Here’s a paraphrased transcript of Georgia State coach Bill Curry’s press conference. He was joined by quarterback Ben McLane and linebacker Akeen Felder. The Panthers will host South Carolina State on Thursday at the Georgia Dome.
So glad to get to the season and get a chance to play.
This team has demonstrated a marvelous work ethic from the very beginning, since the day after last season. We’ve worked every day since.
Football is no longer a six-month deal. It’s a 12-month deal, or 11 at the least if you are serious about competing and we are serious about competing.
On South Carolina State:
S.C. State is a perennial program. They have a tradition of a century of excellent football.
Last year was a lesson, playing against them, because we played very hard. They played harder. We showed our guys on video this year all 11 guys flying to the football this year…and all those things that everybody says they are going to do.
It was agood physical match, but it was won by the team that was more determined.
We have to be more determined when the chips are down in the fourth quarter.
They have an outstanding quarterback who can throw and run. They run the read option as well as anyone we’ve ever seen.
They have two excellent RBs…don’t want [Asheton] Jordan to be injured. We want them to be at their best.
This week’s captains
Offensive Captain is Jordan Giles
Defensive captain in Demazio Skelton
Spectial teams captain is Scott McQueen.
On eligibility of Theo Agnew and Nermin Delic
It’s been very difficult to plan. Everyone would love to know immediately but I’m sure there’s a big backlog and the NCAA is doing the best it can.
I can’t remember a time I’ve had two freshmen show up with the kid of impact that Joseph Peterson and Joe Lockely have had on our team.
On the depth of the offensive line
Ulrick John and Grant King…have really stood out. I wouldn’t trade them for anybody in America. They play their hearts out. They are fast and qick and bright and know exactly what they are doing.
Inside people are growing up and coming on.
Good but not great on both lines.
On kicking game
Kicking game sould be stronger than it was a year ago.
At kicker we feel like we are going on with two good players (He said Matt Ehasz pushing during David Miller during the past week)
On being part of the Thursday-night opening of the season
We are excited about it.
We love the idea of us starting out on Thursday nights. Fans love it students love it. We do get to go first.
It’s an exciting moment and we want to play well. We don’t want to go out there all jacked up and make mistakes. We want to play well.
[Note: Georgia State will open on Thursday next year against a team from the Sun Belt, it appears]
On kicker Christian Benvenuto’s suspension
If he keeps his nose clean his suspension is over after one game; whether he gets the his job back is another question.
On the depth of the offensive line
Not as deep as wed like to be. Really like to be three deep. We are two deep on the offensive line…with injuries and graduation…we have some true freshman on thirdrd team who could be realy good, but right now they are not ready.
Felder on Peterson and Lockley
Peterson plays the linebacker like I do. From the first day I could tell that football means a lot to him. He brings leadership…you know one day he’s going to bring the leader of the team.
At times he gets confused, but when he knows what to do he’s perfect, almost.
McLane on being part of the opening day of the season
Only way to prepare for a game like this is to not make a big deal out of it.
When you go walk out of the lights….when you’ve had that pressure on yourself for so lonig it’s like any other day.
Felder on Curry:
Football has always been important, but he really teaches us how to be men. I had confidence if I gave everything I had, I’d get a scholarship. He showed me there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel.
McLane on the n0-huddle offense
Embrace change. We’ve reppped it so many times. It’s become second-nature to us all.
On the decision to go with game-by-game captains and the criteria used
I’ve been in every conceivable captain situation…so much depends on the team.
If you do one thing one year and you get poor results, then you don’t do the same thing the next year unless you are sure its’ the best system.
We want leadership that lasts all four quarters and through overtime.
We will name captains based on merit; how you work every week, all winter, all spring, all summer.
They won’t be named until after Wednesday’s practice.
Assistant coaches will make recommendations and I make the final decisions.
We have a 100-percent standard…each player is graded each practice whether or not he gave 100 percent and written on a board. They will walk in every morning, if you didn’t give 100 percent on the board and it’s read out.
These [captains] are men who gave every ounce of their effort on the practice field.
There’s an incentive to be a positive leader……is it constant encouragement, or is it moaning and complaining?
And you’ve got to be able to play, to be performing, to be good.
McLane on the difference between I-formation offense he ran at Brookwood and the no-huddle he’s running now
It’s a huge change. Whole lot more pressure. Brookwood was heavy on the run…there wasn’t ever a lot of pressure on me. Now, everything is conveyed through me from from coach Bond. It’s a whole lot different. I have to always be on my game.
If I do that well, hopefully we will do that well.
Curry, on Kelton Hill
We will see a good deal of Kelton Hill, that’s all I’m going to say.
On if Michael Davis will start
Davis will not start. But he will be in there on the second series. Ronald Martin will start at center, but Davis will come in on the second series and play there the rest of the year.
He has found a new level of performance. He’s a really good football player now. Took a little bit extra attention to make that happen.
– Doug Roberson, AJC. Please follow me on twitter @ajcgsu