Written by Chris Kessler
VSU’s quest for a consecutive National Championship starts Saturday at Fort Valley State in the “Macon Heritage Classic.”
Despite a decisive 62-14 victory over the Wildcats a year ago, VSU is not taking its season opener lightly.
“We’re in a situation that we can’t take anyone lightly, and we’re going to get everyone’s best and if we want to get where we want to be we have to take every game seriously, especially (Fort Valley State),” David Dean, head coach, said. “They’re very, very athletic. Towards the end of the year they played very, very well.”
VSU comes into the game as the No. 1 team in the nation, and will carry a big target. Coach Dean expects the Wildcats’ best shot.
“They’re going to be fired up, and they’re going to remember last year’s score, they’re going to remember we’re number one and defending national champs,” Dean said.
Fort Valley State will be led defensively by LeRon Furr, a pre-season All-American linebacker, who finished last season with 110 tackles and 6.5 sacks.
“He’s an absolute animal in there at that linebacker position,” Dean said. “They bring him on blitzes a lot and he causes a lot of havoc; he’s very, very difficult to block. He’s a pre-season All-American, that’s all you need to see about him. He’s as good as we’ll face this year.”
On Offense, the Wildcats have yet to name a starting quarterback.
Dean and his defense are aware and will look to exploit it.
“Anytime you go against somebody that doesn’t have a lot of experience, you hopefully can get in their head,” Dean said.
Despite high exceptions this season, VSU has some concerns about offense.
The Blazer’s lose their leading receiver and will start with a brand new offensive line.
“I think our consistency has gotten better,” Dean said. “We’re obviously not where I’m comfortable enough to say ‘boy we’re ready to go.’ Hopefully we can put it all together Saturday.”
(Photos by Ritsuki Miyazaki)