ATLANTA--With the season opener less than two weeks away, the Georgia State football team concluded preseason camp with a final scrimmage Saturday morning at the GSU Practice Complex.

Georgia State opens against Clark Atlanta on Friday, Sept. 2, at 7:30 p.m. at the Georgia Dome. With fall semester classes beginning Monday, the team will not practice Sunday or Monday before beginning game preparations for Clark Atlanta on Tuesday.

Head coach Bill Curry saw positives on both sides of the ball in the scrimmage.

"We make it clear that every time we have a scrimmage, the only team that is winning is Georgia State. It's not offense or defense because things can change so quickly," said Curry.

The offense moved the ball well, particularly on the ground, but during the two-minute segment that ended the scrimmage, cornerback Jamal Ransby returned an interception for a touchdown and the defense also made two sacks.

"I was happy to see the offense execute today the way it ought to execute for the first time since training camp started," said Curry. "And it looked good. But down the stretch the defense made a couple of big plays - one for a touchdown - that would have changed everything. So you learn you have to keep fighting no matter the situation.

"Yes, the offense did some good things, but we're not going to assign the upper hand to anybody," he added.

Curry said that his squad has made strides in developing the identity he wants.

"We're tougher," he said. "We have found out who our gritty guys are. We have guys who have been through every play of every practice. Other guys have been injured, and we don't want them out there when they're injured. Other guys have learned how to fight through pain, because there's a difference between pain and injury. Don't go out there with an injury that could cause further damage, but if you can't play with pain in this sport, you don't ever play."

The Panthers' head coach also noted a few other areas of improvement.

"As of today, we're better at ball security, but that's been too long coming," said Curry. "Defensively, we've still got a way to go with our tackling, but we've gotten better. We've gotten better at alignment and assignment.

"Now we will polish everything until it's time to play, and we'll focus strictly on Clark Atlanta starting next week."

Georgia State football season and individual game tickets are on sale now (866-GA-STATE or GeorgiaStateSports.com).

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