Georgia State run over by Villanova

A week after earning its first win, Georgia State football did almost everything coach Bill Curry hoped they wouldn’t in Saturday’s 49-24 loss to Villanova at the Georgia Dome.

Playing in front of a sparse homecoming crowd of 12,136, the Panthers lost their best player when running back Donald Russell suffered a left knee injury in the first quarter. That wasn’t the only bad luck. The Panthers gave up a punt return for a touchdown and had an interception returned for a touchdown.

It was exactly the type of performance that Curry hoped he wouldn’t see. Curry knew that No. 24 Villanova, unlike Rhode Island last week, was going to be a much tougher opponent physically and mentally than Rhode Island was last week. He hoped his team could match that toughness. Aside from the mistakes that led to points, the Panthers (1-7) dropped passes, they missed tackles and they committed ill-timed penalties. Most of those errors occurred while giving up 35 points in the first half – the most in a half this year – to put themselves too far behind to rally.

“Obviously we didn’t learn what we should have the past few weeks… ” Curry said. “A good Villanova team pushed us around all day. There really aren’t words for it. I don’t have an explanation.  I don’t have an excuse.”

Now, the already offensively challenged team may have to finish the year without Russell, who stayed down after a short run in the first quarter. Curry described the injury as an MCL strain. Russell, a senior, came into the game as the CAA’s leading rusher with 743 yards and was responsible for 40 percent of the Panthers’ offense. He was replaced by a trio of running backs, led by Travis Evans. But the offense couldn’t create consistent sustained drives without Russell and with an inconsistent Ben McLane, who threw another interception in the second half that the Wildcats eventually converted to a touchdown.

“This is just getting old, it’s the same old story,” tight end Emmanuel Ogbuehi said about the losses. “We know  we have to be perfect and we haven’t been. If we continue this way it’s going to be the same result.”

On defense, the Panthers had no answer for Villanova’s option offense. Led by running back Kevin Monangai, who rushed for 130 yards on 18 carries, the Wildcats ran for more than 340 yards and totaled 470. Georgia State’s defensive line was playing without several first- and second-teamers who were out or left with injuries.

Curry said the defense was out of position on the quarterback runs and reads.

“We see it every week, it’s not like it’s some kind of magic show,” he said.

Villanova took a 7-0 lead on its first possession when quarterback John Robertson scored on first and goal from the 6-yard line.

The game changed in the first quarter on the ineffectiveness of Georgia State’s offense compared to the effectiveness of Villanova’s. The Panthers had three consecutive drives in which they didn’t make a first down.

The Wildcats capitalized on the second one with a 66-yard punt return by Poppy Livers with 6:37 left in the first quarter to take a 14-0 lead. Livers caught the ball in the middle of the field, broke a tackle and sprinted left toward the visitor’s sideline, outracing what was left of Georgia State’s defense for the score. It was the first punt return for a touchdown allowed by the Panthers this year, and the first scored by Villanova since 1980.

“It was a ridiculous mistake in coverage by two of our best guys who got blocked,” Curry said.

The Wildcats capitalized after the third three-and-out with a a 14-yard touchdown pass from Robertson to Norman White early in the second quarter to take a 21-0 lead.

Playing its first drive without Russell, Georgia State answered with a 34-yard field goal by Wil Lutz to cut the deficit to 21-3 with 9:32 left. Albert Wilson gave the Panthers outstanding field position with a 61-yard kickoff return.

The Wildcats needed six plays to tack on another touchdown on a 12-yard by Monangai, a 5-8, 200-pound running back who broke several tackles on the score. Defensive tackle Theo Agnew said he thinks players lost their fundamentals because they have may have been distracted by everything going on with the game, including homecoming and the fact they were playing a ranked opponent.

“There were certain things we didn’t get done,” Agnew said. “We have to get better with the run game.”

On the next play, McLane locked in on his receiver, enabling Eric Loper to break on the pass, intercept it, and return it for a 32-yard touchdown to give Villanova a 35-3 lead with 6:48 left in the first half. McLane said he thought Loper was going to drop back. Instead he barely moved.

“We put in so much work and we all care a lot,” McLane said. “We work hard and when we don’t get the results it’s tough.”

Georgia State scored on a 9-yard run by Evans to cut its margin to 35-10 with 1:38 left in the first half. The Panthers twice converted fourth-and-one plays to keep the drive going.

McLane bounced back from his second interception to throw a 3-yard touchdown pass to Ogbuehi with 8:20 left to cut the Panthers’ deficit to 49-17. It was Ogbuehi’s second touchdown in the past three games.

Ronnie Bell added a touchdown with a 55-yard strike to Wilson with 3:21 left.

Georgia State has three games remaining to try to salvage the year and send out Curry, who is retiring after the season, with fonder memories.

