Georgia State coach Bill Curry met with the media for his weekly press conference. The Panthers (0-2) are preparing to play Texas-San Antonio (2-0) at 6 p.m. Saturday at the Georgia Dome.
Here’s a paraphrased transcript of what he and tackle Grant King said.
Curry: Ben McLane continues to improve. He has to take better care of the football, that’s an obvious thing. Coach [John] Bond promised me that we will get center-quarterback exchange fixed. We’ve had seasons where we’ve gone through the center-quarterback exchange without missing one. Our goal for the rest of the year is to not see that.
Both lines have provided good leadership and blocking for Donald Russell and our other backs, Rosevelt Watson, Travis Evans and Parris Lee. Russell is making a big difference for us right now.
Defensively, we’ve got to improve our pass defense, that’s very clear, and our overall pass defense.
As long as we continue to do that [effort], we will get better.
Injury updates on Jordan Giles and Danny Williams
Pretty much day to day thing. Giles is going to undergo a CT scan on his shoulder. Williams is moving better.
Did you consider playing Ronnie Bell in the second half?
We had a guy who was hitting every pass when they were open. There wasn’t an ounce of hysteria or big eyes. If that was the case, we would have thought about subbing.
On the center-snap exchange
We’ve got to perfect it this week.
Any interesting punishments if he drops one?
He hasn’t dropped one [knocks on the table].
Tackle Grant King, on McLane’s improvement
As a new quarterback coming in, he’s been doing a great job, especially with the new no-huddle system.
Curry: He didn’t miss a check Saturday.
It’s a very big thing when you consider the loss several defensive linemen already. It’s big. It’s too bad. He’ll get stronger and bigger and play next year.
Main task he has right now is to give us a great picture. We can’t block him. He’s a heck of a football player. He and I have had some long talks about his future and not to hang his head. He promised me he would give us great energy as a scout. He’s a 285 pound player who is quick as a cat and hard to block.
How did last year’s loss to San Antonio affect the team the rest of the year?
It was devastating. It was a bad loss. It was an unnecessary loss. I had a big hand in the loss and you don’t ever forget those.
It’s not so much that we owe UTSA, we owe ourselves to play our best and be impressive and make the right calls in a game like this.
Grant King: I feel the players had a hand in the loss too. We could have executed better. There were plays that we could have scored, and we didn’t execute.
Curry: I made some dumb calls.
Did y’all simplify anything on offense or defense last week to help the guys play faster?
Yes, we did. We saw that we were thinking way too much in the first game so we cut some things. I think it showed.
Grant King: We learned that when we play we need to have fun. A lot of us were taking it too seriously. Coming off our record last year, it was in our minds that we needed to win. So we made careless mistakes because we weren’t focused on the smaller details that are needed to win games.
When we went into Tennessee last week, we took it upon ourselves to have fun. It showed. We were a higher tempo, higher pace, we enjoyed the game.
On scoring the first touchdown of the season at Neyland:
We were playing how we should have been playing all year.
On how the team carry the intensity from Tennessee into this week.
King: Tennessee was just one step. We recognized that we had another level, another gear. Coming of this Tennessee loss, practices are much faster, a lot more crisp than they were before practicing for South Carolina State. We are getting a lot of things fixed, smaller things that were bothering us against Tennessee. I think we will have a lot of success against UTSA.
Is that the opposite of what happened after last year’s loss to UTSA? Instead of going a gear forward, did you take a step backward?
King: I feel that it bothered us that we lost that game, but we have to keep playing the next game. I don’t know if a lot of guys hung their heads or if bothered them mentally. After that game I put it out of my mind. It doesn’t matter.
Other than the returns Tennessee had, it seems like the special teams had a solid game. Are you seeing the results of putting more of the starters and better athletes on the coverage teams?
Curry: We have more starters and athletes, but we’ve also worked on special teams fundamentals all through spring practices. Most teams don’t do that. Most places I’ve been we didn’t do that in the spring. We’ve done it every day.
Though that was Cordarrelle Patterson, he ran right by two of us. We tackled him once near the 20-yard line. We could have tackled him the next time at the 20-yard line.
**Curry said the other return was the result of a contain man who didn’t do his job.
But other than that the kicking game has improved some.
Last year you said the team’s practice and preparation wasn’t evident in the results. How have the coaches’ meetings been this year?
It’s intense. We are looking at every detail. I think we are growing up as a staff, literally. Each of us is more demanding. Each of us sees areas where we could have and should have done prior to this a better job of coaching.
Ultimately, football is a coaches’ sport. If you look out there and see a bad football team, that’s the coaches’ fault. It’s just a fact. Anybody that’s ever studied this stuff knows that’s true.
– Doug Roberson, AJC. Please follow me on twitter @ajcgsu