21 notes from Georgia State’s Cure Bowl press conference

Taz Bateman led Georgia State in rushing in last week's loss to Charlotte. PHOTO / JASON GETZ

I’ve always liked the angles in this photo. PHOTO / JASON GETZ

Here are 21 things I learned at Georgia State’s press conference on Tuesday for the Cure Bowl. The game against San Jose State will be played on Saturday at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando.

  1. Here are the similarities that Panthers coach Trent Miles said he sees in his third year at Georgia State that he also saw in his third year at Indiana State.
  2. Miles said the biggest similarity in the teams is the composition of the kids: smart, tough, great character and who love the game. Anyone who has interviewed Miles knows that he is going to work that into a lot of his answers.
  3. Miles wouldn’t divulge what he will discuss with athletic director Charlie Cobb, who said he wants to talk with Miles and his staff after the season on how they can create sustainable success for the program.  Some things in the past that the team has now are the strength and conditioning center and a greater focus on team nutrition.
  4. He said recruiting has improved with the victory over Georgia Southern and the invitation to a bowl. Players that were looking at MAC schools, for example, are showing interest in Georgia State.
  5. The team will lose six senior starters: quarterback Nick Arbuckle, wide receiver Donovan Harden, center Taylor Evans, linebacker Joseph Peterson, safety Tarris Batiste and kicker Wil Lutz. He said the hardest to replace will be Arbuckle, who was recently name the Sun Belt student-athlete of the year. I’ll have more on this on Sunday on ajc.com.
  6. He said San Jose State running back Tyler Ervin is an NFL prospect who reminds him of New Mexico State’s Larry Rose and Appalachian State’s Marcus Cox. Rose had 18 carries for 69 yards in the Panthers’ 34-32 win. Cox had 19 carries for 76 yards in the Mountaineers’ 37-3 win. Linebacker Joseph Peterson said Georgia State must fit right against the Spartans’ to slow down Ervin.
  7. Schools have up to $400 to buy bowl gifts for players. Miles said the seniors will help decide what those gifts will be. The money is separate from the gifts the bowls can give the players.
  8. Miles has 52 family members that will attend the game. His wife and kids will stay in Florida after the game to enjoy Orlando and Florida. He jokingly said he is being sent home to get the dog out of the kennel and get back to work.
  9. Left tackle Michael Ivory (knee) is working his way back into practice and Julien Laurent (ankle) is practicing.
  10. Miles said he hasn’t planned to have any special motivational speakers for the team before the game. He said he may ask Bill Curry, the team’s first coach, if he wants to address the team.
  11. Nick Arbuckle said he may frame the white t-shirt he wears under his jersey on game days. The Panthers are 5-2 since he started wearing it. I describe it as a “puffy shirt,” like on Seinfeld. Oh, and Arbuckle has a cell phone again. His broke before the season.
  12. Arbuckle said he never lost faith that the team was going to become good. I asked because it was another thing that he said after the loss to Texas State last season, in addition to his desire to work to reduce his interceptions. He said he didn’t know when the team would become good.
  13. Making a bowl game isn’t the goal. Arbuckle wants to win the bowl game so that the Panthers will have their first winning season as an FBS program. The team’s last winning season was its first in 2010.
  14. He said San Jose State has a very solid defense that doesn’t have holes or weaknesses. He credited the Spartans’ defensive backs coach with doing an excellent job of coaching his players to almost always be in the right place. The Spartans are allowing less than 200 passing yards per game.
  15. Arbuckle has extra motivation because he said San Jose State recruited several of his high school teammates, but didn’t recruit him.
  16. Wide receiver Robert Davis said San Jose State does a good job of disguising coverages, which reminds him of South Alabama  and Arkansas State. The Panthers passed for 311 yards in a win over the Jaguars and 390 yards in a loss to Arkansas State.
  17. Davis said he is most happy for seniors Batiste, Peterson and Arbuckle that the Panthers are going to a bowl.
  18. Peterson said his mindset never changed throughout his four years at Georgia State, even in the first three when the team won two games. I think it would be interesting if Georgia State could come up with a Joseph Peterson Award to give to someone who plays on one of the teams each year who exemplifies Peterson’s perseverance. Perhaps they could wear No. 6, his number, for a year.
  19. Peterson said defensive coordinator Jesse Minter’s best attribute is his ability to bring the players together. Peterson said Minter, who is 32 years old, is a father figure to the players.
  20. Of everything he’s experienced at Georgia State, Peterson said he will most remember Nate Paxton, David Huey and his other teammates.
  21. Lastly, Peterson said he’s not going to shave his beard.

Lastly, please follow me on twitter @DougRobersonAJC. I’m headed to Orlando on Wednesday, will be at practice Thursday (may do a periscope) and will be at the Cure Bowl press conference later that afternoon.

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