Here are some notes and quotes from the weekly GSU football press conference. Head coach Bill curry was joined by Grant King this week who is the only Georgia State player to have started every game in which the Panthers have played.
Curry Opening remarks:
“Every game is a big game for us, for obvious reasons… Larry Coker is a wonderful coach. He was an offensive wizard as a coordinator and then was coach of the year twice at Miami. His system requires a lot of discipline. They run the option like a good option team. They run drop back passing like a good drop back passing team. They run the power run game good like a good power run team.
Eric Soza is their QB and has been their QB, which is a big advantage for them. I am very impressed with their WR Cam Jones who is number one. He is very fast.
They have a very well drilled offensive line. Their place kicker is 6 for 5 this season including a 51 yarder to win the game against South Alabama. He is 17 of 24 for his career, so he is human but this year he has been excellent.
The leader of their secondary is Brandon Reeves. Free safety Tristan Wade is an excellent player.
Last week we got a great lesson in hustle plays. Jarrell Robinson made a hustle play that saved a touchdown on a kick return. Our defense ended up holding and Tennessee missed a field goal. We have to hustle like that on every play.
Enthused about the improvement of our team. Particularly the offensive and defensive lines. Both lines are providing goo leadership.
McLane has continued to take steps forward. Coach Bond assured me that our center-qb exchance will be fixed. McLane said he simply didn’t have his eye on the ball because he was trying to read the Tennessee blitz.
Have to improve in our pass defense.
There was a moment where a hustle play actually cost us a touchdown. Grant King pulled and ran all the way across the field to try to set up a touchdown run by Donald Russell. Russell didn’t see him coming and tripped over his foot, so we had to settle for a field goal.
Injury update- The injury situation is day to day. Giles has a shoulder issue that they are continuing to run tests on. Williams moved better today but is still hobbled. We will never make excuses because of injuries."
Curry on Pass coverage- "The soft coverage was not by design. We did not line up and say hey try to make a tackle in the back of the endzone. Guys were too tentative and gave the receivers way too much room.
Curry on whether they thought about playing Bell- We had a guy that was hitting passes when somebody was open. Said he wasn’t looking at the ball, he was reading the blitz. Wasn’t wide eyed at all.
Curry said Ben McLane hasn’t dropped a snap in practice this week.
Grant King on how has Ben changed- As a new QB he has been doing a great job, especially with a new no huddle system. He didn’t miss a check Saturday.
Curry on the NCAA Delic ruling- Was a very big one. NCAA has procedures, and we understand, and we have worked diligently. We were told reasons that we will not reveal. It’s a big loss. He will get stronger. He promised us that he would do everything he could to help us on the scout team. We have been told there isn’t any kind of appeal, but if there is I would recommend we do it.
Curry- Last year’s loss to UTSA was devastating. I had a big hand in it. Not so much we owe UTSA one, but we owe ourselves. We let that one get away. I made some dumb calls.
King- The players had a hand in it too. We could have executed better in that game.
Curry on simplifying the offense- we were thinking way too much in the first game. We cut some things.
King- We learned to play and just have fun. Some of us took it too seriously because of our record last year and we played tight.
King on scoring the first offensive TD against an FBS opponent- It felt great. We come in expecting nothing less but to play hard. No matter who we are playing, we expect to win. Being in that venue it was exciting to score against them. We were playing how we should have been already.
Grant King on opening drive and Donald’s trip- Things happened for whatever reason. We didn’t score a TD, but you can’t hang your head on that play. That play is over, you have to focus on the next play.
King- Tennessee was just one step for us. We knew we had another level and we had another gear. Coming off UT our practices are a lot more crisp.
Curry on the improvement of Special Teams- We’ve got starters and athletes playing there and we implemented special teams drills in the off season. Every day. So that has been why we improved.
Curry on whether he believes in the cliche that teams improve most from week 1 to week 2- I don’t believe that week 1 to week 2 deal. I expect our team to improve every week. There was some improvement. But there was still way too much that we left in the tank. It was obvious with 25 minutes left that we had a chance to compete. What was clinic talk by me became reality. We were in it. But we didn’t cover, we played tentative. We played hard, but that wasn’t the objective. The goal is to be in the game and win the game.
Curry on timeouts at the end of the game- We want to make sure we use every instant we have to continue to play our hearts out. We aren’t going to leave timeouts on the board.
Curry on Midget’s reaction to secondary play- He takes responsibility. That’s what coaches do. It hasn’t been good enough. His job is to correct it. We also have had very little pass rush and have yet to record a sack.
King on the improvement of the offensive line- Majority of the line is young. That first game helped them get the jitters out. Either you get 2 percent better or worse. It doesn’t matter if we have a bad game or a good game, we have to improve 2 percent every day. With the OL, we are getting more confident with how each other plays. It’s my job to keep everybody’s mind focused. We could do a lot better job of recognizing blitzes and taking that pressure off of Ben McLane.