ATLANTA--After the defense had the upper hand in the previous scrimmage, the Georgia State offense rebounded with a strong performance in the Panthers' third preseason scrimmage Wednesday afternoon at the GSU Practice Complex.
"The offense was a little embarrassed by their performance in our last scrimmage on Saturday, when the defense played really well," said head coach Bill Curry. "Today, the offense ran the ball with authority."
The GSU offense employed four backs during the scrimmage, and junior Malcolm Smith, redshirt freshman Rendell Wilder, sophomore Cole Moon and junior Donald Russell each had his moments.
Smith, from College Park, Ga., continued his strong preseason with a 70-yard touchdown run.
"We had a long run for a touchdown by Malcolm Smith, but he's run the ball well all camp," said Curry. "And we had a resurgence by Donald Russell, who's been injured. He ran the ball extremely well."
In his first action in more than a week, Russell, the Kentucky transfer from West Palm Beach, Fla., scored on a five-yard touchdown run and showed downhill running ability.
"Rendell Wilder just played great," said Curry. "Even without the ball in his hands, he did a great job picking up blitzes. He was like a rocket out there."
Moon, the sophomore from Atlanta, got his first opportunity to carry the football. After playing linebacker last fall, the former prep fullback moved to tight end in the spring but was injured.
"Cole Moon was an excellent running back in high school, so we stuck him in there as a safety measure," said Curry. "He's going to be a terrific good tight end and h-back for us, but he can also run the ball out of the backfield. So that was encouraging."
Among GSU's top three returning backs, Rosevelt Watson and Parris Lee are injured, and Travis Evans had just three carries as coaches elected to rest him.
"It's obvious we are tired right now, and we kind of ran out of gas on both sides of the ball towards the end of the scrimmage," said Curry.
"We have one more day of two-a-days on Friday. That will be tough, but that's what football is supposed to be. After that we'll be into our regular mode with classes starting Monday."
Georgia State's season 2011 season opener little more than two weeks away as the Panthers host Clark Atlanta on Friday, Sept. 2, at 7:30 p.m. at the Georgia Dome.