Friday, September 3, 2010

DSU prepares for JSU — and their band

PHOTO CUTLINE: Delta State running back Trevar Deed (left) and Micah Davis talk to the local media Monday during a press conference. The Statesmen will be on the road Saturday to face Jackson State at 4 p.m. at Veteran Memorial Stadium. Davis, who last played at Copiah-Lincoln Community College, will get his first start at quarterback.

CLEVELAND — Delta State quarterback Micah Davis was raised about 50 miles outside of Jackson in Wesson, Miss., a small town home to roughly 1,800 people.
The former Copiah-Lincoln Community College quarterback admits that he wasn’t a Jackson State fan while growing up and he hasn’t kept up with the Tigers recently — but there’s one aspect of JSU football that intrigues him the most.
“The main thing I know about them is their band. That’s about all I know,” the 6-foot-2, 200 pound redshirt junior said with a smirk at Monday’s first press conference with local media.
Saturday’s 4 p.m. matchup against Jackson State will be the first since 2007, when the Statesmen defeated the Tigers 27-15.
DSU head coach Ron Roberts said he would like the see JSU on the schedule more often.
“I hope to get this to a yearly game. That would increase the rivalry and the excitement of the game,” said the fourth-year head coach, whose team finished 5-5 last season.
“For our local guys from Mississippi,” Roberts added, “this is the hugest game they’re going to play.”
Like most college football teams, the Statesmen have been preparing daily by fine-tuning their gameplan. After hours of preparation and two scrimmages, the Statesmen are beyond anxious to line up and hit someone else besides teammates.
“Anxious isn’t even the word (to describe it),” said senior running back Trevar Deed. “I can’t wait to get on the field and face somebody else. After while, it gets tiring going after our own defense; they know all of our stuff. We just can’t wait to go out and show our stuff against another team.”
Two similarities between JSU and DSU is both squads will depend on new quarterbacks to lead their offense.
Casey Therriault, who spent time in jail after pleading guilty to involuntary manslaughter for his role in a 2008 bar fight, takes over a JSU offense that averaged only 235 yards per game and threw for only six touchdowns last season.
Meanwhile, for the first time in three seasons, there will be a new face under center for DSU. Davis, whose father, Glenn Davis, played at DSU and currently coaches at Copiah-Lincoln, takes over for the departed Garrett DeWitt.
New Statesmen offensive coordinator Greg Stevens has high hopes for the legacy quarterback.
“I expect a lot out of Micah — not only Saturday, but the whole season. He’s a quiet leader, leads by example,” he said.
Roberts said from what he has seen so far, Davis has what it takes to succeed.
“I expect (Davis) to conduct himself the way he did in the spring and fall,” he said. “He really has a great grasp of our offense and I expect him to come out and have a heck of a showing on his first night out.”
The jury may still be out on what Davis will bring to the Statesmen, but when it comes to the two-time All-American running back Deed — all questions seem to fade.
The last time Deed was on the field (Nov. 7 against West Georgia), the Phoenix, Ariz. native rushed for 243 yards and two touchdowns to go along with three catches, 90 yards and another score.
Deed says he knows that JSU and upcoming teams will put much of their focus on him, which may affect some his statistics. But there’s only one stat that matters, he said.
“People can’t just say I need to go rush for 200 yards,” said Deed. “If I rush for 50 yards and we still win, that’s all that matters — we get the victory.”
But when it comes to SWAC football, the Statesmen know they’re not just playing against those suited up in blue and white jerseys.
“When they get in the stadium and the Sonic Boom (band) comes marching in, I think it’s going to be a great atmosphere,” said Roberts. “Then, all of our guys will understand what’s at stake.”

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