Georgia State falls to Southern Miss

Georgia State’s free-throw woes cost it another victory in Tuesday’s 69-67 loss to Southern Miss at the Sports Arena.

An inability to hit from the line in the first half turned what could have been a comfortable win into a close game that the Eagles were able to pull out, taking their first lead with less than three minutes remaining. They held on for the victory when Markus Crider missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer. Georgia State hit 15 of its 22 free throws, slightly better than its season average of 65.4 percent. But six of its seven misses came in the first half, a game after two missed free throws cost it a chance to tie or beat Troy on Saturday.

“If we made free throws and didn’t turn it over we would have won the game,” coach Ron Hunter said.

R.J. Hunter led the Panthers (5-6) with 24 points, 20 of which came in the first half. Manny Atkins and Devonta White added 13 each. The Panthers’ last two losses have come by three points, both in the game’s final …

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Georgia State rolling in commitments

New Georgia State football coach Trent Miles and his staff are quickly stockpiling commitments.

The Panthers have received commitments from two three-star players in the past 24 hours in safety Jeremy Fulcher (Dallas, Texas) and linebacker Kight Dallas (Stephenson HS). They also received a commitment from defensive back Trent Hill (M.L. King).

That brings the list of commitments to five, joining quarterback Clay Chastain (Georgia Military) and offensive lineman Brandon Pertile (Clearwater, Fla.).

In addition, wide receiver Albert Wilson, arguably the team’s most dangerous weapon, tweeted earlier today that he was going to return to Georgia State for his senior year. He caused some confusion earlier this season when he sent out a series of tweets that seemed to indicate he was considering leaving school with a year of eligibility. Wilson had 947 receiving yards last year more than 650 yards more than the Panthers’ next most-productive receiver. He also averaged 25.9 yards per …

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GSU prepares to host Southern Miss

Georgia State will host Southern Miss at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the final non-conference home game of the year.

Surprising few, the Panthers have played unevenly in their first 10 games. Coach Ron Hunter is still working on finding a rotation on a roster that features nine players who didn’t play a minute for the Panthers last year.

The team’s inexperience has shown in the first half of games.

The team has been outscored by 57 points in the first half of games this year. In their five losses, they have trailed by an average of 13.4 points per game at the half. In the five wins, they have led by an average of two points at the half.

Their rallies in the second-half have been impacted by their inability to consistently hit free throws. The team is hitting just 65.4 percent of its free throws this year

Saturday’s loss at Troy is an example.

The Panthers trailed by 14 at the half, fought back to take a five-point lead in the final minutes, and then lost when James Vincent failed to hit …

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Georgia State falls to Troy

Georgia State lost at Troy 57-56 Saturday night. James Vincent missed two free throws with less than one second on the clock.

The Panthers (5-5) rallied from a 14-point margin at halftime to build as a much as a five-point lead in the second half. But the Trojans responded with a 6-0 run to take the one-point lead with 33.9 seconds left.

Devonta White led GSU with 13 points. Manny Atkins added 12 and Vincent had 10 points, nine rebounds and three blocks to move into sixth place in school history with 87 blocks in his career.

The Panthers will host Southern Miss at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

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Luke Huard will join Georgia State staff

Luke Huard will join Trent Miles’ staff at Georgia State.

Huard is currently the offensive coordinator at Illinois State. Miles hasn’t decided which position group Huard will coach on the offensive side of the ball. He is expected to arrive next week. The Redbirds lost 51-35 to Eastern Washington in the quarterfinals of the FCS playoffs.

With Huard calling the plays, Illinois State averaged 30.2 points and 396.8 yards per game this season. They averaged 27.9 points and 383 yards in 2011 and 389 yards in 2010, all with Huard as offensive coordinator.

Miles’ Indiana State teams were in the same conference (Missouri Valley) as Illinois State.

Huard joined Illinois State in 2009 as quarterbacks coach and helped true freshman Matt Brown pass for almost 2,400 yards. Brown passed for 2,665 yards as a sophomore, 2,187 yards as a junior and 3,370 yards this year.

Huard graduated from North Carolina 2002. Two of his brothers, Damon and Brock, were quarterbacks at Washington.

He will …

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Matt Ryan on Georgia State OC Jeff Jagodzinski

New Georgia State coach Trent Miles hired Jeff Jagodzinski to be his offensive coordinator on Tuesday.

Jagodzinski brings a lengthy resume that includes being the head coach at Boston College, where he led the Eagles to consecutive appearances in the ACC championship game in 2007 and ‘08.

