Notes, quotes and observations after Georgia State’s loss to Richmond

Georgia State was beaten 35-14 by Richmond on Saturday at the Georgia Dome.

The loss dropped the team to 0-4 this season.

It was played in front of the smallest crowd in program history: 9,476.

As for the Panthers’ performance, the loss felt more like the one at Tennessee, in which the team showed some sparks of progress, rather than the losses at South Carolina State and Texas-San Antonio.

But, as noted in the game story you can click on above, the team simply wasn’t consistent enough to give itself a chance to win, as coach Bill Curry noted in his press conference after the game.

A few numbers to ponder

The Panthers’ defense “held” the Spiders to 398, almost 100 less than the defense was allowing.

However, the Spiders converted 7 of their 14 third downs.

The Panthers were 1 of 4 on fourth downs.

The Panthers had 0 sacks, continuing the season-long issue.

The Spiders had 0 sacks in another sign the offensive line is improving.

The Panthers rushed for 159 yards, including 119 by Donald Russell. It was the third time he surpassed 100 yards. He also had a touchdown, his first this season. He scored on a wildcat play, something the Panthers hadn’t practiced much. Interestingly, he said he couldn’t get one of his gloves off to take the snap, so he had one glove on and one off.

Matt Hubbard averaged 39.3 yards per punt.

Russell caught five passes for 51 yards. He led the team.

5 plays that changed the game

Not running the ball on any of the plays when Georgia State had first and 10 at the 13-yard line in the second quarter. McLane had four incompletions, at least two of which could have been intercepted.

McLane being stuffed on third and 1 at the 44-yard line in the second quarter, followed by Russell being stuffed.

McLane being intercepted by Cooper Taylor on first and 10 at the 30-yard line with 40 seconds left in the first half. The ball went through Emmanuel Ogbuehi’s hands.

An unknown being called for offsides after the Panthers stuffed the Spiders on fourth and goal at the 1-yard line with no time left in the half.

The Spiders scoring on the next play.

Quotes after the game

Transcript provided by Georgia State

Bill Curry

“When you have a chance to make a first down on fourth-and-one, you have to do it every single time if you want to be a football team. We took some gambles today that were a little bit outside the norm. We made those plays because we were not here for a decent showing, we were here to win the game. There were some of the most encouraging things and some of the most discouraging things of the season. We hurt ourselves in so many ways. We had sure interceptions that simply fell out of our hands. We knocked the ball lose and didn’t fall on it, allowed them to recover their own fumbles. On the other end, there was good blocking at times and excellent pass protection at times. [Quarterback] Ronnie Bell showed well with some exceptions. He runs well in addition to his powerful arm and his leadership. There were some circumstances that were outside our control. The way we’ve been working in practice gave us a chance to compete better. We played some young guys, who ended up doing extremely well. We had some excellent goal line work, but hurt ourselves again by lining up offside and giving them another down. We’re going to keep pushing and working until everyone is on the same page and everyone giving their very best all of the time.”

On running back Donald Russell:

“He had 29 touches and averaged five yards per. It was a Donald Russell day. You just see how valuable he is. We just have to keep giving it to him. He didn’t get banged up today, or not to the extent where he had to come out or where he was unable to carry the load.”

On the defensive preparedness:

“We were obviously better prepared for the speed of the game as the game wore on. In spite of that, we couldn’t get sustained drives and kept putting the defense back out on the field. We still have to play sound football and can’t just give the ball to the opponent over and over and expect the defense to hold up. We played extremely hard, but once again that was not enough.”

On the attendance:

“I knew if we didn’t win and play well that we would have attendance issues. I’ve experienced that before, but I didn’t expect us not to play well. I didn’t sit down and think that we might have attendance problems. But we’re not foolish enough to think that, in this market, if we don’t play well, everyone is going to keep coming. We have to earn their interest, we have to earn their respect and earn our ticket sales. That’s just the job we have to do.”

Donald Russell

On playing well in today’s game:

“I tried as much as I could. The line did a tremendous job blocking. It’s frustrating that we couldn’t finish, but it’s just something we have to go back in the film room and just get situated.”

On what it’s going to take to be consistent:

“It’s just practice, practice, practice. We’ve just got to make plays, that’s all. It’s just something we’ve got to keep working on and eventually we’ll be able to do it [consistently].”

