Football Faces Showdown in Wofford for SoCon Title
STATESBORO, Ga. - Thanks to some outside help and a win on Saturday, the Georgia Southern Football team (8-1, 6-1) now travels to Wofford (7-2, 5-1) for a shot at an outright Southern Conference Title. The showdown between the pair of one-loss conference teams in Spartanburg, S.C., kicks off at 1 p.m. from Gibbs Stadium.
"Everybody in the league including myself has tremendous respect for Mike Ayers, his staff and the job that they do. They have outstanding players," said Head Coach Jeff Monken. "Obviously having the preseason player of the year in the league on both sides of the ball is a pretty good indication that they are talented."
Both teams feature strong option rushing attacks and rank as the number one and two running teams in the FCS. Both defenses are pretty adept at stopping the run as well, with neither allowing more than 120 rushing yards per game. The Terriers lead the country with 374.2 yards per game on the ground, while the Eagles are second with 323.8 yards per game.
A win against the Terriers would give the Eagles their first SoCon Title in seven years and their ninth overall title since joining the conference in 1993. Wofford would need a win over Georgia Southern Saturday and a victory next week at Chattanooga to wrap up their title hopes. Both scenarios would see the winner of Saturday's game as the outright Southern Conference Champion, something that has not happened for GSU since 2002.
A 14-12 win over The Citadel Saturday was essential to keeping Georgia Southern in the hunt for the title. GSU blocked a pair of extra points and watched a field goal sail to the right in the final seconds to stave off the Bulldogs' upset bid on Homecoming. The win helped the Eagles complete their home slate with a perfect record for the first time since 2004.
"We were very fortunate to come out with a victory. We made many mistakes and put ourselves in some bad situations," stated Monken. "I am proud of our team for eking it out and finding a way to keep them out of the end zone in the second half."
Last Weekend the Terriers opened with three unanswered touchdowns and led 35-7 before Clark Sechrest notched a 51 yard field goal for Western Carolina right before halftime. Wofford held on for a 42-24 victory over the Catamounts in Cullowhee, N.C., while rushing for an even 500 yards behind two 100-yard runners.
These two teams met twice last season with the visitor winning both contests, a trend that dates back to 2006. To say the two games were close is an understatement. A combined five points in the two games separated the two teams last season.
Both games played out in a similar fashion as well. The home team recovered from a two touchdown deficit in both contests. Georgia Southern held early fourth quarter leads as well in both games, but Wofford responded with a touchdown at the five minute mark in both contests. The score gave the Terriers a 33-31 win in the October 9th regular-season meeting but was not enough to overcome a 23-13 fourth quarter lead by the Eagles in the FCS Playoff game on December 11th.
Fans can follow their Eagles at GeorgiaSouthernEagles.com or receive short updates at facebook.com/GSAthletics, twitter.com/GSAthletics or on Google+ at gplus.to/GSAthletics.
- Category: Football
- Published on Friday, 11 November 2011 22:34