Football Opens SoCon Play Against Chattanooga
The Eagles, off to their first 2-0 start since 2001, are aiming to improve their record in league openers from recent years. Georgia Southern has won just one SoCon opener since that ’01 season (58-14 win over Wofford in 2004).
Scanners will be in place at all gates Saturday night. Georgia Southern Athletics will scan Student IDs for admission. Students who are enrolled in four semester hours and pay athletics fees will be admitted for free. Students are encouraged to enter the stadium 30 minutes before kickoff through Gates 1, 4 or 6.
Georgia Southern is looking to avenge a 27-26 loss to the Mocs (0-2 overall) in Chattanooga last year.
Head coach Chris Hatcher announced that freshman running back Zeke Rozier will miss the rest of the 2007 season after suffering a knee injury during the 42-34 win at Coastal Carolina. The reigning SoCon Freshman of the Week’ was third on the team with 101 yards and two touchdowns while averaging 6.3 yards per carry. The team will apply for a medical-redshirt.
NO EASY SCHEDULE: Of the nine Football Championship Subdivision opponents on Georgia Southern’s 2007 schedule, six are either ranked or receiving votes... Appalachian State retains its preseason No. 1 ranking. Others in the poll include: Wofford (13th) and Furman (16th). The Citadel (87 votes), South Dakota State (13) and Coastal Carolina (1) received votes.
PAULSON STADIUM HOME SWEET HOME: Georgia Southern’s all-time record in Allen E. Paulson Stadium is 144-22 (.867), dating back to the 1984 season. The Eagles own the two longest home winning streaks in NCAA FCS history, having run off 39 straight victories from November 8, 1997 to December 15, 2001 and 38 consecutive from October 5, 1985 to September 22, 1990... Meanwhile, against the Southern Conference, GS has tallied a 46-8 (.852) mark in Paulson Stadium since joining the league.
GROUND WARS... 124-10 SINCE 1997: The Eagles have out-rushed their opponents in 124 of the last 134 games over the past 11 seasons... Most recently the Eagles dominated Coastal Carolina 512-205... North Dakota State (2006), Elon (2006), Appalachian State (2005, 2006), Wofford (2002, 2003, 2005, 2006) and Furman (2000, 2001) are the only teams to out-rush GS during that span.
THANK YOU FANS: The Eagles again rank among the nation’s best in home attendance numbers. The 2007 attendance at Paulson Stadium got off to an impressive start as 21,489 fans watched the opener against West Georgia. That stands as the eighth-largest crowd ever at Paulson. GS currently stands sixth nationally in average attendance... In the 2006 season-opener against Central Connecticut State the Eagles drew 20,178 which nearly cracked the Paulson Stadium Top 10’... The Eagles ranked fifth nationally in total attendance as 109,281 came through the gates of Paulson Stadium... During the 2005 campaign Georgia Southern ranked sixth nationally in attendance (16,240 average).
QUICK PLAY STRIKE: Georgia Southern has struck early and often this season, totaling 12 touchdowns. Of those 12 TD drives...
8 have been 30-plus yards TD length
5 drives needed just two plays, but...
only 1 TD drive length has been less than 50 yards
only 1 drive has been longer than 3:00
DEFENSE GETTING PICKY: Georgia Southern’s defense picked off a pass in 20 of the last 24 games (30 INT in all)... The defense intercepted two passes against Coastal Carolina. Henry Chubb, Chris Collier, Chris Covington and Dedrick Bynam have recorded one interception each this year.
MORE SCORING NOTES: Needless to say Georgia Southern has put up some impressive offensive numbers to start the 2007 season... It marks the first time since 05 the team scored 40-plus in consecutive games at any time during a season... It marks the first time since 1999 the Eagles scored at least 40 points in consecutive games to start the year... Jayson Foster set a Georgia Southern record for most touchdowns accounted for (10) in the first two games of a season.
FOSTER GOES 2-FOR-2 IN SOCON: Jayson Foster’s record-breaking performance at Coastal Carolina garnered him sole possession of the Southern Conference Player of the Week’ award. He rushed for a career-high 253 yards and six touchdowns in the 42-34 win. Last week against West Georgia Foster had to share the award despite 231 rushing yards, 124 passing yards and four touchdowns accounted for. He now has won the weekly award four times in his career.
AND PICKS UP NATIONAL AWARD: Jayson Foster’s record-setting performance at Coastal Carolina not only caught the attention of those in the Southern Conference, but around the nation as well. The senior quarterback shared the National Player of the Week’ award on offense, as selected by The Sports Network, College Sporting News and Sports Media Entertainment Network. He becomes the first Eagle since Adrian Peterson to receive the national accolade.
ROZIER EARNS FIRST WEEKLY AWARD: True-freshman running back Zeke Rozier earned his first Southern Conference Freshman of the Week’ award following his performance in the Coastal Carolina game. Rozier rushed nine times for 48 yards, a 5.3 average. Making his first collegiate start, he turned in a long run of 36 yards in the game as the Eagles amassed 512 yards on the ground the 12th-best rushing performance in the program’s history.
BEARD NAMED PRESEASON ALL-SoCON: Junior defensive end Larry Beard was the lone Eagle on defense to receive preseason All-Southern Conference accolades... Beard, entering his third year as a starter, recorded 21 tackles last year, including five for a loss. He also broke up three passes and recorded an interception... Beard recorded a career-high seven tackles at Furman last year... In 25 career games Beard has 52 tackles and 9.5 for a loss.
