PANTHERS HOMECOMING EXACTLY WHAT A HOMECOMING SHOULD BE
The Georgia State Panthers knew what they were doing when they hired Bill Curry to be their first-ever football coach. The Panthers whalloped an undermanned Morehead State team 37-10 on CSS Saturday in GSU's first-ever homecoming game. That's what a homecoming game is supposed to be. A chance for the home team to score a big victory and make everybody feel happy.
The Eagles were the perfect guests for the faster, stronger, deeper Panthers who are now 3-2 in their inaugural season. It'll be interesting to see just how good the Panthers will be once they get into a much tougher CAA schedule in the seasons to come, but this year is about building a fan base from scratch and establishing a competitive tradition at a school that has rarely experienced one. As I told AD Cheryl Levick at halftime of our broadcast, it is amazing the unity and school spirit that a football program can create. As a GSU alum of some 25 years and having called many basketball games on CSS since, it is almost surreal to be calling a Panthers football game on television. I keep reminding myself that this really is Georgia State.
Among Saturday's heroes, QB Drew Little who was 21 of 29 passing for 287 yards and four touchdowns, WR Danny Williams who caught eight passes for over 100 yards and true to his word, offensive coordinator John Bond did get speedster Albert Wilson involved in the game plan.
My guess is that's the start of something. The defense looked good too. Anything that Morehead State was able to do on offense came in garbage time long after the game had been decided. Also...QB Star Jackson finally saw his first playing time, but he's got some work to do. But despite that, congrats to the Panthers on a successful first homecoming.
GRADY'S STARS WAY TOO MUCH FOR WASHINGTON
We certainly didn't expect a 28-0 shutout but that's what the Grey Knights gave us Friday night in our Fan's Choice Game, blanking a Bulldogs team that had been averaging about four touchdowns per game. Grady just has too many weapons and they've now goose-egged their last three opponents by a combined score of 138-0. Rivals 3-star running back Marcus Caffey had a big game, rushing for 142 yards on just 12 carries and scoring on TD runs of 12 and 67 yards while an Arkansas coach watched from the sidelines. Coach Ronnie Millen told us that he thinks Marcus' front runners are the Razorbacks and South Carolina Gamecocks.
Meantime the biggest prospect in the game Damien Swann had a quiet night. The Rivals four-star athlete who is rated by the recruiting service as the 8 athlete in the nation had only two balls thrown his way at WR (dropped a diving catch and had the other batted away in the enc zone) and played free safety on the defensive side of the ball. He did have a 70 yard kickoff return to start the second half.
Washington WR Zach Witchett was impressive in the Bulldogs loss. He totaled 104 yards of offense with five catches for 62 yards and six carries for 42 yards when Coach Stanley Pritchett lined him up at tailback. Witchett is already committed to the Georgia Bulldogs following in the footsteps of Branden Smith and Reshad Jones.
You probably remember Pritchett, he starred at Douglass HS in Atlanta before going on to a strong career at South Carolina. A fourth round draft pick by the Miami Dolphins in 1996 he went on to play 9 years in the NFL, also suiting up for the Bears, Eagles and finally the Falcons. I give him a lot of credit.
There aren't a lot of former NFL players who have the fortitude to go back and coach I high school team...and TEACH at that high school as well. But there's Stanley Pritchett, a 2010 version of Welcome Back Kotter if you will. Good for him.
COMING UP THIS WEEK
It's another busy week for me and my clipboard. Three SportsNites, In the Huddle (Thursday at 5pm ET and Friday at 7pm), HSFB for our Comcast Atlanta viewers, 3 Tucker (5-0) vs. Mays (5-0) at Lakewood Stadium, 8pm Friday on CSS and then off to Hattiesburg, MS on Saturday for a big CUSA showdown as East Carolina plays at Southern Miss. Hey...it beats working for living!