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Courtesy: Mike Holmes/Sports Communications
Mark Hogan is interviewed by the AJC's Steve Hummer.

Panthers at Pigskin Preview

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Macon, Ga.--The kickoff of college football is still nearly three months away, but Georgia State head coach Bill Curry joined other Georgia college coaches to talk about the upcoming season at the annual Pigskin Preview, held Tuesday at the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame in Macon.

Coach Curry and GSU veterans Mark Hogan and Emmanuel Ogbuehi were interviewed by media from the around state to discuss the Panthers' encore season, which kicks off Sept. 2 at the Georgia Dome against Clark Atlanta.

What a difference a year makes for Curry, who attended this event last June before his squad had played a game.

"We know what we need to work on, that's for sure," he laughed.

Consistency was the theme of Curry's message to the media.

"Our most important goal is to become a consistent football team," said Curry, whose squad posted a 6-5 record in its debut season. "Last season, we played very well at times, but we seldom put together four solid quarters. We never quit and we almost always came back in the fourth quarter, but in some games we were too far behind to catch up. We learned how painful it is to come close at the end but get beat because we didn't play well early.

"I want us to be the same full-speed football team every play, every quarter, every Saturday."

If the Panthers can develop that consistent effort and execution, Curry said it's time for his squad to step up and be able to beat teams that they are not "supposed to beat." And the Panthers will have opportunities to do just that with a much more challenging schedule this fall.

Curry was frequently asked what advice he would give to the state's next new football program, Mercer University, which begins play in 2013.

"There are so many variables and the matrix is so complex that the most important thing you can do is to prioritize," he said. "Be sure you are spending your energy and resources to focus on the one thing that is most important that day."

Coach Curry had an opportunity to visit with a very familiar face in Savannah State's first-year head coach Steve Davenport, who played for Curry at Georgia Tech. Not only did Davenport play for Curry, but he was a teammate of Hogan's father, Mark Hogan, Sr.

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