AJC Reports GSU’s Bill Curry To Retire After 2012 Season

August 15, 2012 · Filed Under Football, News · Comment 

The Atlanta Journal Constitution is reporting that Georgia State’s Head football coach Bill Curry will retire following the 2012 season. It is believed that he will tell his players on Wednesday morning before practice.

This comes in the midst of the Panthers transition to FBS and joining the Sun Belt.

Curry began in college football when he played at Georgia Tech. He then went on to play in the NFL for ten years and was part of three championship teams. He then returned to the college football ranks by coaching at Georgia Tech before going to Alabama where he was named the national coach of the year. He then left for Kentucky before he went into broadcasting with ESPN as an analyst.

In 2008, he was hired by Georgia State to start their football program from scratch. His first two seasons he led the Panthers to a 6-5 record followed by a 3-8 record last season.

Curry’s expected announcement is not completely unexpected. He will celebrate his 70th birthday in October. He has repeatedly given the same answer when asked if he if he was going to stay on with the school. He continually answered that he would make that decision when the season ends in November.

Some of the factors that will play into his decision is his health and possibly spending more time with his family.

You can read the AJC’s full article here.

UPDATE: This morning Georgia State University has called a press conference for 1pm Eastern.

Jags hold on to defeat Georgia State in battle of new programs

October 31, 2010 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

Coach John Turner working with the offensive line in the second half of the Jaguars game against the Georgia State Panthers.

South Alabama fended off a second half rally by Georgia State to hold on to a 39-34 victory at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. It was evident that two weeks of travel had taken their toll on the Jaguars. Coach Jones mentioned that it was Wednesday before the Jags recovered from their trip to California. But South Alabama’s play in the second quarter was enough for the Jags to stay ahead late in the game with field goals.

On the opening drive, the Panthers moved the ball methodically with three first downs in the opening four plays of the game to go from their 40 yard line to the Jaguar 19. They would top off their 10 play 60 yard drive with a 2 yard touchdown pass from Drew Little to Sidney Haynes on 4th down.

The Jags would answer as CJ Bennett would lead the offense on a 9 play 72 yard drive themselves. Kendall Houston would score from nine yards out, however Jordan Means would miss the point after attempt leaving the Jags behind 7-6.

After Georgia State got a first down on a clutch 3rd down completion, they would stumble due to a holding penalty and the Jaguar defense would force them to punt.

With 1:50 left in the first quarter, the Jags took over with great field position on their on 45 yard line. Then on second down, Bennett would find a ton of open green grass and would scamper for 26 yards down to the Panther 25 yard line before tripping up. However the Jags would not be able to move the ball any further. Lawson McGlon would miss the 42 yard attempt to leave the score 7-6 in favor of the Panthers.

The Jags defense would force another punt by the Panthers, however TJ Glover would fumble the punt giving the Panthers an easy chance to score at the Jaguar 14 yard line. Little would hit Jordan Giles to inside the Jaguar one yard line and would score two plays later on a quarterback sneak. With the PAT, the Panthers would go up 14-6 with 11:33 left in the second quarter.

South Alabama would answer right back with a 21 yard completion from Bennett to Courtney Smith on 2nd down to move out to the Jaguar 47 yard line. The first of three straight runs by Kendall Houston would move the ball across mid-field. With 2nd and 8 from the Panther 40, Bennett would find Bryant Lavender for a 40 yard touchdown strike. McGlon’s extra point would once again put the Jags within one at 14-13 with over nine minutes left in the second quarter.

After a 15 yard kickoff return to the Georgia State 30 yard line, Tim Harvey would pick off a deflected pass at the Panther 39 yard line. The Jags would open the possession with a completion from Bennett to Ralph Turner for 24 yards down to the Panther 15 yard line. Three plays later Bennett would connect with tight end Kevin Helms for a nine yard touchdown pass to take the lead. McGlon’s extra point would put the Jags up 20-14 with 6:57 left in the second quarter.

The Jaguar defense would hold the Panther offense to a three and out. South Alabama would not have an opportunity to return the punt as it was kicked out of bounds at the 20 yard line.

