McKinnon Leads Eagles in 20-0 Shutout of The Citadel
CHARLESTON, S.C. - Georgia Southern capitalized on four Citadel fumbles and converted those miscues into scoring opportunities in the Eagles' 20-0 victory at Johnson Hagood Stadium Saturday afternoon. The Bulldogs fumbled away their first three possessions allowing the Eagles to score two field goals and a touchdown for a 13-0 lead. Georgia Southern added a touchdown in the third quarter and the defense shut down the Bulldogs to record the first shutout since a 35-0 win over Savannah State in 2003.
The Eagles improved to 4-3, 2-2 SoCon while the Bulldogs fell to 2-6, 0-5 SoCon. After two games on the road, Georgia Southern returns to Paulson Stadium to face Samford for the Hall of Fame game at 2 p.m. on Saturday, October 30th
Junior kicker Adrian Mora (Dalton, Ga.) put the Eagles on the board first with a 26-yard field goal after the first Bulldog fumble gave Georgia Southern the ball on The Citadel 40-yard line. Junior quarterback Jaybo Shaw (Flowery Branch, Ga.) was injured after the first two plays and freshman Jerick McKinnon (Marietta, Ga.) took over the signal calling. Four different Eagles carried in the 11-play series that set up the first score, Georgia Southern 3-0.
On the first play of the next Citadel series, Bulldog freshman quarterback Matt Thompson completed a pass to Domonic Jones, but Jones lost the ball. Junior safety Michael Butler, who made his first start, recovered the ball at The Citadel 45-yard line to put the Eagle offense back on the field. Nine plays later, Robert Brown rushed up the middle for a three-yard Eagle touchdown. Mora connected on the PAT and the Eagles held a tenuous 10-0 lead with just under a minute to play in the first quarter.
The Bulldogs' Thompson ran for a first down with a 13-yard carry, then added another four-yard gain. On Thompson's third straight carry he fumbled with freshman linebacker Michael Spaulding (Fayetteville, Ga.) grabbing the ball at the Citadel 43. Stringing together seven plays, McKinnon ran for a then-career-long 28 yards to bring the Eagles to first-and-goal at the Citadel 10. The Eagles came away with another field goal as Mora hit a 26-yarder for the 13-0 Eagle advantage.
Neither team could produce the rest of the half with The Citadel punting twice, fumbling once and ending the half with Thompson throwing an interception to freshman cornerback Lavelle Westbooks (Riverdale, Ga.). Georgia Southern punted for the first time, then had a missed field goal and interception on its next drives. McKinnon, with 84 rushing yards in the second quarter, had 111 for the half.
The Eagles punted on their first two possessions of the second half while the Bulldogs punted on their first. On the next Citadel series, Thompson fumbled for the second time, giving the ball back to Georgia Southern at midfield with 6:23 left in the quarter. McKinnon ran for seven of the Eagles' nine plays and pushed in for a three-yard touchdown. Mora added the PAT for the 20-0 Eagles lead.
The Citadel picked up some steam at the end of the third quarter and heading into the final quarter. Thompson hit Jones for a 17-yard completion on second-and-15, then Darien Robinson rushed for 11 yards and the first down to position the Bulldogs at the GSU 39. Tackles for loss by freshmen Westbrooks and Josh Gebhardt (Douglasville, Ga.) pushed The Citadel to third-and-14. Jones caught a Thompson pass for 12 yards to set up fourth-and-two. The Bulldogs got the first down on a Scott Harward six-yard rush, but then Robinson lost the ball on the next attempt where it was recovered by Georgia Southern's E.J. Webb (Roanoke, Va.), his second fumble recovery of the game.
The Citadel could not mount another charge, throwing interceptions on its next two series and then turning the ball over on downs with 2:24 left in the game.
Junior free safety Derek Heyden had nine total tackles, leading the Eagles in that category for the second-straight game. Spaulding had a career-best eight with Roderick Tinsley had a career-best seven tackles with 2.5 tackles for loss and two forced fumbles. Georgia Southern had eight tackles for loss on the day.
NOTES: The Citadel had nine turnovers caused by the Eagles (6 fumbles, 3 interceptions) which sets a single-game record, previously 8 vs. Savannah State in 1991... the six total fumbles recovered by the Eagles ties a record for fumbles recovered against Furman in 1997... Mora missed his first field goal of the season, but kept his string of consecutive PATs made with 73... McKinnon ran for a Georgia Southern single-game record 35 attempts and posted a career-best 182 yards, eclipsing the record previously shared by Adrian Peterson (Delaware, playoffs, 12-9-2000) and Charles Bostick (Eastern Kentucky, 1991)... Charlie Edwards' 57-yard long punt is his long for 2010, putting The Citadel on its own six-yard line early in the fourth quarter... Georgia Southern last won a game without completing a pass in 2001 when the Eagles beat Appalachian State 27-18 on October 13, 2001.
Score by quarters: 1 2 3 4
Georgia Southern 10 3 7 0 -- 20
The Citadel 0 0 0 0 -- 0
Qtr. Time Scoring play V-H
1 5:41 GSU-Adrian Mora 26 yd. FG, 11-31, 5:42 3-0
1 0:49 GSU-Robert Brown 3 yd, run (Mora kick), 10-45, 4:35 10-0
2 11:31 GSU- Mora 26 FG 7-35, 3:24 13-0
3 0:42 GSU- Jerick McKinnon 3-yd run (Mora kick), 9-48, 4:15 20-0
- Category: Football
- Published on Saturday, 23 October 2010 15:15