Georgia State’s head coach Shawn Elliot spoke candidly with the media Monday ahead of the Panther’s matchup in Auburn. Elliot, a former South Carolina assistant, is taking his team into Auburn just like it's any other day.
“It is just Monday, we ain't been preparing much for them,” Elliot said.
Elliot, who kept his opening statements short, went into more detail about his opponents later.
“They are big, physical, talented," Elliot said. "They've got the pick of the litter because they are Auburn. They are athletic. That is who they are and what they are about. If you look at their interior defensive line, they've got some mammoth men in there. They are certainly talented.”
Georgia State is currently sitting at a 1-2 record, with losses to Army and then-ranked No. 21 North Carolina. The team’s lone win came last week against Charlotte, a game that Elliot said was a good barometer for the team moving forward.
Quarterback play has been spotty for the Panthers through three games. Incumbent starter Cornelious Brown started in the team’s loss to Army, completing 12 passes for 129 yards.
In Week 2 against North Carolina Brown was benched late for Darren Grainger, who started last week in the win against Charlotte.
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When asked who will play against Auburn, Elliot said Grainger “Is line to start again this week.”
Elliot also said that he is not afraid to bench players in favor of those who can perform when the lights are on, and Grainger is an example of that.
Elliot even said he sat his punter down today to let him know that there are 115 kids on the team, and every one can get out there to play.
“If you don’t perform, then we are looking to find somebody that can." Elliot said. "I tell everyone that. Everyone needs to understand that.”
Georgia State beat Tennessee in Knoxville in 2019, 38-30. Elliot coached that team but said there are limited similarities in going into that game and this one.
“When we watched them on film, we saw some obvious holes that we could go and establish,” Elliot said. “We just felt like we could play with them. It is really no different if you go play in Auburn or Alabama or Charlotte. We are gonna surge through this Auburn bunch and see if we can find some creases in that defense and some struggles in that offense where we can control this game and see what happens.”
Elliot went on further to say that SEC teams and stadiums should not scare his Sun Belt team.
“Just because they got a big ol’ stadium and they like to cheer and there is going to be a little eagle flyover, I don’t think we are going to be shellshocked,” Elliot said. “It is a football contest. So we will play it just like every other football contest.”
Auburn is currently a 27-point favorite at home against Georgia State. While the Panthers may be a huge underdog, they faced the same problem in Knoxville two years ago. Elliot wants his team to handle this game like every other.
“No one is going to put a ring on your finger for going out and beating Auburn,” Elliot said.
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