FORT VALLEY -- The ride on Interstate 16 is pretty legendary -- and not in a good way -- for those who make the trip on a regular basis.
So having to sit in a bus and make it on a Saturday night after a befuddling and depressing football game is additional punishment that can make that 140 miles seem like an overnight trip.
Unless your mind is in overdrive.
It was fast for me because of the way we (played), Fort Valley State head coach Donald Pittman said. I was in a different zone.
Pittman and the Wildcats went to Savannah State as a rare Division II favorite over a Division I team. The Tigers have been a coaching nightmare and organizational free-for-all, owners of a 3-30 record the past three seasons.
FVSU was coming off a quality loss, by 14 points to defending Division II national champion Valdosta State, but went backwards in a 27-20 loss to Savannah State.
It broke a four-game winning streak in the series for the Wildcats.
We werent ready to play, said linebacker DeRon Furr, whose team opens SIAC action Saturday at Clark Atlanta. Knowing that we could have beat them and we had them and let it go, thats what really hurt the most.
We had a pretty good game, but we had a bad game because we didnt come out on top.
Malcolm Eady took over as the primary running back and carried 15 times for 80 yards. Quarterback Eugene Smith ran 12 times, losing 29 yards en route to 26 net yards. Michael Bellamy had 28 yards on five carries.
FVSU was without starting tailback Seth Hill, who will be out at least few more weeks with a knee injury.
Eady filled in quite well, but the Wildcats couldnt maintain a 13-0 lead or take advantage of a 182-yard total offense gap.
Savannah State came up with three interceptions to counter all of 17 yards rushing. The Tigers scored twice in the fourth quarter to eke out the win.
We messed up on the little things, Pittman said. We had a kickoff return back on us, and we got a blocked punt. So we had, really, you could say two scores on special teams.
And any time you have that many penalties ...
Pittmans 0-2 team is now in a familiar spot.
Even though we didnt win the game against Valdosta (State), it was like a moral win, he said. I can compare it to last season. We had that big win against Delta State and came back feeling good about ourselves, and Valdosta (State) let the air out of our balloon. The same thing happened. Even though we didnt win the game (against Valdosta State), people were patting us on the back on campus and saying good game. But you have to play on Saturday.
Valdosta (State) lost two games last year and ended up winning the national championship. We just need to take care of our business from here on.