Head Coach Bill Curry

Assessing his Team
"I've never been more proud of a group of young men than I am this group.  Because most of  these guys come from a background where they have been told that they are not good enough or they can't make it.  They are now learning that that is not true.  We've been working to convince them of that and beginning to know that."

On Brandon Jones
"Brandon Jones is one of the best leaders that I have ever coached.  We start at 5:00 every morning and we meet with our players at 6:30, they're always dressed and ready for practice.  There are moments when I walk in there and not feeling my best and he is the face I look for  because he causes me to be inspired  just by the way he listens and leads."

On How It Feels
"It feels really wonderful.  I felt good about our team halfway through the second quarter when I saw us taking care of business.... Did we have a turnover tonight? " (media room answers no). "When you don't the ball over and you get some turnovers you almost always win.  That is an incredible coefficient of victory that we have hammered and preached so hard.  We got some breaks on penalties but we also gave up some drives on penalties.  But the turnover thing is all important, especially against an offense that Shorter runs. 

When I saw that we were taking care of the football and we were flying to the ball on special teams and defense and that we were getting up and trying to make extra blocks on offense, I knew that our teaching had been accepted by the players.  It didn't mean that we were going to win the game, but I felt good in the early going."

Georgia State President Dr. Mark P. Becker

On whether tonight is what he expected at this point...
"Two months ago no, a week ago yes.  Just the buzz around the city has been electric.  I've been Talking with friends the last few days, hearing stories of alums that live in downtown and were going to be here tonight.  Obviously students and alumni are here, but it's just important that the city of Atlanta really embraces this team and we're really excited about that.  In the last couple of days or so, I predicted at least 25,000 and I think we're good to go for that tonight."

On anything he has seen that has been memorable tonight...
"Everything's been memorable.  Before the game, we went down to the field and we did some photo opportunities for this historic event.  Our students section was already full, their bodies were painted and I'll never forget the excitement of those kids.  The students have been behind this program.  To see the student excitement and to see them fill the student section straight away will be with me forever.  I love it."

On what athletics can do for a university...
"For me, there has never been any doubt. I was a student at Penn State when we won the national championship, I was on the faculty at Michigan when we won the national championship.  I've been around big-time college football for about 30 years now and I've been with a variety of programs, so I know what football can do.  The key is, will our community embrace this program?  Clearly they have and it's a rallying cry for everybody."

On biggest challenge to face getting the fans back ...
"Quite simply, the fans have to have a great experience tonight.  I've also been around college programs that have been fickle.  The fans come back when you have a quality product, so the biggest challenge is going to be to build a great program that the fans keep coming out and keep coming back for."

On where he sees the program in 5-10 years...
"Five to ten years is too far right now.  Our focus has been getting to tonight.  It's a long season, I've been around college football a long time. Yes, we're off to a great start, but it will be November before we're done, so we're not looking five years down.  We're looking at building a quality program, sustaining it, and if in a few years we're selling out this dome bowl for game after game, then maybe we'll start talking about what happens next.  You've got to have a fan base to do that, so it's too early until we're selling it out."

Director of Athletics Cheryl L. Levick

Her thoughts after the attendance for the game was announced...
"The last two weeks it has been just nonstop sales.  The closer we got to the game, more and more people were buying, the phones were ringing off the hook and the students were getting revved up.  One of the variables was that we had no idea how many students would really show, so we planned for the lower bowl to hold 8,000 students, but three days ago we did a contingency plan to go up.  We wanted to go up in the size.  We realized that enough people were going to sell out the lower bowl, which is 28,157, so in order to go up, we wanted to go up behind the students' section so they could sit together.  I am shocked and excited about getting 30,000.  The President (Dr. Becker)  had always said that if we hit 25,000, that would be amazing.  To hit 30,000 fans in an inaugural game, it's beyond expectations and we are delighted."

