Georgia State opened its new stadium to a sellout crowd of more than 24,000 fans but came up short on the scoreboard 17-10 to Tennessee State. The offense had five turnovers. QB Conner Manning threw for 159 yards connecting 14-17 the percentage looked good the bad news is he got injured in the third quarter and had to leave the game. Losing your first string quarter back in the first game of the season is never good news however it creates an opportunity for the next man up, back up QB Aaron Winchester. Remember All Pro Drew Bledsoe’s injury birthed the G.O.A.T (Tom Brady) he was the next man up all he did was seize the opportunity by leading the New England Patriots to a Super Bowl victory.
GEORGIA STATE HEAD COACH SHAWN ELLIOTT
“You look at our defense, I thought they played their tails off. They went out there they give us the opportunity to compete, gave us the chance to tie the game. I thought they fought, but they stayed on the field a long, long time. And that’s something that is unacceptable for us. Something unacceptable for us offensively. You look at our stats, I think we rushed for 38 yards today. 38 yards. That’s something that’s hard to do. And five turnovers, simple things, simple things. Turnover there at the end of the game? A missed assignment on an out route, it was not very well executed.
“I told the guys, the lessons learned in life, the toughest lessons are probably the ones you learn the most. It’s a tough lesson, a tough lesson. You know for a group of guys, you go out there and practice hard, and work hard, and do all you want, it doesn’t change it. Everybody works hard. That team over there worked hard. Tennessee State worked hard, played hard, did a good job. We were out executed tonight, without a doubt. I said our defense played their tails off. There were times that we could have made some bigger plays, but also it wasn’t meant to be.
“We’ll go back and regroup, we go 17 days to prepare, got an open date ahead, and we’ll see what we can do. One loss and one win does not make a season, I can tell you that. It does not. Does not at all. I’m telling you we need to build some kind of leadership from this loss, and we got to move ahead. It’s going to be a tough loss to swallow over the next 17 days. It sure is. They say a 24 hour rule, people say that. Let me tell you this, we go to go. We’ve got to find out what we’re made of and find out quickly. Right now we need to find some guys that can step up and lead this bunch.
Q- Can you tell us about your decision to pull manning in the game and go with the other quarterback?
“Well, actually, he got a little ding on the back of his head. It wasn’t a concussion but he was dizzy. Had to come out of the game, didn’t feel like he could go back in.
Q- Not the result you wanted, opening up a new stadium, but could you tell us a little about that? Just the atmosphere and the energy?
“Coming in, it was kind of what we expected. Listen I appreciate everyone that came out here, appreciate all the efforts, and everything that went on. It was a great way to open the stadium, except for the game itself. And that’s a tough thing.
Q- What would you say was the big cause behind the lack of rushing?
“There were a lot of times we got beat up front, we certainly did. Not sure how many sacks were given up or loss of yardage, I think it was three sacks, but yeah they were whipping us up front. We got to be a bit more creative, to tell you the truth. We got to develop a better run game. When I say better, we got to develop a run game. That is certainly what we got to go back and establish. During the first quarter, after the fumble we went to throwing it a bit more. During the second quarter, had a 15 play drive that ended in field goal. I thought during that drive we were establishing the run gam more. With 12 personnel and two tight ends, it was off and on.”
TENNESSEE STATE HEAD COACH ROD REED
“It was a huge win. Our kids prepared for this. It was a game that we had marked since last year. We knew we were playing a FBS opponent, and our kids wanted to come down here, especially the ones from Georgia, and show what Tennessee football is all about. It is not just a big win for TSU, but also for the HBCU and the Ohio Valley Conference. We are just happy to be part of it.”
Talking about the success Treon Harris (QB 5) had along with TSU’s entire offense:
“That (success) was expected. We got a few surprises from Seth Rowland (33); Sabree Curtis Jr. (4) ran the ball well; he is a kid from this area, and he had a big game. But Treon led the offense out there today. He did it with his feet, and he is always going to get better. They always say you make the biggest jump between game one and game two, so we are hoping to make a huge jump before we play Jackson State next week.”
Talking about the success the Defense had (holding GSU to 10 pts., fourth down stops, interceptions and etc.): “We felt like we had some special players on defense. Chris Collins (32); Laquarius Cook (26) led us in the secondary; Neiman Armstrong (21) came in and did a very good job; and Vincent Sellers (25) is a true freshman from Florida, and he had a heck of a game today with some key stops and key tackles, and just continue to improve.”