Archive for October, 2012

Levick signs contract extension at Georgia State

Cheryl Levick has signed a five-year contract extension to remain as Georgia State’s athletic director.

The extension, which was completed Tuesday, goes into effect July 1 earlier this year. The financial terms weren’t disclosed.

Levick has had a busy tenure since coming to Georgia State in 2009 after three years as executive senior athletic director at Maryland.

She spearheaded the construction of the new practice facility for football, as well as the move from the Colonial Athletic Association to the Sun Belt Conference.

Levick is currently in the middle of a search to replace Bill Curry as football coach. He is retiring from coaching after the season, which has been a struggle. Not only is the team having issues on the field with a 1-7 record, its attendance has declined for the second consecutive year.

She hired Ron Hunter last year to lead the men’s basketball program. He led them to a 22-12 record last year.

The athletics department is also trying to raise capital to …

Continue reading Levick signs contract extension at Georgia State »

Georgia State still playing for this season and Curry

Despite knowing that the season isn’t living up to even the most modest expectations and that a new coach and staff will soon be moving into the digs at 188 Martin Luther King Jr. Dr., Georgia State’s players say they don’t view the final games as an audition for the next leader.

They are still about the team. They still want the victory more than the personal moments that may pop on film.

“Everybody is still pushing,” defensive lineman Theo Agnew said. “Undoubtedly you have some people that are upset. We haven’t been doing that well this season, but … we are going to ride this thing until the wheels come off.

“Coach (Bill) Curry said that he’s not going to give up on us and we aren’t going to give up on him either. We know he’s leaving and all that but it’s us, it’s everybody out there for each other. I say that to the team a lot,’ I’ll keep playing for y’all because I know y’all would do the same.’ ”

Georgia State has three …

Continue reading Georgia State still playing for this season and Curry »

Hamilton breaks down Georgia State’s running backs

Georgia State running backs coach Joe Hamilton offered this analysis of the three running backs that will likely split most of the carries in this week’s game at James Madison. As you may know, running back Donald Russell sprained the MCL in his left knee in last week’s loss to Villanova and will miss the remainder of the season.

Hamilton said one back won’t carry the ball 20-25 times.

“I’ll have to put the right back into the right situation to be more successful,” he said.

He said he doesn’t yet know which back will get more reps. He said that will likely be decided by who practices better.

Coach Bill Curry said the offense won’t change much with the loss of Russell, saying that the other running backs are capable to stepping in.

Offensive coordinator John Bond said all three are very good receivers coming out of the backfield, which is a skill they hope use Saturday.

Travis Evans, 5-11, 190, R-Jr.

“Travis brings a lot of energy, obviously experience. One thing I like …

Continue reading Hamilton breaks down Georgia State’s running backs »

Curry said loss of Russell may not change Georgia State’s offense

Georgia State coach Bill Curry said on Monday that he doesn’t think Donald Russell’s season-ending injury will significantly affect the offense.

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 …

Continue reading Curry said loss of Russell may not change Georgia State’s offense »

Georgia State RB Russell will miss rest of season

Georgia State running back Donald Russell is likely out for the rest of the season with a sprained MCL in his left knee. He suffered the injury  in the first quarter of Saturday’s 49-24 loss to Villanova.

He is expected to miss the next 4-6 weeks, but there are just three games remaining, starting with next week’s game at James Madison.

Russell was arguably the team’s most important player, responsible for 40 percent of the team’s offense before the loss to Villanova. He will finish this season with 747 rushing yards and three touchdowns and 160 receiving yards and one touchdown.

Russell’s absence will put more pressure on an offense that has struggled to find consistency this year. The Panthers are last or next to last in the Colonial Athletic Association in most categories, including points per game (17), rushing offense (116.5) and total offense (317.1).

Russell, a West Palm Beach, Fla. native, transferred to Georgia State (1-7) after two years at Kentucky.

He rushed for …

Continue reading Georgia State RB Russell will miss rest of season »

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 …

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

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 – …

Continue reading Georgia State run over by Villanova »

Breaking down Georgia State vs. Villanova

Breaking down Georgia State’s homecoming game against Villanova. Kickoff is at 3:30 p.m. and can be heard on AM1160.

Three storylines

1. Can Georgia State’s offense keep up the momentum? Georgia State’s offense didn’t commit a turnover for the first time this season last week against Rhode Island. Perhaps coincidentally, they scored 41 points and won. Donald Russell set a school record with 201 rushing yards. Ben McLane had his best day with more than 200 passing yards. Villanova, this week’s opponent, will offer a much sterner test. The Wildcats held Old Dominion, the Colonial Athletic Association’s highest scoring team, to 14 points last week. Villanova is allowing just 18.3 points and 341 yards per game.

2. Can the defense stop Villanova’s rushing attack? One of the reasons that Villanova’s defense is solid is because its offense strangles the clock with a rushing attack that averages 258.6 yards per game. The Wildcats control the clock for slightly more than …

Continue reading Breaking down Georgia State vs. Villanova »

GSU hoops season-ticket sales up by 59 percent

What a difference a year makes.

Season-ticket sales for Georgia State’s men’s basketball team have increased by 59 percent to 378 compared to last year’s 238 sold as of Oct. 18.

Coach Run Hunter guided the team to a 22-12 record last season in his first year as coach. The 22 wins the second-highest total in program history.

“The success of the program certainly helps us expose the product to more people,” assistant athletic director Tiffany Daniels said in an e-mail. ” They come to the Sports Arena and are blown away by the atmosphere created by our loyal season ticket holders, our students and the quality game experience. Add to that a dynamic coach in Ron Hunter…he gets it and beats the drum better than anyone.”

Daniels also credited improved coordination between the marketing and sales staffs to helping improve the sales.

Within the 378 season-tickets sold are 118 new sales, which is a 461-perceent increase compared to last year.

Sales of flex ticket plans have also …

Continue reading GSU hoops season-ticket sales up by 59 percent »

Curry hopes Georgia State will apply lessons learned

Earning the first win of the season may have been the easy part for Georgia State’s football team.

Now, coach Bill Curry wants to see how the team responds when it hosts Villanova on Saturday, a team that will provide a much tougher test than Rhode Island did in last week’s 41-7 victory.

“It’s true we did some things better Saturday,” Curry said. “It started well and things that started our way kept going our way.

“This week is a lot more important as a test of how much we’ve learned.”

The Panthers were taught many lessons during their six-game season-opening losing streak. Notably, they can’t turn over the ball and must make plays on defense, which will be a challenge on Saturday.

The Wildcats open up running lanes so wide they would make any Atlanta driver stuck on I-285 green with envy. Led by quarterback John Robertson, whom Curry described as a quicker Tim Tebow, Villanova averages almost 260 rushing yards per game.

Aside from the fact the Panthers …

Continue reading Curry hopes Georgia State will apply lessons learned »