GSU wrap-up: No surprises as Alabama dismantles first-year Panthers
By Jess Nicholas
Nov. 19, 2010
At some point late in Alabama’s 63-7 romp over Georgia State, Bill Curry called a timeout to challenge a fumble call that had gone against his team and had allowed Alabama to keep possession of a Marquis Maze punt return around midfield.
Perhaps Curry was just trying to prolong the experience of being back on the Bryant-Denny Stadium sideline, because his challenge proved as futile as his Panthers’ effort against Alabama. The Crimson Tide started with a flurry of points in the first half and finished by playing a game of “Name That Walk-On” as the clock ran down.
Fan favorite Rob Ezell created a minor sensation over the summer with his impressions of head coach Nick Saban. On Saturday, he created another with his impression of Greg McElroy, as Ezell finished out the game as Alabama’s third-string signal-caller. Although Ezell didn’t attempt a pass, the mere fact he was under center pointed to just how big a mismatch this game was.
Alabama could have literally named the score Thursday. Instead, it left PA announcer Tony Giles struggling to name some of the players who not only got into the game, but carried the ball.
And just how lopsided was this game? Alabama’s leading tackler was Wesley Neighbors. With the exception of plays made on special teams, Neighbors entered the game in the third quarter.
There is nothing to be learned from games such as these unless (a) you get a lot of players hurt or (b) you lose the game, as Michigan did a few years back to Appalachian State, or Ole Miss did this year to Jacksonville State. In the latter case, you learn a lot. Such as, the various escape routes coaches use to get away from the stadium and the media employed within.
The best news of this game was that Alabama suffered no serious injuries. Marquise Maze looked a little banged up once, but later returned to the game. It’s important because Alabama will need all the help it can muster next week.
On a night like Thursday, the only thing really left to do after such a lopsided win over an overmatched opponent is to congratulate the walk-ons and start preparing for the next game. In Alabama’s case, the next game is Auburn.
When Bill Curry was at Alabama, his teams famously never found a way to beat Auburn. Hopefully for Alabama, Curry’s return to Tuscaloosa did not signal the return of the struggles and inadequacies of a former coaching regime the week before Auburn rolls into town.