Alabama and Georgia State enter their non-league football showdown this Thursday night in Tuscaloosa (6:30 p.m. Central Time) with different agendas.
For the 10th ranked Crimson Tide, the goal is to not be caught looking ahead to the Iron Bowl match up with unbeaten arch-rival Auburn on Nov. 26. For Georgia State (6-4), finishing its inaugural season with an upset of the defending national champions would be icing on top of the cake.
Coming off of a 30-10 win over SEC West rival Mississippi State last weekend, the Crimson Tide have a short week in order to prepare for the Panthers.
“Well today (Monday) is like Wednesday if we were playing on Saturday, yet it is sort of a Monday practice for us,” Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban commented to Rolltide.com. “Our approach is we’re going to cut practice down by 20 minutes or so each of the next two days, but try to do and cover the repetitions that we get versus the other team and the scout team in preparation of the other team on Tuesday and Wednesday.
“At this point, with this approach, it’s going to be a technical knowledge that we have to get and we can’t focus on trying to get fundamental repetitions against each other because we just don’t have that much practice time.”
While Alabama knows what it has, the key here is figuring out just who the Panthers are under former Alabama head coach Bill Curry (1987-89, 26-10 record with ‘Bama).
Georgia State scored a 23-17 win over Lamar in its last contest, as freshman QB Drew Little culminated the game-winning drive with a 2-yard TD pass to tight end Arthur Williams.
On the season, the Panthers are averaging 29.5 points per game, with Little having thrown for 2,033 yards and 18 TD’s against seven INT’s. Redshirt freshman Danny Williams tops the receivers with 53 catches for 640 yards and five TD’s.
On defense, safety Fred Barnes is the leading tackler with 58 stops.
“We’re going to have to play faster than we’ve ever played, and I think we will,” Curry commented.
The game will be nationally televised by ESPNU with Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit and Desmond Howard calling the action from the booth and Erin Andrews reporting from the sideline.
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Written by Dave Thomas