South Alabama would put together an impressive drive on the ensuing possession. After an incomplete pass and a five yard false start penalty, the Jaguars were facing 2nd and 15 from their own 15 yard line. Then a rush by TJ Glover would go 14 yards to the Jaguar 29 yard line. Then Kendall Houston would add six more yards for the first down and then some extra. Bennett would run for 13 yards down the left side before stepping out of bounds at the South Alabama 48 yard line. A completed pass from Bennett to Lavender would go for 18 yards to the Panther 34 yard line. Bennett would run for seven more yards followed by a Houston rush for 17 more yards to set up the Jags with a 1st and goal from near the 10 yard line. Back to back rushes would gain four yards from Glover and three more from Houston to give the Jags a 3rd and goal from the 3 yard line.

After a Jaguar time out, Bennett would throw to Jereme Jones on the left side of the endzone where he would make an amazing one-handed catch for the touchdown. McGlon kick would put the Jags up 27-14 with 41 seconds left until halftime.

Georgia State would start at their own 45 yard line after Chapuseaux’s kick would dribble out of bounds on what looked like an onsides kick or a surprise squib kick. A 13 yard completion would put the ball at the Jaguar 42 yard line. On the second play, Tim Harvey would pick off his second pass from Drew Little and would return it 47 yards to the Georgia State 18 yard line with 14 seconds left.

Coach Gregory, coming downstairs in preparation for halftime, had to hurry to the sidelines to call a pass play towards the endzone to try for a touchdown without any timeouts left. Courtney Smith just could not hold onto the ball in the endzone so the Jags decided to kick a 35 yard field goal. Lawson McGlon would make it to extend the Jags lead to 30-14 with 3 seconds left until halftime.

The 3rd quarter would be pretty quiet as both teams combined for three 3 and outs in the first four possessions. But the Jags would get in gear after a Panther punt would only go 27 yards out of bounds at their own 49 yard line. Houston would carry twice to open the possession for 8 and 5 yards respectively and a first down at the Panther 36 yard line. A 7 yard completion from Bennett to Lavender would put the ball at the 29 yard line. A rush for no gain by Glover would be followed by a 22 yard completion from Bennett to Lavender at the Panther 7 yard line with a first and goal.

Houston would then run for four yards down to the three yard line before getting dropped for a loss of three back to the six yard line. Bennett would then be hurried and would step up in the pocket and find Ralph Turner for an apparent touchdown, except an ineligible receiver down field would wipe it off the board. After an incomplete pass, the Jags faced 4th and goal at the 11 yard line. Lawson McGlon would make the 28 yard field goal to extend the Jags lead to 33-14 with 3:52 left in the 3rd quarter.

Chapuseaux’s kickoff would be fielded at the 9 yard line and Albert Lewis would return it 50 yards to the Jaguar 41 before being forced out of bounds. A two yard rush would open the drive for the Panthers before calling a timeout. on 2nd and 8, Andy Dalgleish would sack Drew Little for eight yards back to the USA 47 yard line. The next play would make up for it and much more as Little would connect with Danny Williams for a 47 yard touchdown to cut the lead to 33-21 with 2:11 left in the 3rd quarter.

TJ Glover would return the Panther kickoff 46 yards down to the Georgia State 38 yard line to start the next possession. Houston would power for 13 yards to the Panther 25 yard line and a first down. On 2nd and 10, Houston would rush for nine yards just shy of the first down at the Panther 8 yard line and running out the time in the 3rd quarter.

To open up the 4th quarter, Houston would run for six yards to the Georgia State 2 yard line. An pass intended for Lemontis Gardner would go incomplete in the end zone. CJ Bennett’s quarterback sneak would be fumbled and recovered by the Jags at the 1 yard line to bring up 4th down. With some shouts from the crowd, Coach Jones decided to kick the field goal to extend the Jaguar lead to 36-21 with 13:25 left in the game.

Georgia State would open their drive with a 39 yard completion from Little to Sidney Haynes to get down to the Jaguar 25 yard line. A four yard completion to Danny Williams would set up for a 20 yard completion to Travis Evans for first and goal at the Jaguar 1 yard line. The quarterback sneak would net them a touchdown, but Romelle Jones would stand big in the middle and block the extra point attempt leaving the Jags ahead by nine points at 36-27 with 11:24 left in the game.

A short kickoff would be fielded by Kevin Helms and returned 14 yards to the Jaguar 44 yard line. Three consecutive runs by Houston would go for 7, 7 and 10 yards respectively to net the Jags two first downs. TJ Glover would follow up with a 17 yard rush down to the Panther 15 yard line. Then the Georgia State defense would snuff out any further Houston Rushes, holding him to one yard on two plays. A 3rd and 9 pass attempt would fall incomplete off of Kendall Houston’s fingertips to bring up 4th down. McGlon would make a 31 yard attempt to put the Jags up 39-27 with 7:34 left to play.

A 26 yard kickoff return would put the Panthers at their own 44 yard line to start their next possession. The Jaguar defense would hold strong to begin the possession, but a 10 yard completion would add 15 more yards when Anton Graphenreed would be flagged for a facemask placing the ball at the Jaguar 20 yard line. An eight yard pass would put the Panthers at the Jaguar 11, but a delay of game penalty on 4th and 1 would put them back at the 16 yard line. An 11 yard completion on 4th down would give the Panthers a first down on the 5 yard line. On the next play Kelton Hill would run up the middle for the touchdown, cutting the Jaguar lead down to five points, 39-34 with 3:57 left in the game.

Starting at their own 26 yard line, faced a similar situation as the week earlier. They only needed two first downs to finish out a close game. Houston would run on the first two plays, going for 4 and 2 yards to bring up a 3rd and 4 at the Jaguars 32 yard line. Georgia State would call a timeout with 2:58 left to preserve time and prepare a defense. Bennett would find Courtney Smith for 5 yards and the first down. Houston would then run for 2 yards out to the USA 39 yard line. Another timeout by Georgia State would exhaust their allotment for the second half with 2:15 left in the game.

Houston would drive forward for six yards to bring up a 3rd and 2 from the Jaguar 45 yard line. Coach Jones would let the time run all the way down before calling a timeout with 1:28 left. Houston would find a hole and go for nine more yards and the crucial first down. With no timeouts left for Georgia State the Jags would kneel the ball twice and end the game.

South Alabama would go for 474 total yards, 293 on the ground and another 181 through the air. While Georgia State would gain the most through the air with 234 yard passing and only 46 yards rushing for 280 total yards.

South Alabama was 8 of 14 on third down conversions while Georgia State was 3 of 10. USA did not go for it on 4th down while the Panthers was 2 for 2 on 4th down conversions.

Kendall Houston would carry the ball 31 times for 175 yards and a touchdown. CJ Bennett would run 10 times for 80 yards and TJ Glover would add 35 yards on five carries.

CJ Bennett would play the entire game, going 12-of-24 for 181 yards for three touchdowns and no interceptions. Bryant Lavender would lead the receivers with four catches for 87 yards and a touchdown. Courtney Smith would add four more catches and 52 yards. Three other Jaguars caught passes.

Georgia State’s leading running back was Kelton Hill with three rushes for 25 yards and a touchdown. Travis Evans added 6 carries for 14 yards.

Drew Little would go 20-of-34 for 214 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. Danny Williams would catch 5 passes for 82 yards and a touchdown. Sidney Haynes would catch 4 for 50 yards and the other touchdown. Six other receivers caught passes for the Panthers as well.

Lawson McGlon went 4-of-5 kicking field goals. Making kicks of 35, 28, 18 and 31 yards and missing one from 42 yards. Jordan Means would miss one PAT attempt and McGlon would make his three attempts.

Coach Jones remarked after the game, “We got ahead at halftime by playing really well offensively in the first half, and the defense made adjustments and played well after the first drive. We’ve been ahead a lot at halftime and the other team would fold, but this team didn’t fold. They came back out and got rolling on offense, and just played much better in the second half. My hat’s off to the Georgia State team for coming back and making a really good game out of it.”

Georgia State head coach Bill Curry remarked on the South Alabama program after the game. “I’m very much an admirer of coach Jones and the South Alabama program. I have been since the beginning,” explained Curry. “The way they do things, their emphasis on academics, integrity, the way they win, the way they dominated the turnover margin in their games and the way they had dominated the fourth quarter coming into our game. We hope to become a more consistent team and do a better job, so we can match up with them the next time we play, and we will get that done.”

South Alabama will host Henderson State for homecoming on Saturday, November 6 with kickoff scheduled for 4pm.

Georgia State by the numbers

October 27, 2010 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

The Jaguars prepare to take the field at Lamar University.

Saturday will see a battle between two start up programs in South Alabama and Georgia State. Each team took their own route to where they are today. South Alabama went on the fast track to Division I-A, or FBS, and layed a framework to gradually progress and be successful from day one. While Georgia State decided to defer a season and merely practiced all last season.

South Alabama put together a first season schedule that was meant to gauge their progression by measured challenges without unattainable goals. While their first test was against Hargrave Military Academy, the Jags passed with flying colors and they did not look back for the rest of the season.

As the Jaguars had progressed better than anyone would have thought, their second season opponents was shuffled to be all four year institutions and to present more challenges. Currently, the Jaguars have passed all of their tests by defeating Nicholls State at home and huge road wins against Lamar University and UC-Davis.

Georgia State, as mentioned before, only practiced all last season in preparation for this season. They scheduled pretty agressively by playing Lambuth, Jacksonville State, Old Dominion and most surprisingly of all the University of Alabama. So far they are 5-3 on the season with wins over Shorter, Campbell, Morehead State, Savannah State and North Carolina Centeral and losses to Lambuth, Jacksonville State, and Old Dominion.

Georgia Southern hired former ESPN analyst Bill Curry to start their football program. Curry, formerly of Kentucky, Alabama and Georgia Tech, had been out of coaching since 1996 with an overall record of 82-105-4 as a college coach. His best season came at Alabama in 1989, his last year when his team went 10-2, losing the Sugar Bowl 33-25 to Miami. His following stint at Kentucky never saw a winning record, only finishing 6-6 in 1993 with a loss in the Peach Bowl by one point, 14-13, to Clemson. The following three seasons the Wildcats went 1-10, and back to back 4-7 seasons before he was asked to step aside.

As to whom is the better team, that will be settled on the field at Ladd-Peebles Stadium on Saturday, but we can agree to disagree with how these two programs have decided to progress and their scheduling decisions.

Georgia State by the numbers:

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South Alabama Releases 2010 Football Schedule

December 14, 2009 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

South Alabama released their 2010 football schedule on Monday and its a definite step up in competition. The Jags will play 10 games next season against four year institutions with four of them already at or transitioning to FCS or Division I-AA.

Seven of the ten games will be in Mobile with trips to Edward Waters, Lamar and University of California-Davis as their away games.

The Jaguars second season will kickoff on Saturday September 4 against Pikeville (Kentucky) who is an NAIA school that went 3-8 last year. The following an open week, the Jags will host Nocholls State on September 18. Nicholls State finished 3-8 (2-5 in the Southland Conference) last season.

Then the Jaguars first ever away game will have them Traveling to Jacksonville, Florida on September 25 to play Edward Waters, another NAIA school. Last year they returned to football in 2001 after a 34 year break. They went 1-10 although their head coach has been named conference coach of the year twice in the last three seasons.

October will begin by hosting Kentucky Wesleyan (October 2) followed by Missouri Tech (October 9), both from the Great Lakes Football Conference.

The schedule will toughen with back to back road games against formitable opponents. October 16 the Jags will travel to Lamar. This will be their first season back in football since 1989 as they will be transitioning to FCS. Then the Jags will travel all the way out to UC-Davis on October 23. Davis finished 6-5 last season and won the Great West Conference in 2009. Davis played Boise State close for most of the game which is not indicitive by the final score of 34-16.

