Defense Heats Things Up
STATESBORO, Ga. - If the temperature on the practice fields on the banks of Eagle Creek wasn't hot enough today, the Georgia Southern defensive squad kicked it up a notch. Hard-nosed play, especially in the team period, gave an indication that the defense is beginning to put some of the pieces together.
"I thought their effort was really good in that last period," said Eagles Head Coach Jeff Monken. "They were flying around, they got excited and when you get excited and enjoy playing, it is easier to play fast. They did a nice job with it."
The defense has started playing like they have something to prove - some big plays in the team period charged the unit's enthusiasm even more.
"One of our goals is to come out here and have a great tempo, have great enthusiasm and play with great effort," said sophomore nose tackle Brent Russell. "Every day we have been coming out and dominating and I think this is the fourth straight practice we have strung together and showed all three things."
As the coaching staff is still looking at combinations of players to give the Eagles the best chance on game day, it may not be too far-fetched to consider the newcomers in key roles. On offense, some of the underclassmen are stepping into situations where the preparation will pay off, sooner, if not later.
"We aren't healthy, we had some guys banged up and guys who have been out," Monken said. "We had Zach Lonas (Acworth, Ga.) playing as a freshman, he's coming around, I think he's going to have a chance to play for us, Matt Gilbert (Marietta, Ga.), Trevor McBurnett (Lawrenceville, Ga.) , Logan Daves (Blue Ridge, Ga.), these guys are taking reps against the number one defense, it's not as easy for them.
"These guys need to be able to come off the ball and block and play," Monken said. "We have to get better and improve individually and have enough pride that they will come off and play, play their assignments and play hard. Defense got the best of the offense today, and sometimes offense may get the best of the defense. That is part of the competition."
The Eagles will have two more practices before the start of University classes on Monday. The team will hit the practice field Friday at 2:45 p.m. and then practice Saturday at Paulson Stadium at 10 a.m. The Eagles will return to Paulson Stadium later Saturday, at 4 p.m., for the "Meet the Eagles" event. The 2010 fall sports schedule posters for football, volleyball, men's and women's soccer and cross country and track teams will be available and those teams will be available to sign autographs and take photos.
PRESIDENTIAL VISIT: Georgia Southern University President Brooks Keel and First Lady Dr. Tammie Schalue visited practice on Thursday afternoon. Keel spoke to the members of the squad after practice, telling them "the entire Eagle Nation is behind the team." Keel finished practice by leading the team break with "Team wins!"
ROSTER TRANSACTIONS: Freshman quarterback Ezayi Youyoute (Wachula, Fla.) missed part of Thursday's practice with a foot injury. Freshman offensive lineman Marcus Howton has decided not to continue as a member of the team.
INDUCTION CEREMONY FOR HAM THIS WEEKEND - The Canadian Football Hall of Fame announced its 2010 inductees in February of this year, with former Georgia Southern All-American quarterback Tracy Ham to be honored for his contributions to the league. The ceremony to induct Ham and the other four members of the class, Bob Cameron, Don Narcisse, Elfrid Payton and Joe Pistilli, will be held this weekend, August 12-14 in Regina and Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. The events in Regina include the unveiling of the profile bust of the inductees and jacket presentation as well as the Hall of Fame game between the Saskatchewan Roughrigers and British Columbia Lions. The Induction Golf Tournament will take place on Friday, August 13th and the Hall of Fame dinner on Saturday, August 14th will be held at the TCU Centre, both in Saskatoon.
In his 13-year career in the CFL, Ham amassed 40,534 passing yards for seventh all-time in the league, completing 2670 of 4943 passes (54 percent) and accounting for 284 touchdowns. He added 62 rushing touchdowns to his career totals.
BULLOCH COUNTY KICKOFF DINNER AND PEP RALLY: The Bulloch County Eagle Club Football Kickoff Dinner and Pep Rally will be held Thursday, September 2nd at 6:30 p.m. in the Nessmith-Lane Ballroom at the Continuing Education Center on the Georgia Southern campus. Join alumni and friends that evening for a buffet dinner, featured speaker Head Coach Jeff Monken, guests from the Center for Wildlife Education, the Cheerleaders and everyone's favorite eagle GUS. The pep rally will be held immediately following the program at the Russell Union Rotunda. Tickets are $15 each and may be purchased online at alumni.georgiasouthern.edu or by calling the Office of Alumni Relations at 912-GSU-ALUM (478-2586).
WALK-ON TRYOUTS: Students enrolled full time at Georgia Southern are invited to walk-on tryouts Monday, August 16th at 4:30 p.m. at the practice fields. Tryout participants must provide proof of a current physical (within six months of the date of the tryout), proof of insurance, and copy of class schedule with minimum of 12 hours coursework for Fall 2010 semester. Participants must be willing to comply with NCAA eligibility standards and must agree to and comply with the Georgia Southern drug testing policy.
FALL CAMP PRACTICE TIMES: Sessions are open to Eagle fans. Friday's session will be at the practice fields. Saturday the Eagles will practice at Paulson Stadium.
August 13, 2010 - 2:45 p.m.
August 14, 2010 - 10:05 a.m.- 12 p.m. practice at Paulson Stadium
4-5:30 p.m. "Meet the Eagles" event at Paulson Stadium
- Category: Football
- Published on Thursday, 12 August 2010 22:35