Eagles Face Alabama in Regular Season Finale
STATESBORO, Ga. - A tall order faces the Georgia Southern Football Team in their regular-season finale. The Eagles travel to Tuscaloosa, Ala., for their first meeting with the Alabama Crimson Tide.
"Nick Saban has proven himself as a football coach and you will get no argument that his teams are some of the best coached in college football," said Head Coach Jeff Monken. "We've got a huge challenge on our hands just to be in the ballgame and not be completely embarrassed."
Georgia Southern (9-1, 7-1) puts its second-ranked FCS rushing offense on the line against the best rushing defense in the FBS when two of the top teams in their respective divisions kick off Saturday at 2 p.m. est. The game will be carried live from Bryant-Denny Stadium on pay-per-view in the state of Alabama and online at ESPN3 outside of Alabama and Georgia.
The Eagles average 320 yards per game on the ground behind a balanced rushing attack. GSU does not feature a 1,000 yard back like Alabama does in Heisman candidate Trent Richardson, but has shared the load among three rushers who have 400 yards or more this season.
Robert Brown (Macon, Ga.) leads the Eagles' ground game with 834 yards, but it was Dominique Swope (Buford, Ga.) posting a career-best 165 yards on 27 carries in Saturday's 31-10 win over Wofford who helped Georgia Southern raise the Southern Conference trophy in the locker room.
"I thought it was a tremendous football game," said Monken of last week's win over the Terriers. "There were a lot of guys running into each other, playing hard and playing good football on both teams."
Alabama (9-1, 6-1) only allows a FBS-best 7.1 points per game and 51.9 yards on the ground. SEC Defensive Player of the Week, Dont'a Hightower leads the Crimson Tide defense with 66 tackles, while fellow linebacker Courtney Upshaw leads the squad with 14 tackles for loss.
"They are so far superior at every position. I don't know whether to laugh or cry," Monken added.
UA held Mississippi State to 12 yards rushing, nine first downs and just seven points in a 24-7 win over the weekend. Richardson tallied his seventh 100 yard rushing performance while backup tailback Eddie Lacy nearly reached that plateau and found the end zone twice in the road victory.
"Alabama is perhaps the best football team in the country right now," said Monken. "They hold their opponents to 7.1 points per game and only three teams have scored more than 10 points in a game against them this year."
The game between two of the traditional powers in their respective sub-divisions is the final one at home for the Crimson Tide, who face Auburn in the Iron Bowl next week. The Eagles will likely play in the FCS Playoffs and will watch the selection show at the Bishop Fieldhouse Sunday at 10 a.m. on ESPNU.
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- Category: Football
- Published on Friday, 18 November 2011 07:04