Notes, quotes and observations about Georgia State’s loss to New Hampshire

As some you may know (since there weren’t a lot of you at the Georgia Dome), the Panthers were beaten by New Hampshire 44-21 on Saturday at the Georgia Dome.

The crowd was a few fannies better than the program-worst one that showed up two weeks for Richmond.

The reason Georgia State lost?

Poise, according to coach Bill Curry. The team simply can’t stay focused during the entirety of the game.

Three plays that changed the game

1. Tied at 7 after New Hampshire missed a field goal, Bell was sacked and fumbled on the next play. New Hampshire recovered on the 21-yard line needed just two plays to score a touchdown to take a 14-7 lead with 12:22 left in the first half. Bell was hit as he was about to throw on the fumble.

2. On Georgia State’s next possession, the Wildcats tipped the punt after a man came in unblocked from the edge. A few plays later, Nico Steriti scored a 7-yard touchdown to give New Hampshire a 21-7 lead with 8:54 left.

3. On the first play of the second half, Bell threw a pass right to linebacker Alan Buzbee, who returned it to the 5-yard line. The Wildcats scored a play later on a touchdown pass from Andy Vailas to Justin Mello to take a 28-7 lead.

Just like that, a close game turned into a blow out.

Numbers to ponder

83 plays run by New Hampshire

624 yards for New Hampshire

299 yards for Georgia State…it actually will raise the Panthers’ season average.

59 plays run by Georgia State

2 sacks, the second consecutive game the Panthers have two sacks. Theo Agnew had one. He is playing better since move to defensive tackle.

4 sacks for New Hampshire

12 carries for Donald Russell, which is the same amount of carries Bell had in two quarters and one play.

105 receiving yards for Albert Wilson

8 times Georgia State started inside its own 20 yard line

4 times New Hampshire started on Georgia State’s side of the field. They scored four touchdowns

A few quotes after the game

Bill Curry

We had a chance to drive up and down the field tonight and stopped ourselves repeatedly. When we did start to drive it was too little too late and once again the tendency when the defense did make a stop … we go on the field and almost immediately find a way to turn the ball back over.

That’s just simply a matter of poise and there’s no excuse and there’s no explanation that helps anybody understand why that is the case. We can talk all we want to but we must get that done.

Obviously our tackling has to improve. Our pass protection early in the game wasn’t what it has been. There are a series of mistakes by veteran players, one after the other, that costs us. When the other team makes a mistake we have a chance to capitalize and sometimes we do and sometimes we don’t. We have to capitalize at every opportunity and we’re just not getting that done.

New Hampshire’s got a good football team but the game should have been very competitive tonight.

On the quarterback situation:

We have confidence in both quarterbacks. They’ve both done some good things. We’ll have to study it and see how much of the mistakes were on him [Bell] and how much was on the pass protection or lack of same. The protection was considerably better when Ben got into the game. It may have been that Ben was throwing on rhythm but we’ll have to study it and see. Which ever one is performing the best is the one that will play.

Which was the bigger momentum changer: Bell’s fumble when it was tied at 7, or the interception on the first play of the third quarter?

You’d have to say both but probably the interception, but if just judge by momentum, the interception was the accumulation of here-we-go-again-thing that gets to a team. Everybody continued to play hard. But when we got to the football we didn’t tackle as well as we should. We did for long stretches. We haven’t tackled 22 (Nico Steriti) yet, he may still be out there running. He’s elusive, but if you stay on your feet and stick in between the 2s he can be tackled.

You’ve said in the past, you hoped this timeline would be stretched out before the program moved up. Is this program moving up too fast?

We had no choice, that was a phenomenal opportunity. It would be nice if had a few more years to get ready but you don’t get to choose that. When the opportunities present themselves and somebody wants you…

Let’s just talk about football. Yeah, I’d like to have six more years to build a talent base and a recruiting base and know that we have FBS-loaded talent before we go there. Since the day we’ve got here, we’ve had really good players tell us, “If you were FBS, I’d commit to you today.” Well, they’re not diving over the fences to jump in the boat right now, but we are getting really good commitments.

What I’m really disappointed in is we should be so much better right now. That’s my job, for this team to be so much better than it was. This team paid the price. It worked in January, February, March, April and May. We talked about that, we haven’t broken the patterns that are so self destructive. That drives me crazy. I work on it 24 hours a day and there’s no excuse for it to take this long. There are other programs younger than us that are playing great, playing lights out.

We’re going to keep demanding and keep working, as you know.