Her thoughts on the team's performance...
"I've seen half of what I need to of the game tonight. We've got the Governor here, plus we've got a lot of wonderful guests here tonight.  The President and I, literally, have only seen about half the game each, but as we were walking down the hall we said, 'you know what, that's OK.' All we need to do is to make sure everybody is excited about the team and enjoyed the evening.  I've watched enough practices to know that we're young, that they are well-prepared by the coaches, but they're also excited.  This is their first game.  We're fine.  I couldn't be happier with this first game.  Coach Curry has got his part under control."


Junior Safety Brandon Jones

On the crowd...
"I thought the fan base tonight was amazing during warm ups. I was amazed at how many people were already there. Then to go back in and come out for the game to see a few more thousand people was just amazing. It got the team really turned up. I was glad to see the support today"

On a long time coming and finally getting to play...
"Well, at first I was nervous. We've been waiting a long time and I was shocked to see it come together with the fan base, I want to thank the fans."

On the special bond with your teammates...
"What brings the team together is at end of camp we have the Rookie Show. We imitate each other players, coaches. I might pretend to be Coach Curry, and Coach Curry might pretend to be me. But it really brings us together."
Redshirt Freshman Quarterback Drew Little

On the crowd...
"The crowd was awesome. They were loud, really energetic, almost too loud at times. I couldn't hear during some of our runs." 
On the special bond with your teammates...
"We really bond well together on and off the field. I think all of last season during the redshirt year helped us get ahead mentally. And we're going to go in tomorrow and start getting ready for the next one."

Redshirt Freshman Running Back Parris Lee

On the crowd...
"The crowd was definitely outstanding.To have so many people out at the first game, I didn't honestly think it was going to be like this, but it was...it was definitely a blessing."

Scoring the first touchdown in school history...
"It's a humble experience. At first I didn't know I had scored it. My quarterback (Drew Little), had to tell me I scored it, then it finally hit me that I scored the first touchdown. But it's something I can live with for the rest of my life, something I can tell my kids."

On the special bond with your teammates...
"They guys are close to me, like my family. I can talk to these guys about anything and we have the relationship like no other. We're all young so we're going through the same things and it's a good experience to have guys like this around ."

Junior Wide ReceiverSidney Haynes

On the rest of the season... 
"We just go for the next game. We go back to practice next week and just get ready for the next game."

On the crowd for the game...
"The crowd was so loud.  We really loved it.  They were in the game from the start, and it really helped us tonight."

On playing in the Georgia Dome...
"I really like playing in the dome. We had practiced here a few times during the year, but it was nothing like today.  The atmosphere we had today was really amped up and fired up."

Shorter Head Football Coach Phil Jones

On what positives he can take out of playing two good opponents in West Alabama and GSU...
"The one thing it does is stretch you at every position.  When you get stretched, then you can take film and look at the tape and certainly see the things that can be collected and realizing at each position, if there are strong personnel there, you can run a whole lot.  In 2008, we played Western Carolina and they beat us 35-0.  We took that film and came back out and won our conference.  It was because we took that film and saw what we needed to do in a hurry."

On what the biggest thing Shorter needs to get better at in order to be successful...
"Obviously discipline and making sure we don't have the dumb penalties that we had tonight.  We had way too many.  I think the excitement was part of it and playing here around a lot of enthusiasm.  As a team, you have to control all of that."

On what playing on a higher stage does for his team...
"Obviously it's a whole lot of exposure for our team and our school.  We were fortunate to be able to be a part of a bigger stage than our team will play.  It helps recruiting, but it's disappointing anytime you lose, any time you put that much into something and lose.  It was a fast turn-around for our kids too.  We played on Saturday night and got back at 4:30 a.m. from Alabama and then had to turn around and prepare for Georgia State on Thursday.  I guess they've had a year and a half to prepare for Shorter."

On what improvements he saw over last week...
"We did move the ball better.  There is no question about that.  I think that we stayed on blocks a little better and executed a little better, but obviously we still struggle some with those penalties."