Robert Ferguson

On becoming consistent:

“We’ve got to keep doing our jobs. Just keep doing what the coaches say and trying not to coach, but just be players.”

On how the team feels after this loss:

“I feel better. We’re gelling together as a team and starting to come together as a team.”

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

39 comments Add your comment

Savannah State Fan

September 22nd, 2012
10:16 pm

Thank God for Georgia State.


September 22nd, 2012
10:38 pm

Thanks Doug. It really did look like the guys were trying very hard but for whatever reason just were not up to the task. Still, there was improvement.


September 22nd, 2012
10:39 pm

And Savannah State returns the favor.


September 22nd, 2012
11:00 pm

All the South Georgia goons and everyone else is getting their chance with all this recent exceptionally bad play to take some pretty hard shots at GSU football. I can’t blame you on the fact that it is really bad right now. The BIG problem is the bad coaching and lack of preparedness for each game. The players aren’t really that bad. I expect that a good coaching staff could get them competitive. I will see who the new coach is and if I am wrong about this next year.


September 22nd, 2012
11:06 pm

PS – I lived in Tallahasse in the 1970s when FSU was REALLY BAD sp sometimes teams get a lot better over time. Also, Miami was really bad back them too.


September 22nd, 2012
11:17 pm

Coooop!!! Welcome back to the ATL. Good game and best to you


September 23rd, 2012
12:52 am

I went to the game today to experience it first-hand. The crowd was pathetic. If there were 5,000 people there that would be inflating the numbers. The few Richmond fans were much louder than the several thousand Ga State fans. The student section was practically empty. That was embarrassing. I have never seen anything like that before. I feel sorry for the players. GaState is not ready for college football at any level. What a mistake to think that they were. This program should be shut down and leave college football playing in the state to : Georgia Southern; UGA; & GT


September 23rd, 2012
7:01 am

First of all Don’t Give Up on the Players. Most are giving their all! The ones that aren’t know who they are. A few observations from my seat at the dome. Looks like we started off the game again with a three and out. Three pass plays. I believe we’ve done that now at every 2012 home game. Also in the first quarter we had the ball 2:45 versus Richmond’s 12:15. The defense was gassed in the 2nd quarter and Richmond put up 21 points. Glad to see The Donald get touches. He DID NOT let us down. Also, was encouraged by the play of Ronnie Bell. I believe he can be a game changer with his athletic ability. Also, we need to re-evaluate our starting corner backs. Not sure that they can play at this level. Bryan Williams looks like the size of D-backs we need to recruit. We need to cut down on the critical mistakes. The goal line off sides call before the half was a predictable CAA call. Was the Heater in the Dome? lol…………

Penna CAA Fan

September 23rd, 2012
8:15 am

Otherwise… a good overall day for the many of the CAA teams. Look forward to the rankings next week. I’ll check on URI for you guys so at least you can have the illusion of hope.

Bring your jackets for the game — it will be chilly and a longer flight home I am afraid……


September 23rd, 2012
8:44 am

GSUAlumBaseball81 I agree.

frank noyes

September 23rd, 2012
9:13 am

As much as I like Curry, may have to agree with the comments concerning coaching and preparedness. Is his staff letting him down? Is he just too tired? Hope the true answer to these is NO! Their offense has got to be more creative…when they razzle dazzle it up they look best; do more of the short down and out passes; forget the bombs for now. Give Ronnie Bell more playing time.
Not seeing enough Paris…why not?
They are relying WAY too much on The Donald. While a truly great competitor, they will wear him out or lose him to injury, or both.
Not sure how they follow up these losses with the week after practices but the sloppy ones should either get benched or run their butts off!!


September 23rd, 2012
9:54 am

It’s the 3rd year of the program. Everyone needs to take a deep breath and realize that this is a strange year with the transition to the Sun Belt next year. We will take our lumps and be better for it. I was there yesterday (as I am every game) and was not surprised or disappointed about the crowd, except for the student section. Contrary to what someone said above, the Richmond fans were not louder, not even close. The fans who showed up did their part. CBC is right. If we don’t win games, in this market it will be tough to put butts in the seats. Let’s learn from this and get a couple wins this year and get a new staff in next year to get these kids ready for the Sun Belt.
Also, my biggest problem with the offense is that Donald still isn’t getting enough touches, Run it down the opposing teams throat every play until they show they can stop him.

