ATLANTA--After two days of preseason practice, Georgia State head coach Bill Curry is beginning to see leadership develop on his second-year football team.
The Panthers open their encore season four weeks from today on Friday, Sept. 2, hosting Clark Atlanta at 7:30 p.m. at the Georgia Dome. Season and individual game tickets are on sale now (866-GA-STATE or GeorgiaStateSports.com).
"You can tell that most of them have worked really hard over the summer," said Curry. "Of course, it's all voluntary, but the ones who didn't get the job done in the summer time, instead of pouting, they are anxious to do the extra work to prove themselves to their teammates.
"That's exactly what you hope for. We're getting leadership from within the team. When that begins, you're starting to be a real football team for the first time."
Curry cited an example of what he called "the team working itself from within."
"Little things like the way you hustle all the way off the field, every play," he said. "That saves you five-yard penalties in a game. Well, instead of me yelling at them and blowing the whistle, they are after each other, yelling 'All the way off.' Because they know it happened to us last season. Only one time, but that's enough."
Another dominant team this preseason is toughness.
"This team will be tougher," said Curry. "It's got to be a whole lot tougher than last year. Even though we played hard in the fourth quarter and we never quit, we didn't play well. You've got to play hard and well. There's a difference."
Preseason drills continue with a Saturday morning workout at 8:45 a.m. at the GSU Sports Complex as the Panthers will practice in shoulder pads for the first time.