Oh, and Miles fired his running backs coach, Tony Tiller. And why not? Mack Brown set the precedent a day earlier with Manny Diaz, right? If giving up 550 rushing yards to BYU is a fireable offense for a defensive coordinator, isn't rushing for 30 yards against Chattanooga cause for canning a running backs coach?
Things didn't start out this way for the Georgia State program. When the school decided to begin football back in 2007, it hired Dan Reeves as a consultant. Bill Curry was hired as the first coach. The offensive coordinator now is Jeff Jagodzinski, late of the Boston College head-coaching job. The school plays its home games at the Georgia Dome, has a huge enrollment (over 32,000) and is in the heart of one of the best recruiting areas in the country.
Things just haven't worked out yet, though. The Panthers did OK in their first year, going 6-5 against teams like Shorter and Lambuth, whatever those are. The schedule was upgraded a bit the next year and the record fell to 3-8. Last year, playing an FCS schedule in the Colonial Athletic Association, the Panthers were 1-10. Curry then bailed.
Maybe this capsulizes things as well as possible. At the start of the 2011 season, Georgia State's returning starting quarterback, Drew Little, was suspended for the first four games for violating rules. One backup, Star Jackson, left the team. The other backup, Kelton Hill, was arrested for burglary.
Bo Schlechter wound up as the starter. He moved there from punter.
All is not lost for Georgia State, though. Miles was hired because he has a history of turning an awful program around. After coaching stints with Stanford, Oklahoma, Notre Dame, Washington and the Green Bay Packers, among other stops, he coached Indiana State the last five seasons. He was 19-14 there the last three years after starting 0-12 and 1-10 while inheriting a team that had won just one game in the previous three seasons.
First things first, though. Before Miles can build a winner, he has to build a team that will simply compete. That the Panthers just seemed to give up against Chattanooga was not a good sign. That they play West Virginia and Alabama in two of the next three games doesn't bode well, either.
But Miles swears the team that comes to Morgantown Saturday will compete.
"After the first game, I thought we were past stage one in teaching them to compete, but obviously I was wrong,'' Miles said. "So we're back to stage one, teaching guys how to compete every play, every down, even when things don't go their way.
"Even if it's only 11 guys, we're going to put 11 guys on that plane and we're going to go there and play as hard as we can possibly play.''
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickm...@aol.com or follow him at Twitter.com/dphickman1.