ATLANTA--Georgia State concludes the 2012 season Saturday at Maine in the final game for retiring head coach Bill Curry. Kickoff is at 2 p.m. at Alfond Stadium in Orono, Maine.
As usual, Curry deflected the focus from himself and talked about his team.
"We have one more chance to play a great game," he said Tuesday at his weekly press conference. "We never give up on that opportunity. We had excellent work today out in the cold and the rain. Most of all, we've got to be prepared to be at our best, stick together and finish this season properly to start the next staff and the next team off the right way."
The Panthers enter their final game of the 2012 season, and their final contestwith a record of 1-9 after last Saturday's 53-27 loss to fifth-ranked Old Dominion.
Maine is 3-6 (2-4 CAA), but the Black Bears recorded an impressive 26-3 win at nationally-ranked Delaware and dropped back-to-back games against nationally-ranked Towson and New Hampshire by a combined 12 points. Coach Jack Cosgrove's squad was an NCAA playoff team in 2011.
"It's probably a natural thing to wonder right now, what are we learning from this experience, especially our student-athletes. It is this: we never stop working," Curry said. "We never concede to injuries or circumstances that we are not going to be a great football program. We know that we will. We hope that it's this Saturday.
"Our goal this week is for our people to look back and say, the winning part really started on November 10, 2012," he continued. "If you continue that way, and on into the off season, and the next thing and the next, and stay true to the principles we've built into the program, you can always expect a successful football team eventually.
"I think it should have happened much faster. The responsibility for that falls on all of us, but mostly me, but that doesn't mean that we get discouraged or let up or give up. Some people give up along the way, and that's ok. I understand that. But our players haven't, and even when we are in the most difficult circumstances in games, this team has continued to fight. This group of men is going to Maine intent on winning."
Starting center Michael Davis, who has been with the program since its beginning and who happens to play the same position as the head coach, was asked what he would miss most about Coach Curry.
"One of the things I'm going to miss most about Coach Curry is just his attitude, which is being positive all the time and being someone who truly, truly never quits," said Davis. "There's a lot of people that say a lot of things, but they don't necessarily practice what they preach, and to be around Coach Curry every single day - he's a man with true integrity. I believe that's become rare now-a-days. I'm going to miss that a lot. He's somebody that I can always look to, he's always got a positive attitude, he's taught me so many things as a football player, and helped me become a better man while I've been here at Georgia State."