October 30 the Jags will host upstart football program Georgia State who will begin the transition to FCS play. Head Coach Bill Curry should be familiar with many with his previous work at Alabama, Kentucky and Georgia Tech plus his stint with ESPN covering college football.

November will see two more games in Mobile. Henderson State (Arkansas) will be the Jags opponent on November 6 for homecoming. They lost 27-24 at Southland Conference co-champion McNeese State last season. Then the final game of the season will be against Arkansas-Monticello on Thursday, November 11. They finished 4-4 last season in the Gulf South Conference.

“Our coaches and players want to move up the ladder from a competitive standpoint,” Coach Joey Jones commented. “This schedule is a good one as we continue to transition to the NCAA Division I level. It will be a challenge for the kids, but it is one big step in that process.”

Coach Jones commented about the away games by saying, “We would’ve liked to have played a road game this year, so we’re excited about the opportunity to be able to do that next season. It’s exciting not just playing in someone else’s stadium, but in getting used to the travel process.”

“We believe the 2010 football schedule is one which is appropriate for the maturing process of the program and will provide tremendous college football contests, both home and away, for our Jaguar fans,” said Joel Erdmann, South Alabama Athletics Director.

Game times will be announced at a later date.

Season tickets are still on sale for the 2010 season through December 31 for $85. Also the 2010 season will be the second season and the last season for the Jags football team as an unclassified program. They will then being the two year transition process to FBS (Division I-A) football in 2011. In 2013 they will be full members of the Sun Belt Conference, competing for the conference championship and will be eligible for a bowl bid.

Here is a link to the PDF of the schedule from South Alabama Football website.

Go Jags!

Jags Announce The Scheduling Of Three Other Start-Up Programs

August 25, 2009 · Filed Under Football, News · Comment 

This was actually released about a week ago, but has been put on the back burner due to preseason practice coverage. However, USA will be facing three fellow start-up programs in the near future. This will make for a great measuring stick as to how the program is doing in relation to other start-up programs.

The Jags will have home-and-home series against Georgia State, Lamar University and Texas-San Antonio over the next three seasons, with two starting next season.

Lamar dropped football in 1989 and is set to return to play next year and will be the first of the three play the Jaguars. South Alabama will visit Lamar on October 16, 2010 then the Cardinals will travel to Mobile the next season on September 10th. This will be the first home game for the Jaguars as they begin the two years transition to FBS play in 2011.

The Jaguars will host Bill Curry and the Georgia State Panthers on October 30, 2010 and will then travel to Atlanta for the October 22, 2011 matchup. Georgia State University announced the start of their program in April of 2008 but decided to begin play in the fall of 2010 with their home games being played in the Georgia Dome. Bill Curry who has served as head coaches at Alabama, Kentucky and Georgia Tech was hired to start their program.

The University of Texas-San Antonio announced in December 2008 that it will begin playing football in the fall of 2011 and will be on the Jaguars schedule for the 2011 and 2012 seasons. The Jags will play the roadrunners on October 11, 2011 then they will be the season opener on September 1, 2012. Larry Coker, the former head coach at Miami, was hired to lead the program in March.

Coach Jones spoke about this scheduling, “We felt like playing schools the first couple of years in the same boat we are starting a brand new football program would be a great thing. With Bill Curry coaching at Georgia State and Larry Coker at UT-San Antonio, I believe they will bring us some credibility with the type of programs they are going to run. We’re very excited about playing against those teams. As we move on with scheduling hopefully we will continue to play schools like these that will grow with us, maybe they can develop into rivalries.”

So far the Jaguars have two scheduled games for 2010, five scheduled games in 2011 and three for 2012. South Alabama has previously announced contracts with Navy for a four game home-and-home series, Mississippi state (a two-for-one series, two in Starkville and one in Mobile), North Carolina State (two-for-one series), Kent state (another two-for-one series) and a trip to Tennessee for 2013.

The Jaguars will be eligible to compete for the SBC Conference championship and to play in a bowl game in 2013.

There is only 11 days until the first-ever game by the Jaguars. GO JAGS!