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Georgia State Football: Bill Curry Interviewed After Spring Practice Week Three

The Georgia State football team completed their third week of spring practice at their downtown practice facility and we were able catch up with coach Bill Curry.

ATLANTA, GA - RS Sophomore Parris Lee sprints past CB D'Mario Gunn and down the sidelines for a score in a scrimmage on Saturday, April 9, 2010.  (Photo by Saakib Zafrani, GSU Signal
ATLANTA, GA - RS Sophomore Parris Lee sprints past CB D'Mario Gunn and down the sidelines for a score in a scrimmage on Saturday, April 9, 2010. (Photo by Saakib Zafrani, GSU Signal

On a warm, picture perfect April day in downtown Atlanta, the Georgia State football team completed their 12th practice of the spring.  In the simplest terms, Coach Bill Curry broke down the day's scrimmage: 

The offense came out here today and thought they'd run up and down the field, on defense, we decided that would not happen. Basically, defense dominated.

And they absolutely did.  From the first punt return drill, when back up FS Jocquez Fears baptized CB/PR Demarius Mathews, lighting the entire defensive sideline ablaze with cheers, the small crowd of media and family members got to witness DB Coach Anthony Midget sprint onto the field in jubilation like a father seeing his first son being born.  During the situational scrimmage, ILB Jarrell Robinson blasted WR Danny Williams on a short screen and the tone of practice was set. 

I was very disappointed in the offensive execution.  The unforced errors are things that should not happen at this point.  We are a veteran team now.  It's not our first time anymore.  We know our formations.

Coach Curry and staff are taking aim at penalties that he refers to a "focus penalties" -- offsides, false starts, formation penalties resulting in a five yard loss. Curry went on to discuss a Woody Hayes story from Ohio State saying that they once went an entire year with one formation penalty.  Now in full disclosure, they only ran a full house formation but at least the focus was there.

To be fair, the offense did have some bright spots: RB Parris Lee scored on a goal line plunge, similar to the first ever TD in Panther football history, and also by taking a short swing pass 40 yards to the house.  TE Emmanuel Oghbuehi was impressive as well snatching a crossing route and outrunning several Panther defenders. 

When asked about the biggest changes from last year has been the one word that seems to be repeated by anyone that has seen this team: tempo.  Curry believes that the tempo and team's conditioning cost the Panthers in both the Old Dominion and South Alabama games in 2010.

And for the fans interested in the change from inaugural Panthers to seasoned veterans, Curry repeated the mantra amongst the team that has not changed:

We are the Georgia State Panther football team.  We respect everyone.  We fear no one. We will play anybody, anywhere, anytime. Because we love to play football.

The Panthers wrap up their spring practice on Thursday with their 2nd spring game at the Georgia Dome at 7:30 pm. The event is free and open to the public.  When asked about what fans can expect to see on Thursday: 

Fans can expect an enthusiastic performance.  My hope is that they see an offense, defense and special teams that can execute without stupid mistakes.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.