Bleed Blue


September 23rd, 2012
9:57 am

The Panthers have talented players. Donald Russell is a stud of a back. Again, you need a different group of coaches. I will give you this. Hire Offensive Line Coach Mike Sewak as your next Head Coach. Ga State will be winners in 3 years. He has head coach experience and he is a winner. Some will think this is funny but the alternative is losing with Bill Curry.


September 23rd, 2012
10:13 am

Coach Curry, Since you are building a team, why don’t you let the bench players play next week. You never know, you might do much better. It is at least worth giving it a try.

Go Panthers!!

September 23rd, 2012
10:58 am

It’s simple.

Either the coaching staff is doing a very poor job of converting talent to success…

Or they are horribly misfiring on the recruiting.

This is one of the worst teams I have ever watched in my life.

We are clearly getting worse, getting blown out of every game this season before halftime.

I bought season tickets when we had the initial pre-sale for $100 five years ago. I’ve been to every home game, and travelled to a few road games. I’m in this for the long haul, but it has become embarrassing.

Go Panthers!!

September 23rd, 2012
11:01 am

Lost 12 out of 15.

This coaching staff can’t leave fast enough.

I saw Levick leave early in the first half, and she looked pissed. She should be. We are hamstrung this season, because you can’t fire Curry in his farewell tour. I seriously hope we can make a coaching announcement before the season is over, because the fanbase needs a shot in the arm.

Mr Bill

September 23rd, 2012
11:15 am

Georgia State was outclassed tonight. No doubt about it. Fortunately, no one saw that debacle (9500 fans? no way. maybe 5 or 6 thousand). If GSU can’t handle a strong 1AA conference, what will things look like in FBS. It’s going to be a long, sad journey, regardless of who the new coach is.


September 23rd, 2012
12:32 pm

What a joke, shut it down !

Chicken Bone

September 23rd, 2012
12:33 pm

Wow! The Donald got the touches and he produced. Not surprised! Now forget the two tight end set and give him a fullback and run him off tackle and watch The Donald run! It will work, especially if you run him off tackle with a pitch a little further outside on the long side of the field. Even pull a guard occasionally. Parris could work in this set up too. Dang this is complicated isn’t it OC? Would like to see Bell more, too. Maybe even the true Freshman Garret Schrepfer, if you’re going to run the option.


September 23rd, 2012
1:37 pm

@Atlanta_Mafia, the GSU coaching situation is pitiful, but our recruiting is worse. There aren’t more than a dozen legitimate D1 caliber players on the team, and that might be generous. The Panthers are in over their head at the FCS level, and next year in the Sunbelt will be rinse, lather, repeat. The reason it all stings so much is that some of our fanbase yakked so much during the offseason, and we have yet to accomplish anything of note on the gridiron. A little humility would do us well, but we’ve pretty much painted ourselves into a corner.


September 23rd, 2012
3:32 pm

GSU doesn’t need humility. Plenty of that was handed out last year and in the first year loss to Lambuth. Georgia State just needs competent coaching. That was proven when Ron Hunter took over as basketball coach.


September 23rd, 2012
4:54 pm

@acm, normally I’d agree with you since we should have some school pride, but some of our fans spent the entire off season (post Lambuth embarrassment and post St. Francis disaster) as if we have accomplished something worth pounding our chests for. Competent coaching won’t keep some elements of our fanbase from looking like total fools.

Just sayin

September 23rd, 2012
5:16 pm

I agree you can’t open the game with a three and out and expect to be successful. The defense is on the field way to long to be successful. ronnie bell looks intriguing. An announcement towards the next coach would not be bad at all as it will give the fans something to hope for. I would like to see a coach with Georgia roots get a shot as Georgia is a very rich state in football talent I would even argue we are in the top five. The FBS move is still not paying off in recruiting.


September 23rd, 2012
6:36 pm

Seriously, everyone calm down and get off our blog.

The Missing Link

September 23rd, 2012
6:59 pm

GStateBunny is right: everybody move along, nothing to see here … except for the dumpster fire that is the GState football program.

John Bond

September 23rd, 2012
7:58 pm

Yes folks I am an idiot. You have been telling me since the Lambuth game to run a halfback and I refuse. I know every other successful program does it but I refuse. I would rather let GSU flounder because I truly HATE Georgia State and cannot wait to be somewhere else!!