“We’ll get ready to go to James Madison and finish the season with some dignity but it’ll have to be a whole lot better than today,” Curry said.

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

65 comments Add your comment

peachy

October 20th, 2012
7:12 pm

Way to go Panthers! You held em to less than 50 points.
I’m sure the SEC will be begging you to join in just a year or two.

GSU Band Fan

October 20th, 2012
7:31 pm

Good article Doug. 12,000+ tickets sold, but there was hardly 8,000 there and at least 2,000 and maybe 3,000 of that total was from Pennsylvania. I just dont understand how our opponents can run through our defense and special teams as if our players were not there. I had hope, but this season has turned out to be totally frustrating.

Kennesaw Mtn. Landis

October 20th, 2012
7:57 pm

““This is just getting old, it’s the same old story,” tight end Emmanuel Ogbuehi said about the losses. “We know we have to be perfect and we haven’t been.”

Well Manny…maybe not exactly perfect but you do have to be able to tackle other team’s players, cover punt returns, not throw pick 6’s, catch touchdown passes instead of dropping them, know your assignments and generally compete at a higher level.

It’s kinda why they give you fellas scholarships.

SadPanther

October 20th, 2012
7:58 pm

We SUCK!! Our players are lazy and just not talented at all. Not sure why they even bother playing but I guess they chose GSU because they’re didn’t want to get dirty playing outside.

Kennesaw Mtn. Landis

October 20th, 2012
8:13 pm

SadPanther said “We SUCK!! Our players are lazy and just not talented at all. Not sure why they even bother playing but I guess they chose GSU because they’re didn’t want to get dirty playing outside.”

Actually, we have a few good players – Woodard was all over the field making tackles…and there were a few more…it’s just that we don’t have enough….and you can’t play defense with just 4 or 5 guys who are really willing to get down and dirty.

GSUALUM

October 20th, 2012
8:21 pm

12k at homecoming, what a joke, shut this mess down before we waste any more $

couldn't have "ben moore" wrong

October 20th, 2012
8:28 pm

if there were actually 12,000 people at the game, then panthertalk is the best fan site on the net.

FBS Envy

October 20th, 2012
8:33 pm

At least you guys are moving up next year and bringing in a new coaching staff. Still will be tough though.

PTfan

October 20th, 2012
8:34 pm

Well I’m comfortable that an institution of higher learning like GaState wouldn’t lie…and yes…panthertalk is the best fan site on the net :^)

Maddog

October 20th, 2012
8:43 pm

I think we all knew this was going to happen this year. First year against CAA competition or any decent FCS conference would yield similar results. Exploding on the scene of college football we’re seeing an implosion of the program which again is doing nothing for recruiting. There has to be some movement on names in the coach pool, something to get people/recruits fired up.

Pennslyvania CAA Fan

October 20th, 2012
8:54 pm

Cade Yates is hot

Kennesaw Mtn Landis

October 20th, 2012
9:07 pm

“Defensive tackle Theo Agnew said he thinks players lost their fundamentals because they have may have been distracted by everything going on with the game, including homecoming and the fact they were playing a ranked opponent”.

OMG.

SayWhat

October 20th, 2012
9:24 pm

Yeah, they were all distracted because they are all headed to Panthermonium at a club on Clairmont. They have all been tweeting about it within minutes after the game. I think we have a mostly 4th tier bunch.

Chicken Bone

October 20th, 2012
9:31 pm

Same ole story…….Looking forward to a new beginning next year with a different OC and DC with fresh ideas. New HC will take care of that for sure. Hope DR20’s injury is not too serious. AW2 had his typical awesome day running loose all over the place with 290 all purpose yards. He didn’t catch’em all but close to it! Keep your heads up guys! Don’t ever give up PANTHERS! On another note, the Basketball team’s scrimmage this morning was awesome! Some excellent looking new players! Get your tix while you can…..

rbostic218

October 20th, 2012
9:35 pm

gastate please don’t do this to your team and players. no your not good at the moment but in time you will gradually get better. i am a ga southern fan and season ticket holder and its starting to get to me too. its not fun loosing but don’t take it out on your players. now your coaching staff and admin have at ‘em.

couldn't have "ben moore" wrong

October 20th, 2012
9:55 pm

meanwhile, bill curry wonders to himself…. “what if we have homecoming and do a money drop to everyone wearing sunglasses on the same weekend….”

Billy

October 20th, 2012
10:25 pm

@rbostic218, yeah I agree attacking the kids is pointless. This is tame compared to the stuff Georgia did to Murray after the SC loss. Hell, they were bashing their kicker tonight after he missed a PAT. I agree though these kids are new and young and should not be beaten up.
GO PANTHERS (2013 Team that is)

Disappointed

October 20th, 2012
10:46 pm

Funny how a few weeks ago the kids were trash talking fans on twitter after a loss and now nada… You want to know why? Because the fans don’t care anymore. You should be concerned that NO ONE is tweeting, the PantherTalk chatter is down and very few folks post on the AJC. People don’t care to watch this bunch of losers ANYMORE…. Well you got what you wanted didn’t you.

