Despite losing the game, the team’s seventh loss in eight games, they may have also lost their best player. Running back Donald Russell suffered an injured left knee (MCL) in the first quarter that prevented him from playing. He was supposed to get an MRI today to diagnose the severity of the injury.
The loss was like most of the losses this year: filled with Georgia State mistakes.
The Panthers had a punt returned for a touchdown.
The Panthers threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown.
The Panthers couldn’t tackle Villanova freshman quarterback John Robertson.
The Panthers busted coverages and forgot fundamentals.
Receivers dropped passes.
It was another error-filled game.
I asked coach Curry if he was considering any changes, such as taking over play-calling or anything to try go out with some wins with three games left. He said no. The team just needs to play like it’s capable.
0 sacks for Georgia State. Of course, Villanova only threw 15 passes, but completed 11.
1 punt return for a touchdown. The 66-yarder in the second quarter was the first allowed by GSU this year and the first for Villanova since 1980.
3 100-yard receiving games for Albert Wilson. He caught a 55-yard touchdown pass late in the game to give him six receptions for 104 yards.
43.8 yards per punt for Matt Hubbard, who continues to have a solid season.
100 yards, at least, after contact for Villanova’s runners.
290 all-purpose yards for Wilson, breaking the school record set last week by Donald Russell.
343 rushing yards for Villanova, almost 100 more than their season average and almost 150 more than GSU’s average allowed. The Wildcats averaged 6.5 yards per carry.
1. The Wildcats took a 14-0 lead with a 66-yard punt return by Poppy Livers with 6:37 left in the first quarter. 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,” coach Bill Curry said.
2. The Wildcats took a 21-0 lead on a 14-yard touchdown pass from Jason Robertson to Norman White early in the second quarter to take a 21-0 lead. White was wide open in the end zone on the play. Curry implied that there were busted coverages all night, including the Wildcats’ last touchdown.
3. The game was already out of hand at this point, but Ben McLane threw a pick-six that gave Villanova a 35-3 lead with 6:48 left in the first half. McLane said he thought Eric Loper was going to drop back. Instead he barely moved and broke on the ball as soon as soon it was passed.
“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.”
“Obviously, we didn’t learn what we should have over the last couple of weeks culminating last weekend with a reasonable performance. Today, 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. We’ve got three more opponents coming up that are ranked higher than Villanova. We’ve got work to do. We’ll get ready to go to James Madison and finish this season with some dignity. We’ve got to be a whole lot better than today.”
On if any changes will be made
“The play calling has been good the past two weeks. Dropped balls and missed throws were the things that hurt us more than play calling today. We have to line up with the people we have and play better. We can’t change scheme now at this stage. If we wanted to add lineman, for instance, we don’t have them to do that. We’ve got to play with the people we’ve got and get them to run to the ball and tackle.”
On who will get the carries if Russell can’t play
“Donald Russell had an MCL strain and couldn’t return today. It will take time to see where he is. The other backs ran extremely well. They all ran real well today and they all practice hard. One thing everyone preaches in this sport, if you’ve not a starter, practice as if you are going to start. All of them have practiced well and they played well.”
On WR Albert Wilson
“Albert plays his heart out every game and he was sick because of those two early drops. Those were significant, but he is human. He is just a great player. We have a lot of ways to get him the ball. Reverses and double reverses, but there are probably a few other ways.”
On Villanova’s running game
“They blocked us. But we were also out of position on the quarterback runs. We’ve seen this every week, it isn’t some kind of magic show. He’s a good player, but he’s not so fast that we couldn’t wrap him up. We didn’t play our responsibilities and lost our poise.”
Quarterback Ben McLane
On not carrying momentum from last week
“It’s extremely disappointing, obviously. It’s hard because we do put so much effort. We all care a lot, and when you don’t get the results you want, it’s tough. It’s real tough.”
On the frustration
“We’re all frustrated ourselves. We do one good thing and then shoot ourselves in the foot. It frustrates everyone. We put so much work into, including Coach Curry, from top to bottom. We put a lot of time and effort into this, and is hurt by things like that. There’s only one thing to do: keep working hard and get it next week.”
On what’s next
“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.”
“This is just getting old, it’s the same old story. 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.”
– Doug Roberson, AJC. Please follow me on twitter @ajcgsu