Georgia State Coach Bill Curry held his first weekly press conference of the season this afternoon at the Georgia State practice facility. Curry was joined by redshirt freshman quarterback Ben McLane, who will start on Thursday, and junior outside linebacker Akeen Felder. Here are some of the notes and quotes as the Panthers prepare to kickoff the college football season in just two days.
Curry Opening remarks- “We are are so glad to have finally gotten to the regular season and to be able to play. Our team has demonstrated marvelous work ethic from the very beginning. The day after last season we went to work. Football is no longer a six month sport. If we are serious about competing we have to go to work every day.”
“Our opening opponent is formidable. South Carolina State is one of the perennial fcs powers and have a tradition of excellent football.”
“Our game with the last year was a lesson. We played hard. They played harder. We have used film of them to show our team how to play and they always have 11 people flying to the ball. The game was a good physical match and was won by the team that was more determined. We have got to do that. We have got to be more determined in the fourth quarter. We have improved in many ways but we have got to do it when it counts.”
Curry quick hits on SCSU- They have a good running quarterback and run the read option as well as anyone…. Their turnover margin in 2011 was +10, that is how you win football games…. They have two excellent running backs. We are hearing Asheton Jordan may be injured, but I never believe that stuff. We want to see them at their best… Tammerick Hemmingway is a freshman running back that could be a weapon for them, but not sure if the coach is playing games and just building him up… They have a veteran offensive and defensive line… Joe Thomas (starting middle linebacker) is all man. He had 100 tackles last season and we are very impressed with him…. Their secondary is led by Darius Drummond who is also an excellent punt returner… SCSU kicking game is a question mark. Starter has a calf injury.
- The offensive captain for this game is Jordan Giles. Defensive Captain is Demazio Skelton. Special Teams captain is Scott McQueen
- GSU is relatively injury free. Two season ending injuries but neither were expected to be contributors ( I believe it is Nick Henderson and Jamaal May ).
- Still no word from NCAA on Delic and Agnew. Delic has a high ankle sprain and probably wouldn’t be available for Thursday either way.
- Curry singled out Demarius Matthews, John Kelly, David Huey, and Joe Peterson as guys he has been very impressed with. Said he doesn’t know if he’s ever had two true freshmen that will make as much of an impact as Joe Peterson and Joe Lockley. Said you will see why immediately why Peterson is starting.
- Said he wouldn’t trade Grant King and Ulrick John for any tackles in America.
- Benvenuto will be suspended for the first game. If keeps his nose clean it will remain only a one game suspension. Said based on his performance he wouldn’t be the starter anyway. Miller is the starter but Ehasz has made an incredible push over the last week.
- Said he is excited to open the college football season on Thursday night. The players love doing it and the fans seem to like it also.
- Talked about the no huddle and said football has become a track meet. Defense has to play football full speed for sixty minutes, and that is how they will play on offense now too. Said the team structured their entire off season towards being an up tempo football team.
- Felder on Petrerson and Lockley- Said he could tell from the first day that Peterson is going to be a big leader on this team. Said he already is. Felder said he gets confused sometimes, but when he is where he is supposed to be he is pretty close to perfect. Said Lockley is the strongest guy on the team.
McLane on how to prepare for a big game like this- The only way to prepare for a big game like this is to not make a big deal out of it. We have had a long a rigorious training camp, there is a lot of lead up to this game, so we have to slow down and just approach it like any other game.
- Curry said Felder is the embodiment of what they want at Georgia State. He came to GSU as a walk on, paid his own way for a while, and has earned his spot.
- Felder talked about the affect Curry has had on him and how he has taught him to be a man.
- Felder then went off on a tangent I barely understood. He was asked about the keys that he looks for when defending the read option. Talked about the different sets and how those can give you a hint of whats coming, how the way the wide receiver releases gives a hint, and how the first step of the offensive tackle can give a hint of what is coming. It was very impressive.
- Curry said you will see a good deal of Kelton Hill on the field Thursday. Would not go into more detail obviously for game planning reasons.
- Michael Davis is suspended for the first series because of an altercation in practice. Ronald Martin will be the center for the first drive. Curry said Davis has handled the situation well and how he has played and carried himself since the incident is why it is only for one series. Curry praised Davis and said he has taken his game to a whole other level. Also said Georgia State could have started a freshman at that position, but would rather not do that (Mark Ruskell).
- Jamal Ransby has been banged up but will be ready to go Thursday night.