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Some sounds of the SoCon

Tuesday, Southern Conference football players and coaches got on the phone to talk about the upcoming season during the 2011 preseason football teleconference.

Here are some quips from around the league:


"We’ve had some success obviously the last three years against Georgia Southern, but this is a new year. They’re a great team with a great coach, a great program with a great history. … Having some success against them might help a little bit, but we can’t really bank on any of that. This is a new season, and we’ll definitely have our hands full that first game."

— Dustin Taliaferro, senior Samford quarterback, on opening the season against GSU


"Some years, it’s all fullback for us, some years it’s mix and match — whatever works. Last year was just one of those years where a lot of the openings were for me. I’m definitely a product of the system where if you’re not going to take away the fullback, we’re going to keep giving it to the fullback."

— Eric Breitenstein, junior Wofford fullback, on being selected as SoCon preseason Offensive Player of the Year


"As you know, I’m taking over a good program, a program that’s won for four consecutive years. So my job is not to mess it up."

— Jason Swepson, first-year Elon Phoenix head coach


"Our main goal this year is to win the SoCon and make the playoffs. We believe that we can. We believe we can go up to the national championship. We believe we’re one of the better teams out there."

— Joel Bradford, senior Chattanooga wide receiver

"The polls are part of the media. That’s your job. You’ve got to do your job, so we can’t get mad about you guys doing your job. The players in the locker room, we know what we’re capable of doing. … I don’t think I’ve talked to anybody about the polls, because everybody right now is just focusing on getting better."

— Tolu Akindele, senior linebacker for The Citadel, on being selected to finish eighth in the league by the SoCon coaches and ninth by the media


"Try not to mess him up."

— Jerry Moore, Appalachian State head coach, on how to improve senior quarterback DeAndre Presley


"We’re going to find out. We’re going to go with it right away. We had a tremendous spring as far as getting it installed, but really, this fall is where we’re going to find out where we’re at."

— Dennis Wagner, Western Carolina head coach, on adding the pistol formation to the offense


"A lot of the focus has been on defense, and that’s been a change from the last regime. The biggest change is we’re not standing there waiting for teams to come at us. We’re going to blitz a lot, we’re going to be very aggressive and try to force a lot of turnovers."

— Kadarron Anderson, senior Furman linebacker, on first-year head coach Bruce Fowler


Matt Yogus can be reached at (912) 489-9408.