Disappointed

October 20th, 2012
10:49 pm

Sorry maybe a little too harsh. There are about 10 kids that have a lot of talent and the rest not so much. None of them are losers though.
Sorry

StateOfNormal

October 20th, 2012
10:58 pm

@Disappointed If you can’t handle losing you should not be rooting for Georgia State. It’s what we do baby, always have always will.

Kevin

October 20th, 2012
11:13 pm

Testing 123 Doug

Kevin

October 20th, 2012
11:14 pm

Cannot post more than a sentence Doug

Kevin

October 20th, 2012
11:14 pm

Okay, @Maddog so explain how ODU is doing so well? I agree the team should not be expected win the conference but this is pretty ridiculous.

Kevin

October 20th, 2012
11:15 pm

Alright @Maddog so explain how ODU is doing so well?

Kevin

October 20th, 2012
11:15 pm

I agree the team should not be expected win the conference but this is pretty ridiculous.

Ugh

October 20th, 2012
11:20 pm

Well, I’m no longer bothered by getting blown out.

After a while, you don’t even feel the pain anymore.

And I take solace in the fact that it will get better next year.

Because it can’t be any worse.

Out by the Pond

October 20th, 2012
11:22 pm

If GSU players can not handle reading a play book, how do they handle college course work? Oh, that explains all those illiterate GSU graduates.

Kevin

October 20th, 2012
11:36 pm

The word is cannot. Illiterate…really?

Pennslyvania CAA Fan

October 20th, 2012
11:51 pm

Cade if you ever want to go for coffee let me know.

Atlanta Mafia

October 21st, 2012
12:30 am

I’ll be happy to move on next year with a new coach – some new recruits – and being in transition to FBS instead of being in the FCS. The bright point of oreder is at least we are a real University that was welcomed into the FBS by a conference. Even being losers we are better than “the others.”

GODAWGS

October 21st, 2012
12:48 am

Real university? Lets be honest, you’re a junior college for middle aged women looking to go back to school. Just because you got a bid to the worst conference in FBS doesn’t mean you’re special. Congrats, now all of the soccer moms studying to be paralegals can bring their kids to watch you lose to South Alabama and North Texas. GO PANTHERS! At least we’re FBS!

Passion of the Panther

October 21st, 2012
5:25 am

The presidents brunch was sparsely attended ….there couldnt have been 100 people in the alumni tailgate .. maybe 250 students in the student section .. .and the Panther Athletic Club seats were largely empty … what other indicators do you need about where this is headed

Passion of the Panther

October 21st, 2012
5:27 am

Soccer moms? uhh no, that doesn’t describe today’s GSU

Ga State Realist

October 21st, 2012
7:33 am

Why move up? Just stupid…this team is, basically, Division II level. Team is totally outclassed in CAA and will have no chance in FBS. Crowd was 8000 at most, no students and, frankly, about 2000
were Villanova fans from Philly.

Nobody cares about Ga State football (this is a commuter school with no true alumni base)…drop it and concentrate on basketball!

PantherP

October 21st, 2012
7:45 am

Georgia State to the Big East! That conference sucks so Ga State can make some noise!!! Get it done!

Pennsylvania CAA fan

October 21st, 2012
7:46 am

I am certain mr Yates is a nice guy. I am flattered that a fan has taken my name here. You guys are better off with two Pennsylvania CAA fans.

After the bashing of the CAA by the state fans it really is interesting to see this. It’s like God or the fates have a good sense of humor. Good luck in big boy football. I am going to church and throwing a little extra in the plate. I found religion at Georgia state. Amen

Pennsylvania CAA fan

October 21st, 2012
7:50 am

Do you guys need directions to JMU? It ought to be a nice drive. You should swing by a few of the other CAA schools next weekend. Nice schools and packed stadiums.

Paddy

October 21st, 2012
7:59 am

Well. we know we can always beat ODU if nobody else!

RidgeRunner

October 21st, 2012
8:04 am

None of us like to lose but we are improving on offense which will help the under clasman next year. The defense is a question mark to me.

Twelve thousand? Please!

Alum99

October 21st, 2012
8:51 am

Paddy you mean URI I believe. We will be blown out by ODU. Anyway looking forward to Basketball Season.

couldn't have "ben moore" wrong

October 21st, 2012
9:07 am

meanwhile, curry wonders…. “what if we do a ‘jiffy lube drop’ for all the middle aged commuter students we have…. they can get a free oil change, which is great, cause those miles add up doing all that commuting…..”

hans kershaw

October 21st, 2012
9:23 am

Keep the faith Panthers. Big things are coming in the next few years. Let the haters hate

Game Day Experience

October 21st, 2012
10:28 am

Soooo, if we can’t compete, at least lets have fun.

