was attended by less than 19,000, a drop of 7,000 from the 2011 opener and 11,000 from 2010’s inaugural game. The worst home crowd in the program’s history was attended by 10,963 for last year’s game against Murray State.

A win for Georgia State would …

Be its first of the season and first in the Colonial Athletic Association.

A win for Richmond would …

Be its first against Georgia State.

Tweet of the week

Playing hard isn’t enough as a unit we have to execute on a much higher level if we expect to be great and win #realtalk

– Jarrell Robinson #46 ‏@Jrobinson912

Jeff Schultz predicts

I don’t know how many times I can say the Panthers aren’t close to ready for FBS and I feel sorry for Bill Curry, but the Panthers aren’t close to ready for FBS and I feel sorry for Bill Curry. State has lost three games by scores of 33-6, 51-13 and 38-14, and this will be their first game in their only season in the Colonial Athletic Association. Parting will be such sweet sorrow — for the opponents. Prediction: Richmond wins by three touchdowns.

– Compete with the AJC’s Schultz to win great prizes and gridiron bragging rights. Play each week at ajc.com/go/sackschutz2012.

29 comments Add your comment

Tuscon

September 21st, 2012
9:28 am

If we can execute like we did against UT and get the ball to Albert and Donald, we definitely have a chance. I’m just not sure I trust that we’ll do that. Hopefully, Danny Williams can come back and make an immediate impact in the passing game. We desperately need more options there as Wilson seems to be the only one making plays.

spider

September 21st, 2012
9:30 am

i agree we are not near ready for FBS football with the team but hopefully we will see an increase in the caliber of of talent in recruiting classes real soon.

Spider-Man

September 21st, 2012
10:21 am

Squash these bugs and the GSU fans will start to believe. Let’s do this!

Gadawgs1

September 21st, 2012
10:26 am

I think everyone just needs to be patient wit gsu.its a young program and they have no depth.thingsvshould get better.ga.tech running that old high school option that high school don’t even run anymore will help them get players.just stick with them bc the team will get better.

Gadawgs1

September 21st, 2012
10:30 am

3yrs is no time to build depth. People thinking 8 to 10 wins will happen so early is just plain stupid.it took the falcon 40 to become a real franchise.give the team time and support.

Mike S

September 21st, 2012
11:00 am

Gadawgs1- with that punctuation and grammar I’m not sure you have your GED, much less a diploma from Georgia.
Unfortunately the Panthers, and especially their fan base, have po’d every team in the CAA with the “were too good for you” attitude. I think Richmond will be the first team to try to show them just how good the brand of CAA football is. Georgia State doesn’t even score in this one.

Go Panthers

September 21st, 2012
11:04 am

Is the season over yet? I will be at the game as always.
To the coaches…
It’s coming in 51 days from now. John Bond, Anthony Midget, George Pugh, Jason French, Joe Hamilton, Craig Harmon, Mike Riddle, Ricky Thomas, & Chris Ward….I’m talking to you. You have 51 days left to make a statement to how good of coach you are. The players and the fans will move on, but this debacle will follow you into your next interview.
You have 51 days

Perfessor

September 21st, 2012
11:32 am

GaDawgs1 said: “it took the falcon 40 to become a real franchise.give the team time and support.”

Omigosh! 40 years? I’ll be 78 years old :^(

Orlando Panther

September 21st, 2012
11:39 am

@Mike S. I don’t think we ever said we were too good for the CAA, but in fact said we had nothing in common with those schools b/c they are all in the Mid-Atlantic region, whereas we are in the deep south. Myself, along with many other GSU fans know that the CAA has really good teams, but being in this conference didn’t make any sense for our school and given the option to leave, we did so. This year is rough, next year will be rough as will years to come, but we will be fine in the long run.

Can we win this game…beats me, but we have nothing to lose.

Mike S

September 21st, 2012
11:56 am

@Orlando Panther- You were very tactful, as well as factual, in your comments. It is unfortunate that the majority of your brethren did not use those same faculties over the last six months. I’m sure you cringed as many of your supporters thumbed their noses at the CAA schools, Georgia Southern, and many others they thought were “lesser” institutions. Unfortunately, that is one of the drawbacks of the anonymous internet. Anyone can say anything in a blog like this with no repercussions. The only repercussion for those fans is that they have to endure the enjoyment of the fans of those schools after they admisnister a beat down. I do wish your program better luck in the future as well as a dose of humility.

Panther Dad

September 21st, 2012
12:03 pm

Go Panthers I agree with you 100% those 51 days can’t past fast enough. I have watched this team for 2 years and to me it all starts with coaching.

Chicken Bone

September 21st, 2012
12:39 pm

Mike S, We helped to start the Sunbelt Conference in the 70’s and as I recall most of us loyal GSU followers never wanted to be in the CAA to begin with. I believe a past GSU President had something to do with that decision. As for GSU supporters bad talking the CAA, well we have experienced the same from you guys and your officials too. Trust me, no hard feelings here just glad we won’t be traveling continuously to Virginia in the future! Ciao

urinal and constipation reader

September 21st, 2012
12:48 pm

A georgia state victory would mean… you were dreaming. No win this week. Maybe Rhode Island.

