Valdosta Daily Times

Local Sports

November 4, 2011

Blazers enjoy week off; prepare for UNA

VALDOSTA — The Valdosta State football team won’t meet again until Sunday evening.

At that time, the Blazers will turn their focus towards Gulf South Conference rival North Alabama, the same team that knocked the Blazers out of the Division II playoffs last season.

Next Saturday, North Alabama can, once again, end the Blazers season with a victory, as the meeting will mark a likely elimination game for both schools.

Riding a two-game losing streak, the Blazers enjoyed a week off this week, practicing on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday before taking today and Saturday off.

After all, Valdosta State opened the season with nine straight games before their lone bye week.

“We had a good week of practice for the off week,” Valdosta State head coach David Dean said. “It is hard to practice during the off week. I think our guys are excited to have the opportunity to take a weekend off.”

While the Blazers are enjoying the week off, North Alabama is set to host West Georgia on Saturday in Florence, Ala.

“We started to watch some film, and we’ll come in here on Sunday and watch the West Georgia film to see if they did anything different through the season,” Dean said. “It is going to be hard to gauge this game. You look at North Alabama and they play  to the level of their competition.”


Saturday’s 23-20 loss to West Georgia marked the second straight week the Valdosta State Blazers fell in the final minute of a game, after following to Delta State the prior week.

With back-to-back late game collapses by the VSU defense, questions have started to surface about the success of the co-defensive coordinator rolls by Seth Wallace and Earl Chambers.

On Thursday, Dean put the questions and speculation about the success of the system to rest, noting the defenses success earlier this season.

“Everybody looks at the last two ball games and the last two drives of those ball games, and starts to point fingers and say ‘what is wrong with the defense,’” Dean said. “You look back at what (the defense) did, they kept us in the ball game at Arkansas-Monticello, they basically won the game with West Alabama. They kept us in the game at Wingate, Newberry, so it has been successful.”

According to Dean, the coaches make game decisions together, talking through headsets on the sidelines.

Through the first nine games of the season, the VSU defense is allowing 360 yards per game, while the Blazers are surrendering 23.2 points to opposing teams.


Through the Blazers two-game losing streak, the productivity of the Blazers’ receiving corps has decreased, especially with sophomore Quin Roberson.

After recording, 27 catches through VSU’s first six games this season, Roberson has managed just one catch for 11 yards during the past two games.

“There is a little frustration, but at the same time I see other guys making plays,” Roberson said.

Drops have also plagued the Blazer receivers, especially Roberson, who said he has become content over the past few weeks.

“It really has been a pain in our butts lately,” Roberson said. “I mean, we are doing extra drills, pushups and updowns for drops. Trying to eliminate all kinds of drops.”

Roberson, a Colquitt County alumnus, also gave his prediction for tonight’s meeting between the Packers and Wildcats. Roberson nearly guaranteed a Packer victory, as he said he will be taking in the game on Valdosta State’s night off.

“I will be at Bazemore-Hyder Stadium,” Roberson said. “And, Colquitt County will win by 14 points. Colquitt by 14.”


True freshman running back Troy Braswell stole the show this past Saturday, racking up 188 yards for the Blazers.

While Braswell shined, junior Theseus Jackson was hampered with a leg injury, which he suffered in the game against West Alabama.

“I’m feeling good, but I am not 100 percent,” Jackson said on Thursday. “I am all right.”

Jackson said the rest between the West Georgia game and the North Alabama game will benefit him, saying the coaching staff will have to cut his leg off so he won’t start.

“I get to rest more and just take an easy,” Jackson said. “But, they are definitely going to have to cut my leg off in order for me not to start.”

Text Only
Local Sports
  • 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

  • MaryAlice.jpg Just Keep Running

    Forrest Gump once said, "I used to run to get to where I was going, but I never thought it would take me anywhere." In the case of 18 year-old Mary Alice Smoot, anywhere is Tampa, Fla.
    After four years of unparalleled success running cross-country at Valwood, Smoot will continue running competitively next season at the University of Tampa.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • 10U ELITE World Series Champs.jpg DKSA Elite win USSSA Global World Series

    DKSA ELITE just continues to win, the 10U team’s latest victory came in the USSSA Global World Series held in Destin, Fla. July 8-12.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lowndes_McPherson.jpg Milestones on tap for upcoming season

    Some milestones are destined to occur, like when Georgia Christian hosts David Emanuel on Aug. 22 in the Generals’ first varsity football game since the late 1960s.
    Others will have to wait and see what continues to take shape come Friday when teams can begin fall practice, and especially Aug. 1 when teams can suit up in pads for the first time, such as can Valdosta win its record 24th state title, or can Lowndes capture its fourth state championship under Randy McPherson, or can Valwood and coach Ashley Henderson play in its third straight GISA state championship game?
    As we start to find out the answers to those questions in just a few short weeks — the regular season is just 31 days away — there should be a few more milestones for area coaches to mark 2014 right along with the Generals getting back on the gridiron.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • ACC_Jimbo.jpg Back on top

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • ACC_Petrino.jpg Petrino returns to Louisville for first ACC season

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Braves_Marlins JUpton.jpg Jones lifts Marlins past Braves in 10

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ant Smith.JPG Anthony Smith ready for new test in college

    Smith was a three-year starter as a Wildcat and quickly worked his way up as a leader on both the defense and the team as a whole.

    July 21, 2014 3 Photos

  • Wildcats participate in national 7-on-7 tournament

    The Valdosta High Wildcats have been working extremely hard this summer to prepare for the football season. Summer workouts and a plethora of 7-on-7 tournaments and competitions have kept the Wildcats busy.

    July 20, 2014

  • Valwood.jpg A Different Look

    With football summer workouts in full swing, occasionally the intensity and competitive drive can wane going against teammates. But on Friday, Valwood, Brookwood, Lanier County and Tiftarea Academy broke up the monotony by meeting at Goddard Field for a four-team, 7-on-7 passing league.

    July 19, 2014 2 Photos

Blazers Blog