Georgia State Preview: Alabama Game Moved, Panthers Building Steam

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Georgia State Preview: Alabama Game Moved, Panthers Building Steam

Recently, the University of Alabama asked coach Bill Curry and his Georgia State Panthers if they would be inclined to move the November 20 game to Thursday, November 18; Curry agreed.

Now Curry's Panthers are beginning to take shape, and they are not as bad or inexperienced, as previously thought.

When Curry, a former Alabama football coach, agreed to take the reins at Georgia State, he knew exactly what he was doing. 

Most coaches who have been the head of prestigious universities, such as Alabama, would have probably laughed at the idea of taking on the responsibility of building a program from scratch. Bill Curry did not.

Coach Curry has been in the business a long time, and he knew that regardless of the prestige or age of the program, talent would come; indeed it has.

In Phil Steele's Preseason Magazine, four Georgia State Panthers were named to preseason FCS All-Independent team.

Ben Jacoby: Center

Ben Jacoby, a junior from Buford, Georgia, transferred from Ball St. last fall.  He was a member of the 2008 Cardinals team that put up an impressive showing of 12-2, and he contributed in the GMAC Bowl that year.

Joseph Gilbert: Guard

Joseph Gilbert, also a junior, is from Cartersville, Georgia.  If the name sounds familiar, it's because he started in 26 games for Georgia Tech. 

Remember when the Yellow Jackets were annihilating defenses with that insane option play? Gilbert was the guy creating those lanes.

He will enroll at Georgia State this fall, and because they are not a BCS school, he is eligible to start immediately.

Louie Muasau: Linebacker

Louie Muasau from Sierra Vista, Arizona, transferred from Phoenix College in January.  We don't know much about him except that he is also a junior, and he brought his brother, also a linebacker, with him.

Obviously, he is performing at a high level, because he has caught the attention of Phil Steele.  Let's be honest, no matter where you play ball, watch list awards are not handed out easily.

Brent McClendon: Cornerback

Brent McClendon is a sophomore.  He is from a strong line of athletic pedigree and for you older readers, his name may be another one that jars your memory. 

If so, it's because his older brother Bryan, is the running backs coach at his alma mater, the University of Georgia.

His father, also a Georgia graduate, is Willie McClendon, the former Chicago Bears RB.  It will be interesting to see if his speed lands him a spot on offense as well.

I will be the first to admit that I thought this game was a joke.  A big step of faith and leadership on coach Curry's part, but a joke all the same. 

I was wrong, and I will never underestimate an experienced old coach again.  Don't get me wrong, Georgia State is still going to receive a severe butt whoopin', but it could be a little better than initially thought.

Curry and his Panthers staff agreed to move the game up so that coach Saban has more time to prepare for a "Must Win" against in-state rival Auburn, and I thank them for it.

I look forward to this exciting game.  Two teams, one on top of the world, and the other trying to find their place in the world of college football.

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