Unfortunately, some veterans are going to have to sit down who can’t get the message from one week to another, even on special teams and I hate that.

I don’t blame the players, the players are trying. It’s our responsibility to get in their heads and evoke the poise that we’ve all done in other coaching scenarios.

Do you regret changing the offensive or defensive systems in these first three years? Do you think it’s affected the learning curve and productivity of the players?

We’ve stayed within the same offensive system. We’ve changed the defense. The offensive system that coach Bond brought here is adaptable. It really operates very well when the quarterback understands it and is sharp. To have had six quarterbacks …if you have told me that I would have laughed at you. We’ve played years and years with one quarterback; three years, four years with the same guy. I thought we could do it with that group of four that we started with. It simply didn’t work and we haven’t gotten consistently excellent at that position yet and in today’s football you have to. There’s too much on the quarterback .

What about on defense? Y’all were making that transition before John Thompson left. Do you regret doing that?

No, not at all. We are in the right defense, we just have to play it.

On how the team can improve:

Everyone continued to play hard. We got to the football, we just didn’t tackle when we got there. We did for long stretches, but not nearly long enough. There are a lot of things we can do to improve and we’re doing a lot of them, or all the things that I know of. There is enthusiastic response when we go out and change the practice style, which we have. We’re faster than we were a few weeks ago and it’s because of the way we practice. But there is a risk in the way we’re practicing because you get more injuries because you hit more. We just don’t have enough players were we can lose anymore. And that’s what happens. We do full speed, goal line work. It has paid off, we’ve seen it in the games.

Albert Wilson

On his touchdowns:

The first one was a scramble play. The quarterback signaled me to go long. He read the play.

The second one, they had a back-up in and we took advantage of it. That’s pretty much it.

On the nature of the mistakes:

I just think we try too hard not to make a mistake. If we can calm down and play football like we play football, it’ll be a better season.

Have you talked to the guys?

Yes, but you can only say so much. I can talk to them. We go down, they tense up. But that’s all of us. I do it.

On the potential changes to the starting lineup?

I guess that’s trying to find our strength. If this doesn’t work let’s try something else.

Emmanuel Ogbuehi

Describing his touchdown:

We knew we could exploit the seam, I came clean across the middle and Ben found me.

How frustrating is this?

It’s beyond frustrating. Week in, week out we keep making mistakes. It’s tiring. Tired of making mistakes and tired of coming in without a ‘W.’ We can’t put in on anybody else but ourselves.

Are people trying too hard not to make a mistake?

I can agree that’s part of it; people are trying hard not to make a mistake and that leads right to the thing they don’t want. That’s not all of it, though.

What’s the rest of it?

Missed assignments and missed opportunities. Not being a cohesive unit at times. When we get that ironed out we will have a better chance to win.

Do you feel like you are prepared for what you are seeing?

Yes, definitely.

So it comes down to the mental part?

Yes. It’s not all mental, but that’s a part of it.

Physically, are y’all holding up against the opponent?

Yes. I can’t speak for everybody but from what I’ve seen we are dominant enough to out-physical the opponent.

Are y’all ready for the Sun Belt?

I haven’t looked at all the teams we will play but come this summer once we put the work in that we put in for this summer we will be.

Theo Agnew

On moving to defensive tackle, which he seems to like:

It was a good move for me. I stepped up with the team. I’m just out there to play football. If they need me to play quarterback, I’ll jump back there.

What is causing the errors?

The CAA is a great league. It’s somewhat of a learning process. You’ve got three years of a program being in existence. A program grows just like anything else. You learn and start to understand the game differently. This is just one of the steps to learning the game right.

Now we understand how it is and we have to work to get the tempo right.

Next year we are going to go to the Sun Belt and do the exact thing. We’re working hard though. It’s not a pointing finger thing or so-and-so should be doing this. We’re working hard and giving it all we got. Eventually, it will mesh. It’s a young program and young team. Inexperience shows itself at times.

What is the single most important thing needed to compete for next year?

Biggest thing next year is consistency. We have to give it all we got. Every time we play we show right off the bat that we can hang and it’s start to dwindle at times and the other team starts to capitalize on that. If we can just play consistent, play consistent, play consistent then we will have a shot at anybody on our schedule, Sun Belt or not.

New Hampshire Head Coach Sean McDonnell

I thought we played pretty clean the first half and didn’t turn the ball over.

I thought defensively they got us on the third down, a little bit of a broken play and go. I thought defensively in the first half we did a nice job.