September 23rd, 2012
8:51 pm

Gotta have faith that maybe they will allow Bell a chance to start and finish a game so we can see what he can do with momentum and the confidence of knowing that it is his game to win or lose. I think he will step up and produce and he adds a spark to the team whenever he hits the field. These young men hate to lose as much as we hate to watch them lose- so I do not count them out.

Chicken Bone

September 24th, 2012
2:57 am

Yes GSU Alums this is your TEAM. Whether you follow football or not, most of you FOOTBALL FANS like me followed other teams such as UGA or GA TECH in the past .THIS IS YOUR TEAM. We are GEORGIA STATE and we are NOT GOING AWAY, Face it TROLLS you can keep on kicking us while we’re down but guess WHAT? We are here to stay and we are going to re-join the SUNBELT Conference, the Conference we helped to start. We will someday be a competitive PROGRAM in the Southeast and there are many young men that will help our UNIVERSITY make this HAPPEN. The STATE of GEORGIA has so much talent that WANTS to STAY HOME and play in front of their family and friends, JUST A MATTER OF TIME. Our new COACHING STAFF in 2013 is the key to our success and when this is announced, I have to believe this will start the new beginning much like Coach Ron Hunter has done for our Basketball Program. So GSU ALUMS take a deep breath and relax for the rest of 2012 because our FOOTBALL program has begun and there is no stopping it just like GSU began in 1913 and there was no stopping our ACADEMIC SUCCESS!!! GO GSU PANTHERS!!!


September 24th, 2012
6:44 am

Wow. This is just as an embarrassment. As an alumnus this is painful for me to watch. I knew this would be a tough season with three starters being kicked off the defense over the summer (Mallory, Portee, Moody) but there is no excuse for the team to look totally unprepared. They almost look helpless out there. Coaching is totally in over their heads.

Passion of the Panther

September 24th, 2012
6:53 am

@Chicken Bone …that SOUNDS great. Now GET 15000 other liked-mind GSU Fans to show up ROUTINELY

Red Panther

September 24th, 2012
9:17 am

First of all, that offsides on the goal line was not a phantom call. It was right in front of me, and one of our down linemen jumped the snap.

Second of all, Panther fans need to rally behind the players. They need our support.

Finally, give Ronnie Bell the ball; he has a huge upside compared to McClane.

As you were.

Go Panthers!!

September 24th, 2012
9:25 am

Fans aren’t going to show up without a winning team.

I suspect the 9-10K attendance right now is the core base who will stay with this team through thick and thin. I know I’ll buy season tickets each year not matter what, and I think many around me feel the same way.

But the fence sitters abandoned this team in two phases.

1) When we lost to Lambuth.
2) When we started our tailspin last season

There is only one cure. And anyone who thinks differently should remember what Braves attendances were like prior to 1991. And what Falcons attendances are like when they aren’t winning.

Look at the Hawks. We already lost the Thrashers.

This isn’t Chicago or Boston or NYC where there are generations of passed-down loyalties from father to son. In the New South, it’s only about winning.

Cheryl Levick

September 24th, 2012
12:14 pm


Busted and Disgusted

September 24th, 2012
1:20 pm

We need to keep the defense off the field and allow them to rest. No productivity from offense. Russell and Wilson do all they can, but you can’t target them every play. QB needs to grow up, stop being scared. He looks like he could piss his pants. You got the job, now since your daddy paid for it, do something with it. He Cheryl, give Mclane’s Dad his money back please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Eagle Boy

September 24th, 2012
2:19 pm

Maybe the Real GSU is Georgia Southern afterall…Yeah, hire Mike Sewak and you will be running the option like Southern.. Now that would be special, 3 teams in Georgia running the same offensive formation..


September 24th, 2012
3:16 pm

To Eagel Boy
Yep saw Paul Johnson’s triple option first hand in several bowl games and against UGA. Meh.

Quick question for the Jacket Nation (smh) who is the best player on the UGA roster?
Paul Johnson.

Go Panthers!!

September 24th, 2012
3:39 pm

Eagle Boy,

State is and has always been the real GSU, regardless of football. History and academic standing trump athletics.

Mike S

September 24th, 2012
6:25 pm

Notes, Quotes, and Observations-

Note- Georgia State Football is not very good.
Quote- “We suck”
Oberservation- It may never get any better.

Eagle Boy

September 25th, 2012
11:38 am

Mike S, you nailed it!