Eagles Home-Winning Streak Snapped in SoCon Finale
VIDEO: Post-game interview with B-Back William Banks
VIDEO: Post-game interview with Coach Jeff Monken
VIDEO: Post-game interview with QB/Back Jerick McKinnon
VIDEO: Post-game interview with DT Blake Riley
VIDEO: Post-game interview with S Boyd Sasser
VIDEO: Post-game interview with QB Ezayi Youyoute
STATESBORO, Ga. - The Georgia Southern Eagles had their FCS leading 14-game home winning streak snapped in a 31-28 loss to Appalachian State Saturday. The loss also snapped GSU's six-game Southern Conference winning streak and was played in front of the seventh-largest crowd in Paulson Stadium history, 21,155, and the largest in the Head Coach Jeff Monken era.
Despite the loss, #1 Georgia Southern (7-2, 6-2) secured a share of their 10th Southern Conference championship, the second-straight season that the Eagles won atleast a share of the SoCon title. #14 Appalachian State (7-3, 5-2) and either Wofford or Chattanooga can claim a share of the title as well if they win out their remaining contests.
Georgia Southern drove down the field on their final drive but had a fourth down conversion inside the red zone called back due to an offensive face mask penalty. Monken spoke to the media following the game about that final drive. “On that last drive I thought we were going to score there. We did a great job to pick up the big first down, but when you get in fourth and long, you feel like you have to go for it. It would have been a 52-yard field goal.”
GSU used both Jerick McKinnon (Marietta, Ga.) and Ezayi Youyoute (Wauchula, Fla.) at quarterback in the game. The two combined to complete five passes for 166 yards. McKinnon completed three of the passes for 106 yards and rushed for 121 yards, while Youyoute tallied his first rushing touchdown since The Citadel game and tallied 17 yards rushing and 60 yards passing on two completions.
William Banks (Augusta, Ga.) led the team in rushing with 129 yards on 19 carries and scored three touchdowns, all career highs for the junior B-Back. He also tallied a career-best with a 36-yard run in the second quarter.
“William is playing as hard as he can, and I appreciate the effort he is giving us. He did a great job running the ball and got in the end zone a couple of times,” Monken said. “He got the chance to carry it a few times, and I think he did a good job.”
Jamal Jackson led the Appalachian State offense with a career-high 383 passing yards and three passing touchdowns. Jackson completed 21 of his 34 passes including a 67-yard pass to Sean Price in the third quarter. Price finished the day with a career-best seven catches for 231 yards and a score.
On defense the Eagles' Brent Russell (Cormer, Ga.) tied the school record for career sacks with a half sack of Jackson at the end of the third quarter. Russell tied Edward Thomas, who played from 1993-96, with 24.0 career sacks.
After Appalachian State notched a 28-yard field goal on the opening drive of the game, Georgia Southern took a 7-3 lead with their first possession of the contest. A 42-yard kickoff return by J.J. Wilcox (Cairo, Ga.), his third longest of the season, set up a 12 play 58-yard touchdown drive that ended with a 4-yard run by Banks. Banks added a second touchdown on the Eagles' next drive to put GSU ahead 14-3.
The Mountaineers responded to GSU's first quarter lead and struck for their first touchdown of the game with 13:36 remaining in the second quarter. Steven Miller capped off a seven play 74-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown run, his third-straight game with a rushing score. Banks responded for the Eagles on the next drive with his third touchdown run of the game to put Georgia Southern ahead 21-10 with a 36-yard run.
Appalachian State's Jackson tallied two touchdown passes on back-to-back drives to put the Mountaineers back on top 24-21 right before halftime. Jackson's 9-yard touchdown pass to Malachi Jones gave ASU their first lead since the first quarter.
After Alex Hanks' (Marietta, Ga.) 24-yard field goal attempt was blocked as time expired in the first half, Georgia Southern opened the second half with a 12 play 65-yard touchdown drive to regain the lead, 28-24. Youyoute capped off the drive with a 12-yard run, his first rushing touchdown since week two at The Citadel.
After Appalachian State's fourth quarter 23-yard touchdown from Jackson to Sam Martin with 11:25 remaining, the Eagles had two possessions but were unable to score again after being forced to punt on their first drive and tossing an interception on the second.
Georgia Southern hosts Howard for Homecoming next Saturday at 2 p.m. The contest will also be Senior Day for the Eagles.
Georgia Southern Athletics provides up-to-date information on all its sports through its official website, GSEagles.com, through social media channels facebook.com/GSAthletics and twitter.com/GSAthletics, and its new “Eagles GATA” mobile app for Android and iOS.
- Category: Football
- Published on Saturday, 03 November 2012 18:00