We blocked a punt and we had talked about doing something on special teams this week and we did that. We had a really good kickoff return, after they had just scored to close to about 20.

I’m really pleased with how hard we played again. If we can keep doing that, we’ll be able to win some more games.”

On big plays:

We have some kids who are pretty good in open spaces. We’re not the fastest, but they have a knack for playing football, but what we do offensively, like spreading people out works. Our quarterbacks get the ball to the right people and that helps us out so much.

On defensive line:

One kid, Jarred Smith, he has not played as well as he wants to play or we want him to play. He was out and has not played as well as he can. They didn’t block him very well in the first half and he made those big plays. I thought our defensive line set the tone for the game.

Our whole offense is predicated on spacing and we spread out the Georgia State defense. We have balance with skilled players and spread the field well.

On Georgia State:

When you have young QB’s and they’re playing at this level, they are going to make mistakes.

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

41 comments Add your comment

atl urinal and constipation reader

October 7th, 2012
9:26 am

Doug, does the roleing 2yr attendance matter in terms of ncaa penalty if a bowl isn’t in the immediate future?

atl urinal and constipation reader

October 7th, 2012
9:28 am

BTW.. First, how can this be? you guys are slacking!

Orlando Panther

October 7th, 2012
9:45 am

The reason we lost is b/c we suck. Make no bones about it, we will go 0-11 this season and probably next season as well. It’s gonna be a long few years for the Panther Football faithful.

Doug Roberson

October 7th, 2012
10:12 am

I don’t believe so, but if it keeps happening there can be more penalties

GSU Freshman

October 7th, 2012
10:23 am

I am a new student , and a great believer in our greatness and strength. It is great to hear our coaches said we never give up, we keep trying in despite of we are 0-6.

It is great to hear that since it states our determination to fly to the top.

Go Panther!!!!!

Chicken Bone

October 7th, 2012
10:29 am

Doug, a few fannies? lol… You are truly running out of quality words to describe this season’s continued downward spiral. I do give you an E for Effort though. The reason we lost is because of continued mistakes AND our lack of Offensive strategy. Our plays are all over the place and they do not set up each other. It’s the same ole story week after week. The other team makes consistent drives controlling the ball and our offense cannot control the ball. UNH rushing yards 332 GSU – 56. Time of possession not much better. Defense is in and out onto the field all the time. Ugh!


October 7th, 2012
10:36 am

Stop inquiring about ramifications of low attendance as we will be moving forward whether you want us to or not. In fact, next year we’ll be playing the type of football where plays can be reviewed! From my vantage point (front row in the dome) Bell was in the process of throwing that ball; therefore, it should not have been ruled a fumble. Obviously, that play started our downward spiral.

I no longer read CBC quotes or listen to his show etc. It’s the same rhetoric over and over. He and his coaches can’t leave soon enough.

04 Panther

October 7th, 2012
10:44 am

Curry doesn’t need more time to prepare for the Sun Belt. This guy is full of excuses. Not sure why so many people want to keep him around. If he were the AD, the FBS move would have never happened. What a joke!

Doug Roberson

October 7th, 2012
10:54 am

I wondered if Bell’s arm was going forward on that throw, but as you said there’s no replay. It was very close. Unlike the interception, I’m not sure he could have done anything about the fumble. It didn’t appear like he had any room to step forward or to the side.

Quite the Predicament on the horizon

October 7th, 2012
11:02 am

Truth, the only story to report this time is the attendance. Doug is a journalist and has to report the story as it is. You can’t expect him to ignore the attendance issue which was a huge concern before starting football and is now coming to fruition. If things do not get better with the new coach, I could see their being a revolt over the fees and football ending. It would probably take a new President, but if only 5,000 fans are attending and the University is taking a huge loss as breakeven renting the dome is 15k fans it is only a matter of time before tough questions are asked.

Also, what happens when the Falcons build a new stadium? If you use that stadium, the rent will certainly go up to where you may have to average 20k to break even. The other choice is Morris Brown’s stadium, but I’m not sure people would attend games there either. Not the best area of town and it doesn’t have the security of the dome.

Either way, quite the predicament is brewing. This new coaching hire will be make or break.

Doug Roberson

October 7th, 2012
11:39 am

Orlando Panther

October 7th, 2012
11:45 am

I agree with @QtPoth We are at a crossroads with the football program and this hire is the most critical in the entire history of our Athletics Dept. I hope they get it right or we will be facing some serious issues.

