The time for hype is almost over.
It's time for Valdosta State and Kerwin Bell to prove #NewEraSameTradition is much more than a catchy Twitter hashtag.
VSU opens the season Saturday night when they host south Georgia rival Albany State, and Bell knows the key to beating the Golden Rams is slowing down their top rusher.
Senior Jarvis Small is the two-time defending SIAC Offensive Player of the Year. Bell says it's the defense's number one priority every week to stop the run, but that rings especially true this week.
"That's why James Rowe is the guy I picked as the defensive coordinator. He emphasizes, and always has a good game plan to take away other people's run game," Bell says. "We have a great secondary, so if we can take away the run early and make them discouraged from that, I think we'll be in good shape."
Despite Hurricane Hermine, Saturday's game is still scheduled as normal. That means it's a 7:00 p.m. kick off at Bazemore-Hyder Stadium.
Copyright 2016 WALB. All rights reserved.