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Blazers benefit from bye week

 This Saturday the Valdosta State Blazers will enjoy a much needed off week while the rest of the Gulf South Conference battles it out on the field, including VSU’s next opponent third ranked North Alabama.
 And VSU is using the extra week of preparation to their advantage, by resting some players who are suffering from injury and working on the fundamentals that surround the game of football.
 “This off week came at a perfect time for us,” VSU Head Coach David Dean said. “We’ve had five physical football games and you can tell. We needed this week and we have backed off of them a little bit.”
 While VSU rest this week, North Alabama will play on the road at the improving West Georgia Wolves.
Football Notebook
Dean weighs in on injuries

 There is no denying that VSU had a tough and physical game this past Saturday and on Wednesday afternoon Dean addressed several key injuries.
Dean confirmed that freshman wide receiver Griffin Roelle will miss the remainder of the season with a broken collarbone. Dean said they will wait to see if it heals on its own or if the five-foot-nine-inch wide out will require surgery.
 Dean also mentioned that junior tight end Scott Fambrough is only wearing a boot for precautionary reason.
 “(Scott) hurt his foot in the game last week and he continued to play,” Dean said. “(The boot) is just for precautionary type stuff you know to keep the swelling down. I think he’ll be fine,”
 Another Blazer that went down this past Saturday includes redshirt freshman starting quarterback Brett Whitmire. Whitmire left on a cart and did not return. After the game, Dean said Whitmire dislocated his left shoulder and earlier this week Dean mentioned that he did not believe Whitmire would play against North Alabama.
 On Wednesday afternoon, Dean said he was shocked to see the quarterback on the field and throwing, although he has a lot of work to do before he is game ready.
 “I don’t think he is going to be ready, to be honest with you,” Dean said. “But who knows. I was surprised he was out here throwing today. It was a pretty severe dislocation and they couldn’t get it back in on the field so they took him straight to the locker room. I was impressed that he was throwing today but he is not going to be able to take a hit on his shoulder for a while though.”
Brown enjoying sideline, quarterback play
 This past week VSU Head Coach David Dean made the decision to move offensive coordinator Robby Brown to the sideline and place wide receivers coach Tyler Aurandt in the coach’s box.
 Both coaches seem to be pleased with the decision, including Brown.
 “It worked out pretty good. I enjoyed being down there,” Brown said. “It is a lot more fun being down there for me. I think it is more efficient to look the quarterbacks in the eye when they come off and be able to have a conversation with them face-to-face rather than on the head set.”
 Brown will remain on the sideline for the remainder of the season as he said on Wednesday afternoon that he likes the ability to have lengthy conversations with his quarterbacks while the defense is on the field.
 Brown also addressed the play of his quarterback this season. If Whitmire is unable to play on Oct. 14 against North Alabama, Austen Roberts, who began the season as the fourth string quarterback, will become the third starting quarterback of the season for the Blazers.
 “I think it is more so the attitude of all of the quarterbacks,” Brown said. “Quarterbacks are like pilots, they all think they are the best and if they don’t think they’re the best then you don’t want them. So it is really been about their attitude and we have had really good men playing that position this year and they are all confident in their abilities.”
Dreiling happy with play of defense
 VSU junior safety Harrison Dreiling has been a major reason why the VSU defense is nationally ranked inside the top 20. Dreiling is third on the team in tackles with 37, two interceptions and a forced fumble.
 “I mean we have had a good start this season,” Dreiling said. “We are just trying to work hard at practice and the coaches are putting the right schemes in and they’re just putting us in the right places to make plays.”
Despite the week off, Dreiling and the defense are already looking ahead to the battle with UNA on Oct. 14 despite allowing 62 points to the UNA in 2009.

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