Donald Pittman has spent a fair amount of time under fire since he took over at Fort Valley State.
But he lives a charmed life compared to whoever his colleague is at Savannah State in a given year.
Earnest Wilson III is Savannah States fourth head coach since Pittman took over at FVSU after the 2008 season, and hes off to a familiar start for the Tigers.
Savannah State is 0-2, but those games came against quality competition: Georgia Southern and Troy, one a team in transition to the FBS level and the other a young veteran of the FBS wars.
Pittman saw Savannah State show promise in the first two quarters before being worn out by the bigger programs in the second half.
They played them tough in the first half, Pittman said. The offensive production was down a scratch, and thats where, Troy especially, wore them down. They were running the ball on them.
Georgia Southern scored only seven fewer points on Savannah State than did Oklahoma State did last year.
Wilson was hired in June after Steve Davenport was fired after two seasons and a 2-20 record. Davenport replaced interim head coach Julius Dixon, who went 1-10 as the interim head coach in 2010 after Robby Wells -- hired a year before Pittman -- resigned in January 2010 and later charged racism by the school and sued.
Savannah State went 5-7 under Wells in 2008, the most wins for the Tigers since 1999. The last head coach to make through a third season at Savannah State was Bill Davis, who coached from 1986-92 but made it only two seasons (4-15 in 2000-01) in a return engagement.
The Tigers have been outscored 143-12 in two games and have more first downs (19) than points, so certainly theyre ready for somebody who isnt on a higher level.
The Wildcats cruised to a 41-10 win in the teams last meeting, three years ago in Macon. Pittman doesnt want to hear about how the Wildcats could rack up a similar win.
Up front, their line on defense is very quick and athletic, he said. Their defense is pretty good.
Savannah State cornerbacks can expect some action as the Wildcats try to take advantage of a height advantage with their receivers. But FVSUs strength counters where Savannah State is struggling.
Offensive line, theyre a little bit slow, Pittman said. Theyre a little bit weak on the offensive line.
And the Wildcats are not weak on the defensive side.
Savannah State has minimal Middle Georgia connections. Jonathan Clowers, a senior from Perry, is starting at left tackle.
FVSU has a few Wildcats from the general Savannah region: offensive lineman Aaron Crawford from Savannah, wideout DeAngelo Smith and running back Aundre Johnson from Camden County.
The Wildcats probably will be without starting running back Seth Hill, who was injured in the Valdosta State game. But FVSU has a little depth there, with Jonquez Sanders and Clemson transfer Michael Bellamy.
FVSU had red-zone issues against Valdosta State, and Pittman hopes theres a chance to improve on that.
You look at the turnover margin, Pittman said. Usually when you win the turnover margin, youre supposed to win the game. Were going to have to really focus in on us scoring in the red zone, especially within the 5-yard line.
That was three touchdowns we should have had there. That makes a world of difference.