Matt Ryan, the quarterback who guided the Eagles to that first appearance in 2007, is now the quarterback of the Falcons.

Esteemed colleague D. Orlando Ledbetter snagged a few quotes from Ryan about his former coach:

MATT RYAN:

“I heard he got hired down at Georgia State. I’m excited for him. Obviously, I had a lot of fun with him in my last year at Boston College. I think he’ll do a good job. Obviously, he has a wealth of knowledge on the offensive side of the ball. I think he’ll do a good job.”

MORE:

“Jags, likes to have a good time. That’s for sure. He likes to keep things loose. I think the guys will enjoy playing for him.”

Other headlines

Trent Miles talks about hiring Jeff …

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Trent Miles talks about hiring Jeff Jagodzinski

Former Boston College coach Jeff Jagodzinski was hired as Georgia State’s offensive coordinator on Tuesday. It was a surprising move for Georgia State, a third-year program that is making the move to the Sun Belt Conference next year. Jagodzinski led Boston College to two appearances in the ACC championship game, and helped Matt Ryan become the No. 2 player selected in the NFL draft.

New Coach Trent Miles took a few minutes between recruiting visits to talk about his new hire and how Jagodzinski will fit into the staff.

Q: How did this hire come about?

A: Jags and I worked together at Green Bay (in 2000). He’s a heck of a football coach. With all the experience he has …

We’ve always kept in touch. When I got this position I asked if he was interested. He said he would think about it. When it came true, it picked up from there.

Q: Will he also coach QBs?

A: Right now, he’s going to work with quarterbacks. We want to see how the staff will sort out. He will have input on …

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Jeff Jagodzinski agrees to become Georgia State’s offensive coordinator

New Georgia State football coach Trent Miles promised a surprising name would join his staff.

Former Boston College coach Jeff Jagodzinski has agreed to become offensive coordinator, bringing with him a knowledge of Atlanta and a history of effective offenses. The latter is something Georgia State needs as it prepares to play in the Sun Belt next year.

Surprise.

Jagodzinski, who coached Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan in 2007 when the two were with the Eagles, has been out of the upper-level college and traditional professional ranks for the past two years after being let go by the Tampa Bay Bucs in the preseason in 2009. He coached the UFL’s Omaha Nighthawks in 2010 and this year was a volunteer coach at Ave Maria, an NAIA school in Florida.

It has been an odd few years for Jagodzinski compared to where he was.

Jagodzinski left his job as offensive coordinator with the Packers and took over at Boston College in 2007 after Tom O’Brien left for N.C. State. Jagodzinski led the …

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Miles adds another member to Georgia State staff

J.D. Williams will be joining Trent Miles’ staff at Georgia State as defensive backs coach, completing the coaches on that side of the ball.

Williams comes to Georgia State after serving as defensive coordinator at UNLV this year. He and the Rebels’ offensive coordinator weren’t retained after the season.

He and Miles coached together at Washington. He has also coached defensive backs or the secondary at UNLV (2010-11), Utah (2009), Washington (2006-08), California (2002-05), Fresno State (2000-01), San Jose State (1999) and Cal Poly (1998).

Williams was a defensive back at Fresno State who was drafted in the first round by the Bills in 1990. He played in four Super Bowls.

He is the fifth coach Miles has hired and the first to not come with him from his previous job at Indiana State.

The new staff is:

Defensive coordinator: Jesse Minter

Linebackers: P.J. Volker

Defensive line: Shannon Jackson

Defensive backs: J.D. Williams

Offensive coordinator:

Offensive line: Harold …

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Part 2 of Q&A with Trent Miles

Georgia State introduced Trent Miles as its second football coach last week.

He is tasked with turning around a program that went 1-10 last year as it transitions to a FBS schedule this year.

Here’s the second part of an interview that took place last week:

Q: You mentioned on Monday recruiting players from junior colleges and military preparatory schools. What positions are you trying to strengthen?

A: If we can, it’s kind of late in the process, but if we can we need a big running back to help with the run game. Always need defensive players. Always need depth on the lines, and always need to look at quarterback. If you don’t have a quarterback and aren’t stout on the offensive and defensive lines you are in trouble. You have to have numbers and size on the offensive and defensive side and you have to have a quarterback.

Q: If you could get just one impact junior college player, which position?

A: Quarterback (without hesitation). Look at the Indianapolis Colts. You …

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