Q&A with Georgia Southern sports editor Robert George

The first match up of men’s basketball in the Georgia State-Georgia Southern rivalry series was an instant classic. The atmosphere at the GSU Sports Arena in Atlanta, Georgia was so impressive, former “Blue Man” Dan Wilson admitted the crowd no longer needed the Blue Man. The 69-66 victory for the Panthers went all the way to the buzzer in not only regulation, but in overtime as well.

“I was proud to be the Coach at Georgia State, because the students really helped us out tonight,” head coach Ron Hunter said after the win.

Now after the Dec. 5 win against the Eagles in football, the rivalries momentum is currently on Georgia State’s side of things. So, how does the other side feel about a school they didn’t take seriously in athletics this time last year? Shortly before the Jan. 19 classic, The Signal reached out to Robert George, sports editor of The George-Anne, which is the student newspaper at Georgia Southern.

Robert George, senior multimedia journalism major from Vidalia, Georgia Photo provided by | Robert George
Robert George, senior multimedia journalism major from Vidalia, Georgia
Photo provided by | Robert George

How did the campus react to the football loss?

The University was pretty disappointed honestly. When we lose to State in any sport, particularly football, it’s a tough pill to swallow. But the way the team and fans rebounded in Mobile at the GoDaddy Bowl was great. The Eagles scored 58 points, which was the most scored by any team in the bowl season. The loss hurt, but the dominant performance against Bowling Green ended the season on a good note.

Any thoughts on the new football coaching staff?

The staff has been overhauled in the last few weeks. I think Tyson Summers is a great hire. He’s a Georgia native who spent a year at Southern as a safeties coach in 2006. The rest of the staff was pretty much hand picked by Summers, so it’s who he wants at those positions. There is a lot to be excited about in 2016 for the football program.

Would you all consider Georgia State a rival now?

Absolutely. Just look at the loss against them in football. Everyone was disappointed. And now that State is getting better in athletics across the board, I think it will only intensify the rivalry.

How have the basketball women and men done so far for the Eagles?

It’s been a slow start for both teams. The men’s team is the youngest team in the nation, so there have been some growing pains. But you can see growth, and we have some really talented players. It’s just a matter of time before they put it all together and become a perennial contender in the Sun Belt.

For the women’s team, they are in year one of the Kip Drown era. As of this writing, they are one win away from matching their total from last year. It might take some time, but Drown has the Eagles moving in the right direction. What would wins against our basketball programs mean for Georgia Southern basketball?

Another step in the growing up process. The match up is in Atlanta, so to be able to go on the road and pick up wins would be a real confidence booster.

Any last comments or concerns you’d like to send to the Panther Family?

Congratulations on making the bowl game. We look forward to more good match-ups in the years to come.