Quite the Predicament on the horizon

October 7th, 2012
12:23 pm

And a “good” hire may not be enough. It make take a home run which is very, very difficult. Then if you hit a home run, he will be snagged up by another school quick.

I am not sure that a 6-5 Ga State team in the Sun Belt puts more than 10k -12k in the stands. Ga State desperately needs some heated rivalries. Will Troy or USA do that? Ga Southern and/or App State? At this point Ga State administration needs to do everything that could help the program. They should try to schedule Ga Southern as the home opener next year if possible. That would generate some interest from both schools. The time for “we must appear to be above you” has passed. Need buts in stands no matter what it takes.


October 7th, 2012
12:42 pm

That was embarassing for Ga State We look undisciplined and unfocused.


October 7th, 2012
12:55 pm

About the hiring salary and financial incentives of the new football coach, how much are we willing to pay the guy given the fact that he would have so many responsibilities? Any thought?


October 7th, 2012
12:56 pm

May be in the million dollars range.


October 7th, 2012
1:15 pm

What a joke, no way there were 9500 people there, maybe 500

Look at the video from the voucher drop.

The CFB world is laughing at us, not with us

Pennsylvania CAA fan

October 7th, 2012
1:53 pm

That video is at the half? I was at Kingston ri a few weeks back and the place looked full. You guys should have a good crowd to play in front of….. Sandusky could perhaps get work release and coach for the remainder of the season.


October 7th, 2012
2:14 pm

Yep that was when the drop was done, prob a few people gone from stands to bathroom, concessions


October 7th, 2012
3:11 pm

“Just like that, a close turned into a blow out.”

How Bill Curry ever thought this game was close is mind blowing. Georgia State had less than 100 yards of total offense in the first half. The majority of Georgia State’s offensive statistics came in the 4th quarter against the 3’s and 4’s.

This school will end up dropping its football program in a few years when they go winless for the third or fourth straight year.


October 7th, 2012
4:49 pm

^ That’ll be for sure if Curry stays on as coach. The next coach will be crucial for GSU football’s future.


October 7th, 2012
4:52 pm


I would remind you or tell you if you didn’t know, GSU was really bad at basketball for literally decades. I think it was US News years ago that listed GSU basketball as among the worst programs in the country. Before Lefty, GSU might have had 1 regular season winning record. Reinhart might have had 2 winning seasons counting post season play.

Things can change if you are committed. Clearly GSU has to clean house after Curry leaves. GSU needs a good coach, substantially more on campus housing, and more weekday games.

Orlando Panther

October 7th, 2012
5:39 pm

@acm I know about bad GSU sports b/c I attended when we were at the bottom of the barrel. This hire is way more important than any other sports hire we have ever had to make, and I guarantee you that even Ron Hunter knows this. Ron Hunter is a godsend, but even he knows bball doesn’t turn the dial in the South like football does and GSU succeeding in football will help bball succeed as well.

Go Panthers…Lord save us!!!


October 7th, 2012
6:34 pm

@ Orlando Panther

Definitely. In Georgia, basketball is what we watch when there is no football. Football success or failure will shape GSU’s future as to whether or not it will be a school like UGA and Georgia Tech. Georgia Southern knows this and that’s why they want Georgia State football, and any other new in-state football program, to fail so they will be the unchallenged #3 Georgia school. Georgia Southern’s problem is that they are 200 miles from Atlanta and their nearest market is Savannah. Not bad, but not a coveted market. But unfortunately for GSU, just being in the market is not enough.

And on second though, it might have been USA Today that years ago declared GSU’s basketball program as among the worst in the country.

ABAC-North Doggies

October 7th, 2012
6:38 pm

You can beat RI next week, keep your chin up.

Orlando Panther

October 7th, 2012
7:06 pm

@acm it was USA Today ad they were dead on, no need to sugar coat it. I agree that our football success will either make or break us when it comes to putting us on the level of UGA or GT, and that is why I am nervous about this hire. I love my degree and respect GSU, but would love to see some outside recognition of my school, which can pretty much only come from athletic achievements…sad but true.


October 7th, 2012
8:53 pm

Thanks for the offer by “Quite the Predicament” to play in da dome first game next year. However,we are not about to lower ourselves to playing Ga. State in Atlanta, because we don’t travel to play weak irrelevant opponents. If you guys want to play Georgia Southern, come to Statesboro, see Freedome the eagle fly, and let us hang 600 yards rushing and 52 point on you goobers in front of 20,000+ screaming fans – all ours except for the 150 or so you guys bring.


