Quotes from Coach Elliott’s September 27 Press Conference

Coach Shawn Elliott on the sideline in Georgia State’s 52-38 win over Troy in October 2019. Photo by Jordan Crawford of THERSday Night.com

Georgia State head football coach Shawn Elliott met with the media ahead of the Panthers’ Sun Belt opener against Appalachian State on Saturday, October 2. Here are some selected excerpts for the media session, edited in some places for brevity:

Coach Elliott’s opening statement: 

“Here we are in the last week of September, we’ve just finished our non-conference slate. We’ve got a great opponent in Appalachian State coming in here, Center Parc Stadium, Saturday at 2pm, opening up conference play. You try to get to conference play…healthy and ready to go, and we get to open up with a really, really good football program in Appalachian State.”

On the areas he thinks the team has most improved on since the start of the season: 

“Run defense and running the ball. We have certainly established that defensively. I mean, our overall defense has been really good, been coming along, and it was great to see them flying around out there this past Saturday (against Auburn) and making play after play after play. And then also for us to have the ability to go and rush the way we did on Saturday as well. So I think those are two of the big areas of improvement that we have hit on.”

“We’ve certainly got a lot more improving to do. We’ve got some areas that need a little bit more improving than others, but we’ve addressed them and we’ve started doing some things that I feel are necessary to make us a better football team heading into our conference slate.”

On the success of the defense and some of the unsung heroes in Saturday’s standout defensive performance: 

“You go through the roster, you look at the participation – anybody that played out there. You look at a guy like Javon Denis, Javon probably very rarely gets mentioned and he goes out there and plays his tail off each and every week and just does a really nice job for us. Our safeties are doing a good job, our corners – Qua – and you’ve got all these guys out there… It’s kind of “the no-name defense” at this point because it’s not just a one-person show, they’re all just so critical. And it’s really gratifying to see. I love seeing defenses that go out there and just have that combination of great group tackling, unselfish nature, and they’re doing that right now.”

On the challenges presented by Appalachian State’s offense: 

“They’ve run the football well since they’ve come into this conference. That’s the motto – they want to run the football… They’ve got great backs, they’ve got a very well, agile, tough, hard-nosed offensive line and they’ve got great playcalling that puts them in a situation to be successful. 

On the passing game and the play of junior QB Darren Grainger against Auburn: 

“We struggled throwing the football. I mean, there were some things that we missed from a read perspective as well as just throwing the football and getting it in the position for the receivers to make plays. So I wouldn’t say it was just a crisp contest by him throwing the football. [Grainger’s] run game there, I think it was on point. He did a really good job in there. I think he rushed for somewhere around 70 yards or whatever it is, minus the sacks probably, and did a good job in the running game. But we can’t be that one-dimensional. We’ve got to have our throw game. We’ve got to work hard this week on our throw game. And we’ve got to have a really, really balanced attack to really go and start pushing those points.”

On the status of WR Cornelius McCoy, who missed the game last Saturday:

“Yeah, hamstring injury… Those hamstrings are tough. They just are. [Sam] Pinckney fought one, he’s still fighting it, and McCoy is now fighting the same hamstring bug… McCoy, he’s a quick healer and he’ll go if he can go, but we’re certainly not going to put him out there and have any chance of him further hurting that hamstring, so we’ll see.”

On the emerging presence of sophomore CB Bryquice Brown in the secondary:

“He’s a hard worker, he loves working on his skill set. He wants to be the best. He’s always eager to learn, and that’s a real good thing. Some of these guys get it naturally – he’s got it naturally, and then he also wants to develop his education in the game of football and make sure that craft of his is all it can be. Great, respectful young man. He’s a guy you always root for because he does everything that you ask of a player to do and more so.”

On recovering from the tough loss on Saturday moving into Sun Belt play, avoiding any “hangover”:

“I don’t think “hangover” is a word we’re going to use at this point in time because our team is really improving. We certainly would have loved to have pulled that victory out on Saturday and it would’ve been a big win for our program. I told our football team in our team meeting this morning, ‘There are wins, of course, but there are different kinds of wins.’ You can go out and  win and come in that locker room and feel very, very poorly about your play and be down and take the momentum out of you, even though you won the football game. And then there’s losses. Some can be devastating losses – you go out there and get humiliated, you don’t play well, you don’t continue to grow as a football team, you don’t compete and there’s some give-up out there. We came out of that game, and I told them I was as proud of that football team than if we would’ve knocked that damn pass down in the end zone on that last play. It was an unbelievable effort. It was an incredible job just by our players in general, doing what they needed to do.”

“I think we’ve got a team that’s rallying around one another. I think they want to be successful, I think they know how to be successful. We’re sitting here at 1-3, and a lot of teams in this country would be really down on themselves right now – I think we’re just the opposite. I think we see the light at the end of the tunnel, so to speak, and we know if we can continuously improve, we’re going to be a good football team and hopefully have a say in this conference race.”

On the fan support in Jordan-Hare Stadium:

“We get fueled off of crowds and our fans were right in that corner. I mean, we could almost reach out and touch them. They were loud and boisterous. They really were just pulling us on and cheering – it’s amazing to see.”

“For whatever reason, I love the fans. I embrace them. I want our team to embrace them any chance they can get. But I appreciate any and all support that we get… Those Auburn fans – it may have been 86,750 and we may have only had 750 fans there, potentially, but they were loud and [the team] knew that our Georgia State fanbase came through for us.”

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