Valdosta Daily Times

Blazers Blog

November 21, 2012

Blazers looking for redemption against UWA

VALDOSTA — Just minutes after the Valdosta State football team fell to 2-2 on the young season following a loss to conference rival West Alabama, Blazer head coach David Dean said his players were angry and that they wanted another shot at the Tigers.

Their wish has been granted.

The Blazers will host their conference rival Saturday at noon in the second round of the Division II football playoffs. And for the Blazers, sweet redemption and revenge is clearly on their minds this week as they prepare for the showdown with the Tigers.

“We really have revenge on our shoulders and we think if they come here again, we are going to beat them,” linebacker Jeremy Grable said Tuesday. “I really want to beat them. They will be a great team to beat.”

Added Dean: “Anytime you have the opportunity to avenge a loss, it makes it that more interesting. Secretly, I think we were kind of pulling for West Alabama (last week). We do have that opportunity to play those guys again. When you play those guys and they get the best of you early in the season and you have a chance to avenge that loss, a lot has to be said for that.”

 The Blazers lost the Sept. 22 meeting by 11 points — 39-28 — in a game where the Tigers racked up 332 yards rushing on 56 carries for three touchdowns. West Alabama senior running back Matt Willis led the way with 181 yards, although it was backup quarterback Gary Johnston who finished with 124 yards and a touchdown.

“Gary Johnston is the guy that killed us the first time around,” Dean said. “We couldn’t contain him. He did a very good job at breaking tackles in the ball game.”

 The defense’s inability to slow down the Tigers is a major talking point this week for the Blazers.

“Completely, no disrespect to them, but I have a grudge on my shoulder,” said Grable, who was injured in the first half of the previous meeting this season. … It has been big.”

 After losing to West Alabama in the regular season meeting, the Blazers are focused on what went wrong the first time around and how things can be different this time. One thing, says defensive end Tyler Josey, is the Blazers simply need to play better.

 “We just have to come out and play better this time,” said Josey, who dyed his 5-month old beard black with the rest of his teammates. “I think our game plan last time was fine. We just have to come in and play better on defense.”

 One Blazer looking for a bounce back performance against the Tigers is quarterback Cayden Cochran. In the early season meeting, quarterback Cayden Cochran completed 7 of 19 passes for 173 yards with two touchdowns before being pulled in the second half with a shoulder injury.

The year before, in the Blazers’ 22-21 win over the Tigers, Cochran completed 22 of 33 passes for 144 yards with an interception.

 Neither performance sits well with Cochran.

 “I watched the film again (on Monday) — I’ve watched the film three of four times — and the mistakes we made, we beat ourselves,” Cochran said. “Penalties, missed throws, stuff like that really hurt us. And that is what hurts the most is that we got beat and there are more things we could have done to eradicate that and move forward.”

Text Only
Blazers Blog
  • Grable signs with Tampa Bay

    Another former Valdosta State football player joined the ranks of the National Football League when linebacker Jeremy Grable signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Wednesday morning.

    July 23, 2014

  • Bubba Walker promoted to defensive coordinator

    Valdosta State Linebacker Coach Bubba Walker has been promoted to fill the open posiiton of defensive coordinator for the Blazer football team according to an announcement made by VSU Head Coach David Dean Thursday.

    July 18, 2014

  • Albritton wins NCAA Elite 89

    Courtney Albritton's tremendous 2013-2014 season earned her one more award Thursday night when the Valdosta State softball star won the NCAA's Favorite Elite 89 Winner contest by securing the more votes than any other student-athlete.

    July 17, 2014

  • Justin Roper named Valdosta State quarterbacks coach

    Valdosta State’s hirin of Justin Roper as quarterbacks coach, previously reported by The Times, was officially announced by the school and Blazer head football coach David Dean on Wednesday.

    July 17, 2014

  • Albritton.JPG VSU’s Albritton advances to finals of Elite 89 contest

    Another round, another first-place finish for Valdosta State’s Courtney Albritton.
    Albritton, the Blazers’ junior softball standout, was the leading vote-getter in the semifinal round of the NCAA’s Favorite Elite 89 winner contest with 1,483 votes in the two-day semifinal round that included 30 athletes. In the week-long first round, Albritton racked up 1,971 votes to lead the 89-person field.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Albritton in first place after opening round of Elite 89 voting

    July 14, 2014

  • Justin_Roper.JPG Roper to coach Blazers’ QBs

    Valdosta State has added an assistant coach to its staff, but it isn’t to fill Seth Wallace’s role.
    Former Oregon quarterback and University of Findlay running backs coach Justin Roper has been hired as the Blazers’ quarterbacks coach.

    July 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • Div II Championship F_Rodg(11).jpg Beyond Sports Network releases 2014 preseason All-GSC football team

    Football season is right around the corner; exactly 57 days from now Valdosta State set to open its season at home against Albany State, but fans were able to satisfy his or her football withdraws on Tuesday when Beyond Sports Network released its Gulf South Conference preseason All-Conference team.

    July 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • 1966690_10201768896480524_387489323_n.jpg Dominique Wheeler showing confidence as NFL rookie

    Dominique Wheeler slowly made a name for himself during his four-year career as a Valdosta State Blazer. Playing at the cornerback position, Wheeler had to wait his turn to start at the position. However by the time he ended his senior year, he had played in 45 games, including nine starts his senior season.

    July 7, 2014 2 Photos

  • Lawrence Virgil pic Lawrence Virgil working to make the Saints final roster

    With college and the Valdosta State football team behind him, Brooks County’s own Lawrence Virgil is working hard to make a name for himself in the National Football League.

    July 6, 2014 2 Photos

Local Sports
Choose your subscription: