Notes, quotes and observations following Georgia State’s loss to Villanova

Georgia State was beaten 49-24 by Villanova on Saturday at the Georgia Dome.

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.

Noteworthy numbers

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.

Three plays that changed the game

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.”

Quotes after the game


“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.”

Emmanuel Ogbuehi

“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

21 comments Add your comment


October 21st, 2012
9:55 am

Season’s over folks we’ll go 1-10. No big deal just feel sorry for the kids. Cheryl Levick better get off her butt and hire a great coach soon. Cannot wait for John Bond to be out of here.

Go Panthers!!

October 21st, 2012
10:15 am

Curry won’t make changes. Why should he?

It would be like trying to repair the Titanic after it has already broken in half.

Sit The Donald next week and maybe for the season. Protect him for 2013, PLEASE!!!

And FWIW, I’d argue Albert Wilson is a better all around player than Russell. Wonder if he has ever been a tailback.

Orlando Panther

October 21st, 2012
10:47 am

@Go Panthers!!

Russell won’t be with us next year b/c he is in his 4th year of play.

At least we had one win this year


October 21st, 2012
1:47 pm

New coaches coming. Next season we will have an answer whether the problem is coaching, quality of players, or both.

The other thing I am tired of hearing is that it takes time to build a program. Look at ODU and try to rephrase that response.

Ben Young

October 21st, 2012
2:00 pm

The problem is both. Clean house coaches and players. We need to load up with thugs on Defense and fat white boys on the O line. Juco transfers whatever


October 21st, 2012
2:47 pm


Max Sizemore

October 21st, 2012
4:09 pm

Just curious, but on the punt return how was it a “ridiculous mistake in coverage” if two of the “best guys” got blocked? Sometimes, the other team plays well.


October 21st, 2012
4:37 pm

I feel terrible for these kids. We might not win a game for several years. We really should stay in FCS until we can establish ourselves.


October 21st, 2012
4:40 pm

RidgeRunner……..You are right and you are wrong in your post @ 1:47. It did take ODU time to build their program. They just did it in different fashion than GSU. They spent years planning their entry into football, not mons. like GSU. When they knew they had a fail-safe plan that gave them a good chance of success, they went forward at full speed.
GSU still does not get it! They actually told their Univ President that they were spending great effort and resources on having a first class ” game day experience ‘! As reported by the AJC, they only sold 800 group tickets total for their first 2 games, while having about 10 mons to accomplish some significant numbers. I would have really liked to have heard the President’s response to that memo from his Athletic Dept. Sports Marketing should not be that hard with the great reputation of its Business School. But it was!


October 21st, 2012
4:44 pm

Waste of student fees, shut it down

[...] Notes, quotes and observations following Georgia State’s loss to Villanova [...]


October 21st, 2012
6:52 pm

Lack of a decent QB is killing us. McLane might come around but he’s not ready for prime time. Why won’t he put Kelton back in?
Also, when we know we’re up against a much better team, why not play to build some courage/character, i.e. frickin go for it on 4th and up to 10…what have we got to lose???
Glad to see Albert show some vigor yesterday…was worrying he’d given up.
Feared we’d lose The Donald…they overworked him without a doubt.
I still don’t get the almost total lack of fundamentals exhibited, blocking, tackling…I mean did these guys play before State???
No creativity on offense…when will my suggestion be accepted?
Paris used to be a shining light…what happened? He’s rather unimportant to them these days.
Good point above re: ODU. Has anyone on our staff looked into how/why they are so successful and we’re not? Cheryl, please!!!

Common sense

October 22nd, 2012
8:16 am

We should establish ourselves at FCS first?

Why? To focus on basketball? Because we aren’t winning?

I guess by that measure, Vanderbilt, Duke and Kentucky should drop to FCS and join the CAA.

Chicken Bone

October 22nd, 2012
10:30 am

OMG! Please don’t put AW2 at running back given our current offensive scheme. He will be the next to go down since there is NO blocking back! Bye bye Bond………..


October 22nd, 2012
11:08 am

Vanderbilt, Duke, and Kentucky are losing to the best teams in the country and actually putting up a fight. We’re getting blown out by d2 schools.

[...] Notes, quotes and observations following Georgia State’s loss to Villanova [...]


October 22nd, 2012
9:01 pm

And Duke is 6-1 so you’re point is irrelevant


October 23rd, 2012
4:38 am

So Duke is 6-1 and that makes the point irrelevant?

The point being that a team’s fortunes can change and that we shouldn’t judge football at GSU on just three seasons?

OK, if you say so, smart guy.


October 23rd, 2012
4:10 pm

How many seasons do we need to realize that we’re not getting any better? Progress is one thing, but taking huge steps backwards is another. I don’t understand how all of our fans think that joining the Sun Belt is going to automatically make us better. We still haven’t hired a coach, so unless we land Urban Meyer in the next two months, next year is looking like another 1-10 season.

[...] Notes, quotes and observations following Georgia State’s loss to Villanova [...]

[...] Notes, quotes and observations following Georgia State’s loss to Villanova [...]