Beer is what? $7.50 a bottle? I’ll pass.

I figure that’s probably a $6 profit for Levy’s/GWCCA, after factoring in overhead.

Meanwhile, they’ve shut down most of the concession stands because there are usually no more than 5,000 us at the games.

Why not move the price to $5? Net profit is reduced by $2.50, but it will be more than made up for in volume. I’m buying 0 now, but would buy 3-4 at $5.

We can easily get behind $5 bottles, and all of us fans can drink away our misery together.

G-Spin Ben

October 21st, 2012
10:35 am

Ok, got an inside scoop I want to hype up for you to visit my website. Using my inside contacts deeeeeeep inside the innard bowels of the GSU athletic department, I have information on our promotion for the final promotion for 2012.

This time, we are pulling out our secret weapon to attract our target market. Phase 1 was a money drop for the students, but we knew that wouldn’t work, but we just needed a clever way to return some of their student fees so that they won’t vote to end the student fee next year.

Now we enter Phase 2 to strategically go after our target market with laser-like accuracy. We have secured a $50,000 promotion to bring our tens of thousands of suburban commuter moms into the game.

Pampers, yes, Pampers will be doing a diaper drop at during a timeout in the 3rd quarter. This will ensure that all of the moms do not leave at halftime. This is a pure genious promotion that I came up with and the athletic department bought off on. I am so smart. This will surely get us on ESPN sportscenter and everyone knows as I have stated many times that any publicity is good publicity.

Watch for our attendance to be in the 25k range. Trust me. G-Spin Ben

koach

October 21st, 2012
10:39 am

I agree that the attendance was not close to 12,000. The GSU AD had better do her job on hiring a new head coach. He has a tough job ahead of him. I hope that Curry has done a good job of recruiting for next year cause the new coach is aready behind in that area. The new HC needs to be a rebuilding of the cocaching staff. I am very disapointed in the progress of the program. The bar was set in the first year and people now expect the program to produce every year. In the past 2 years it is very very hard to see the program making progress on the field. I sometimes think that GSU moved to fast to develop a winning tradition. There was no rush to become a D1 level program and Curry was against it if I read it correct in an article. Next year Alabams, West Virginia, in 2 years Oregon, 3 years Air Force. i hope that money is used wisely to build a program that can at least be competive againt that level. Saturday’s game was extremely extremely hard to sit through. Curry has worked hard building the program and he is to be apprecited for that but its time to make a change. If the program continues as it did Saturday the fan base, the alumni base, the money base will turn against the program and it will die. Why continue to waste millions of dollars on a program that could be used on continuing to build the reputation of GSU as a school of higher learning. If GSU can do it in the other athletic program they can achive it in football as well. I was apart of the basketball program many years ago when games were played at the old O’keefe gym on the Tech campus and practice was in a church gym in the west end area. So I do support the work and effect that all are making to make the program a success

G-Spin Ben

October 21st, 2012
10:42 am

One more thing. Forgot to mention that coach Curry has agree to save two timeouts for late in the 3rd quarter and use them back to back to allow enough time to complete Phase II “Operation Diaper Drop”.

Thank you Coach for agreeing to do the most important thing for a football team, which is promoting the game. G-Spin Ben

Passion of the Panther

October 21st, 2012
11:19 am

@G-State Ben … agree with the sentiment but you are wrong on the audience – no soccer moms in the crowd I saw at the Dome – not exactly the demographic filling the general classroom building these days

urinal and constipation reader

October 21st, 2012
11:31 am

Chicken Bone… where was I wrong? I’m not bashing the panthers..just stating the obvious.. no fans and no chance against Villanova. I could have been like many others and said your going to get bent over and violated but chose to say good luck!

Ben Dover

October 21st, 2012
11:31 am

I Paid 30$ today for a scapler to take my tickets…..

G-Spin Ben

October 21st, 2012
11:31 am

One more scoop for you from G-Spin Ben. Please visit my webiste for more details and be sure to click on the ads to send bookooo $$$ to my bank account.

In 2013, we will begin a groundbreaking new program to increase attendance to ensure we keep our rolling average above 15k.

In the spirit of the new trend to allow busy working moms and professional to attend class online, we will be initiating our new “Attend the football games online” promotion for 2013. You will receive “online tickets” that will be mailed to you as part of your season ticket package.

YOU WILL SOON BE ABLE TO ATTEND GA STATE FOOTBALL GAMES ONLINE !

Yes, this was my idea that the athletic department bought off on. We will average 30k easily next year. I am so smart.

Trust me. G-Spin Ben.