After nearly a month of fall camp and all the work that went in during the spring, the Valdosta State Blazers are plenty ready to hit someone not wearing red and black.
They'll get their chance this weekend.
The 16th-ranked Blazers will make the short drive north to battle south Georgia rival Albany State Saturday evening.
Head coach David Dean says the team has responded well to game-week preparations.
“We know we have a heck of an opponent waiting for us. But it’s going to be fun to get out and play somebody else,” Dean says. “We reported for camp August 8. It’s just felt like forever since we’ve had this opportunity. You can tell the intensity of practice kicked up a little bit this week.”
The Blazers will try to continue their domination of this series. VSU is 15-1 all-time against the Golden Rams. Their last loss to ASU came in 2004 in Albany.
But more important to Dean and the Blazers is getting out to that 1-0 start.
“Anytime you can get off to a 1-0 start, it breeds confidence,” says Dean, who is 6-2 in eight season openers. “But you also know that's probably not going to be the best game you play. There's going to be a lot of early season mistakes. If you can come away with a win in an early season mistake game, make those corrections, I think it helps you lead into game number two.”
The Blazers kick off against the Golden Rams at 7:00 Saturday night at the ASU Coliseum.