Russell was diagnosed on Sunday with a sprained MCL in his left knee, an injury that will sideline him for the next 4-6 weeks. Georgia State (1-7) will play at James Madison on Saturday.
“It shouldn’t change it substantially,” Curry said.
Russell, a West Palm Beach, Fla. native, transferred to Georgia State (1-7) after two years at Kentucky. He rushed for 665 yards last year and was the leading rusher in the conference this year heading into the game against the Wildcats. He is now in second with a 93.4-yards-per-game average.
Curry said the team will turn to Travis Evans, Rosevelt Watson and Parris Lee, who have totaled 173 rushing yards this season in limited duty.
“I think using all three we can run a very similar offense,” Curry said.
He acknowledged that it may put more pressure on the passing game, which is averaging 200.6 yards per game. But he said that wide receiver Danny Williams’ improving health (he suffered an ankle injury earlier this year) should help that area.
Because he was traveling, Curry didn’t have available how many yards Villanova’s runners gained after initial contact. But he said “it was too much.”
The Wildcats rushed for 343 yards against a defense that was missing several first- and second-teamers on the defensive line because of injuries.
“The defensive line didn’t play well,” Curry said. “Some of the guys that have played well had a rough time.”
Defensive tackle Terrance Woodard, one of the standouts this season, tried to play with an injured ankle but Curry said he was affected. He said Theo Agnew also struggled.
Curry said he doesn’t know if tackle Joe Lockley (neck) and end Melvin King (knee) will be able to return for this week’s game.
Because of the injuries, several inexperienced outside linebackers were forced to line up at defensive end, a position that two of them, Davis Knowles and Blake Wyatt, had never played.
Sounding a note heard often this season, Curry said the Panthers aren’t good enough to turn over the ball and expect to have a chance to win.
Georgia State had two interceptions against Villanova to increase its total to 17 this season. The Panthers have 10 more turnovers than the next-worst team in the Colonial Athletic Association.
“It was another painful lesson for us,” he said. “But we know what we have to do; we have to hang onto the football.”
– Doug Roberson, AJC. Please follow me on twitter @ajcgsu