October 7th, 2012
10:35 pm

at this point we really need to just focus on blumpkins. blumpkins for everyone.


October 8th, 2012
12:00 am


If Georgia Southern wants the AJC and Atlanta to give them more notice, can’t think of anything better than to play in Atlanta. But if you guys get into the Sun Belt, then you’ll have no choice at least every other year.

urinal and constipation reader

October 8th, 2012
8:42 am

Southern will probably be in the Sunbelt at some point in time, but regardless, it would be good for both schools to start scheduling one another. I think acm is correct, it would be in Southerns best interest to play in the dome..maybe even work out a revenue sharing plan where both schools win.


October 8th, 2012
11:03 am

Good effort Panthers.
Didn’t get the “W” yet, but I feel one coming soon.

Go Panthers!!

October 8th, 2012
12:40 pm

There are three FALSE assumptions that I keep seeing on here:

1) A team should build itself in FCS before moving up.

Truth: UTSA, USA, Old Dominion and Charlotte have all decided to make the same jump with as little history as GSU.

2) GSU’s record is an indication that it is in over it’s head.

Truth: No, it’s an indication that Bill Curry is in over his head. There will be a new coach next year, and it will certainly lead to an improvement. Addtionally, programs like Rutgers, Northwestern, Houston, Baylor, and Boise State demonstrate that fortunes can change with the right coach.

3) A team must be a winner to survive at the FBS level.

Truth: FBS is littered with programs like FIU, ULM, Rice, Tulane and other universities that are annual losers. While losing should never be tolerated, it is certainly not a death knell.

4) GSU is a commuter school and football isn’t the right path.

Truth: GSU cannot continue the same course it has taken for the last several decades. Job flight to the northern suburbs ismaking it tougher for GSU to continue drawing part-time students, especially as KSU becomes a more convenient option for students in the northeastern part of the city. And what is the health of the south side of the city, where GSU has traditionally drawn well?

If GSU is to remain viable and competitive, it absolutely HAS to adapt. Part of that adaption is to become a resident campus, providing elements of student life to draw incoming freshmen. Football is a big part of that, and footbal is an excellent promotional tool.

Why did GaSo grow so much over the last 25 years? Success in football, pure and simple.

So, yes, GSU was wise to start football, and it’s wise to adapt to a new future. Win or lose.

[...] Notes, quotes and observations after Georgia State’s loss to New Hampshire [...]


October 8th, 2012
2:29 pm

Screw the Sunbelt – Georgia Southern is going to Conference USA, possbly along with our biggest rival App. State. And it will drive improvement in our basketball program also with Houston, Rice, Memphis, Southern Miss, East Carolina, UAB, Cental Florida and Tulsa on the schedule.

Highly Respected Southern Troll

October 8th, 2012
3:34 pm

@Go Panthers!! – You listed four things, not three, but I will give you an A for hamster-spinning. Curry and Levick are convenient scapegoats for State’s pitiful football program but the fact is that Georgia State is not a sports school (much less a football school). That’s not going to change. I graduated from Georgia State and Georgia Southern and I can safely say that State made its mark as a business and commuter school that caters to working professionals, older students, and commuters. Football was a silly idea that will never have the support of students, alumni, or Atlanta sports fans.

@BigBird73 – I don’t know where this Conference USA rumor is coming from. The Sun Belt is likely to be where Southern lands if we get an FBS invite. It’s a better fit from the standpoint of rivalries, footprint, and probably football quality (at least within a few years). Take a look at the list of teams you named and tell me what they almost all have in common – big city location! Southern doesn’t have that and neither does App. State. I’d personally rather see the Eagles rubbing shoulders with the likes of Troy, Arkansas State, Western Kentucky, and Louisiana-Monroe than with Rice, UAB, Memphis, and Tulsa.


October 8th, 2012
11:53 pm


I would remind you that Memphis, Central Florida, and Houston are leaving the C-USA for the Big East.


October 9th, 2012
8:48 am

Wonder if Curry or Bond would have recruited someone like Nico Steriti?

[...] Notes, quotes and observations after Georgia State’s loss to New Hampshire [...]

Panther Dad

October 10th, 2012
9:09 am

At least the Band sounded and looked great, wonderful half time show.

[...] Notes, quotes and observations after Georgia State’s loss to New Hampshire [...]

[...] Notes, quotes and observations after Georgia State’s loss to New Hampshire [...]