Fall Camp #10
STATESBORO, Ga. - For the second straight day, weather affected Georgia Southern's fall football camp.
Wednesday's (Aug. 12) two and a half hour morning session went on as scheduled, but late afternoon/early evening rain and lightning in the area forced the day's second practice to just under two hours.
Head coach Chris Hatcher said his team has been able to work through the delays and should be able to make up the little bit of lost work over the remainder of fall camp.
"We've been fine with it. We missed out on a few scrimmage opportunities, but we have gotten all our drill work and team work in. We will end up making that up as we go. I counted and we are 36 plays shy on our scrimmage work. Over the next few days we'll try to incorporate more scrimmage in as we go," said Hatcher.
The Eagles return to the practice fields Thursday afternoon (Aug. 13), at 1:30 p.m.
Kickoff for the season-opener against Albany (N.Y.) on Saturday, September 5th is scheduled for 6 p.m. at Paulson Stadium. For ticket information call 800-GSU-WINS.
DEFENSE MAKING PROGRESS: Not only was Georgia Southern's offense coming off a record-setting performance in the 17-10 win over #14 Furman to close out the 2008 season, the Eagles' defense also had a stellar outing.
The 10 points allowed were the fewest since the defense held Western Carolina to a touchdown in October 2005. Defensive coordinator Ashley Anders has six starters back and seen his unit making progress.
"It's kind of like chopping a big tree, we're slowly but surely getting better. The effort is there. We're a little tired at times, but I see the kids fighting through it so that's a big plus," stated Anders.
Despite only 14 takeaways last year, the defense was able to come up with a key turnover when needed - namely the fumble recovery late in the Northeastern game which led to the game-tying touchdown, and interception late in the Furman game to seal the victory.
SECONDARY RETURNS FOUR STARTERS: The Eagles' secondary returns four starters off last year's club, including Southern Conference All-Freshmen members Derek Heyden and K.R. Snipes... Senior cornerbacks Darrell Pasco and Ronnie Wiggins not only are known as hard-hitters, they are two of the fastest players on the team.
Wiggins' 39 tackles last year led all defensive backs and his three interceptions paced the team. Pasco was close behind with 36 stops and broke up eight passes. Heyden matched Pasco with 36 tackles. Over his final four games played, Snipes recorded 23 of his 25 tackles. He recorded two tackles for a loss but his interception at Furman was the biggest play of the year, sealing the Eagles' 17-10 win over the 14th-ranked Paladins.
Juniors E.J. Webb (20 tackles) and Evan Mattingly (16) along with true-freshman Darius Eubanks will see time at rover. Sophomore A.J. McCray has been working out at cornerback and could contend for a starting role. Fellow sophomores Hudson Presume (sat out 2008), Brett Layson, and Laron Scott (transfer) along with true-freshman Kyle Oehlbeck will challenge for playing time.
"We feel Darrell Pasco is doing a great job. He's filling in one of those leader roles for the back guys. Newcomer Laron Scott we've been real impressed with his athleticism and feet. Those two along with Ronnie Wiggins - as far as the corners - we've been real pleased with their production so far," said Anders. "You have two great role players as far as running the whole operation on the back end in Derek Heyden and K.R. Snipes. We've been real pleased with their production."
MORE YOUTH AT LINEBACKER: Dion DuBose might only be a sophomore, but he ended last year as the starting middle linebacker and is looking to add to his SoCon All-Freshmen Team and SoCon 'Defensive Player of the Week' honors. He recorded a season-high 10 tackles (nine solo stops) and two sacks in the finale win at Furman, finishing the year with 32 tackles.
"I've been real impressed with Dion DuBose. He's matured at a real rapid rate, going from a true-freshman season to a true-sophomore season. I think that Furman game really was a plus for him. Right now he picked up where he left off," said Anders.
Sophomores Tavaris Williams (seven tackles), SoCon All-Freshman performer J.B. Shippy (41 tackles, 5.5 TFL), Brent Gordon (sat out 2008 with injury) join seniors Terrione Benefield (109 career tackles) and David Lewis (47 tackles) as experienced returners. Newcomers Calvin West (JUCO transfer) and Josh Rowe (true-freshman) could challenge for playing time, putting the linebacker corps as one of the deepest positions on the team.
FALL CAMP PRACTICE TIMES
Thursday, August 13: 1:30-4 p.m.
Friday, August 14: 8-10 a.m.; 2:15-4:15 p.m.; 7:15-8:15 p.m.
Saturday, August 15: 1:30-4 p.m.
Sunday, August 16: Off
Monday, August 17: Off (First day of classes)
All sessions are tentatively scheduled to take place at the practice field complex and Herring Pavilion. Only media members are allowed to take pictures during any practice session. Day/time subject to change.
- Category: Football
- Published on Wednesday, 12 August 2009 21:28