Jee S. You

September 21st, 2012
1:54 pm

“The lack of production can be traced to poor execution, bad luck and the opponent’s skill and strategy.”……Not much left except OUR strategy – which is actually the biggest culprit!!

Passion of the Panther

September 21st, 2012
8:16 pm

Why feel sorry for Coach Curry? He signed up for it and is the architect of what you see today … GA State should have begged the Southern conference for entry from the outset … geographically it would have made sense and provided a natural rival for who is the real GSU non-sense

Kennesaw Mtn. Landis

September 21st, 2012
9:44 pm

Well one thing is for sure – on our first offensive play of the game tomorrow Richmond will be expecting a pass. I would send the wideouts deep and run a draw play…..but that’s just me :^)

GT BACKER

September 21st, 2012
11:19 pm

TVFan

September 22nd, 2012
7:06 am

Along with the coaches, think about the AD. You have to build with bricks not flash and mirrors. Schools like Western Ky and La-Monroe started off small with small venues and took their lumps. Now they are beating teams from the SEC. Credit to the loyal fans, supporters and players of the GSU football program, your hard work does not go un-noticed by me. However a rental stadium, no football history, and an unearned jump to FBS is not impressive. You’ve got to build one brick at a time.

Visiting From Richmond

September 22nd, 2012
8:05 am

GO SPIDERS!!!

Pantherette Porno

September 22nd, 2012
8:35 am

@TVFan we aren’t the only school making the jump this fast, and even if we didn’t have football, moving to the Sun Belt would still make sense b/c of how much closer we are in relation to the other Sun Belt schools. This in turn helps GSU save money on travel budgets and students miss fewer classes. We will take our lumps, but overall moving to the Sun Belt is a win-win!

jd

September 22nd, 2012
9:38 am

Recruiting will take at least 5 – 7 years to get the Panthers competitive. Until you get another group of coaches the victories will be minimal each year. The reason there is so much animosity toward GaState is the better than thou attitude by their supporters. This has caused a backlash of haters. I would like to see if the Panthers can actually be competitive in the future games this year. Losing sucks! The Eagles went through it when the AD decided our style of football needed a new direction. If it isn’t broke there is no need to fix it?

Really and truthfully, I would like to see the Panthers succeed as I do all teams in Georgia. Good luck!!

GSU_MEX_ALUM

September 22nd, 2012
10:47 am

REAL Panther fans will stick with the team in the highs and in the lows…

GO GSU PANTHERS!

More Pounce for the ounce

September 22nd, 2012
11:06 am

@jd Many Georgia Southern fans have been nothing but hateful since we announced starting a football team, so before you go casting stones, please do some research. We know we will have a tough time and thanks for your concern about GSU Football.

Go Panthers

Carter wilson

September 22nd, 2012
11:58 am

Why did we ever start a football program, should have stuck with me and Coach Reinhart and the bb program.

Passion of the Panther

September 22nd, 2012
2:03 pm

@Pantherette porno … GSU went in eyes wide open when they approacehed the CAA, if travel costs were such an issue why not start in the Southern Conference to begin with

@TV fan … right on

JMU_NationalChamp2004

September 22nd, 2012
2:37 pm

I am pretty sure the exit of GSU from the CAA is purely based on the economics of being in the CAA. As someone mentioned earlier, the CAA starts in the Mid-Atlantic and spans all the way up to Maine. Which could put a strain on your budget with just travel expenses. Don’t think anyone at GSU would think they’re too good for the CAA. At least I would hope they wouldn’t be that ignorant, especially given the fact that from 2003-2010 a team from the CAA either won (2003 Delaware 2004 JMU 2008 Richmond 2009 Villanova) or played for the I-AA (FCS) National Championship 7 out of those 8 years; and currently 6 CAA teams are ranked in the top 25 with 4 of those teams in the top 15, and 2 in the top 10. This is my outside opinion, but the move to the SunBelt makes a ton of economic sense. The competition or level of play is likely a unilateral move, and some may argue (I will) that it is a step down overall. All in all, I wish GSU the best; even though I was disappointed they left the CAA because I was really looking forward to the JMU nation invading Atlanta, and going to the game at the dome rocking our ‘04 ring…Good Luck GSU

More Pounce for the ounce

September 22nd, 2012
3:09 pm

@Passion of the Panther FYI…We never received an invite from the SoCon…Fact. We did receive one from the Sun Belt and thankfully our administration was smart enough to realize that this would be a better move for us financially and logistically, whereas the previous administration didn’t make a wise decision by accepting a CAA invite, and this was before football was ever considered.

Passion of the Panther

September 22nd, 2012
3:42 pm

@more pounce for the ounce … I don’t know how many times I can say the Panthers aren’t close to ready for FBS and I feel sorry for Bill Curry, but the Panthers aren’t close to ready for FBS and I feel sorry for Bill Curry. With an athletics budget supported student fees on 30K students … I’m quite sure that GSU could have gotten an invite from any low level conference in the country … don’t be so dim

Passion of the Panther

September 22nd, 2012
3:44 pm

From twitter …

36 students are sitting in the #GSU student section right now. If you are there, sound off!