COVINGTON MOVES TO D’: Despite being the top returning rusher from last year, junior Chris Covington made the move to defense during spring drills. The former minor league baseball player recorded two interceptions in an early scrimmage. In his first full-time action on defense, Covington shared the team-lead making seven tackles against West Georgia... He recorded his first-ever interception at Coastal Carolina and returned it 45 yards, a game in which he also rushed four yards on a fake punt to pick up a first down... Covington enters the weekend as the team leader in tackles with 11.
JACKSON GETS PRESEASON ALL-AMERICA NOD: Junior defensive back Brandon Jackson received First Team All-America accolades by The Sports Network earlier this summer... In the opener against West Georgia, Jackson shared team-honors with seven tackles... Jackson held Preseason All-America wide receiver Jerome Simpson of Coastal Carolina to just 49 yards on three catches - more than 150 fewer yards than what Simpson had last year at Paulson Stadium... In 13 career games he has 45 career stops and five pass break-ups.
BYNAM ANOTHER FORMER FRESHMAN OF YEAR: Junior Dedrick Bynam returns at safety in what could shape up to be one of the best secondary personnel in the SoCon... Bynam recorded his first interception of the year and returned it five yards in the Coastal Carolina game... In 2005, Bynam became the third Eagle in four years to be named SoCon Freshman of the Year’ (Jermaine Austin in 2002, Jayson Foster in 2004)... Bynam played in all 12 games during his rookie year and was named SoCon Freshman of the Week’ once... Bynam recorded his second career interception during the Western Carolina game in 2006. He recorded a career-high nine tackles last year against Appalachian State. Bynam equaled his career-high making nine stops against Wofford and also forced a fumble... In 25 career games, Bynam has 71 tackles and six pass break-ups.
SUGGS GETTING THE STARTING NOD: Junior Damon Suggs made his second consecutive start and came up with four tackles in the Coastal Carolina game... Suggs, who played as a true-freshman, has recorded 14 tackles in 22 career games.
TOP OF THE HILL: Sophomore Carson Hill paced the defense in the season-opener against West Georgia, breaking up three passes. He also recorded four tackles, including one for a loss... At Coastal Carolina Hill again paced the defense making five tackles, including one for a loss... Last year as a true freshman Hill made six starts... In 13 career games he has recorded 41 tackles.
JORDAN GOING FOR CAREER RECORD: Senior Daniel Jordan’s 41.9 season average ranks him fourth in the SoCon, but only 0.3 away from the league lead... He recorded 47.8 yards on five kicks against West Georgia... Jordan averaged 36 yards on five punts at Coastal Carolina, but put four of those inside the 20-yard line... The 2004 First Team All-SoCon pick now owns a 40.7 career average on 139 punts. He stands 0.1 behind Don Norton’s 40.8 mark (1990-91)... Jordan owns three of the season Top 8’ averages: #2, 41.1 (2004); #3, 41.0 (2006); and #8, 39.5 (2005)... Last year Jordan finished tied for the third-most punts with 62... The senior has had only one career punt attempt blocked.
ANOTHER 100-YARDER FOR LEWIS: Senior Lamar Lewis entered the season as the team’s top returning rusher. He turned in his second consecutive 100-yard game at Coastal Carolina, and then some. Lewis rushed for a career-high 206 yards (on 18 carries) in the win. He helped set a SoCon record with Jayson Foster on most rushing yards by two players on the same team with 459. They finished 14 yards shy of the NCAA record... In the season-opener against West Georgia Lewis averaged 11 yards per carry, totaling 150 yards on 14 carries in the win... He enters this week second in the SoCon (behind Foster) and fifth nationally. Lewis also ranks 68th nationally in total offense and 13th in all-purpose yards... Last year Lewis ranked 46th nationally averaging 78 rushing yards per game and 94th in all-purpose yards, 91.8 ypg... He recorded a season-high 172 yards against Coastal Carolina, his first game as an Eagle. Lewis also came close to two other 100-yard outings: 99 versus Central Arkansas and 97 at Western Carolina.
McINTOSH FIRST TD IN RECORD BOOK: Junior Michael McIntosh recorded 80 receiving yards and no touchdowns last year, his first with the program. It took him one reception to improve on both marks... McIntosh hauled in a Jayson Foster pass and raced 81 yards for a TD in the West Georgia game. It actually went in the record books as the third-longest completion in GS history.
MEMORABLE FIRST CARRY FOR ROZIER: True-freshman running back Zeke Rozier likely will not forget his first rushing attempt as an Eagle. Rozier broke through the left side for a 41-yard touchdown run which put the Eagles ahead for good in the 45-21 win over West Georgia. In fact, Rozier added a 1-yard run midway through the fourth quarter. He finished with 53 yards on seven carries.
ANDREWS LEADS IN RECEIVING: Junior Raja Andrews led the Eagles in receiving, catching three passes for 35 yards in the win over West Georgia... He caught two passes for 14 yards at Coastal Carolina... He leads the receivers with five receptions totaling 49 yards... Andrews also has returned a team-high five kickoffs for 63 yards... Last year Andrews just missed on tying a Georgia Southern single game record for pass receptions (eight at Chattanooga for 82 yards)... Andrews finished the 06 season, his first as a wide receiver, with 23 receptions for 233 yards and one touchdown - a highlight reel catch against Appalachian State.
HARTLEY EARNS STARTING KICKING JOB: Jesse Hartley came out as the starting placekicker after a stellar spring and fall camp... Hartley is looking to shore up the kicking duties as last year the Eagles ranked last in the SoCon making 9-18 field goals and 20-25 extra points... Hartley was perfect against West Georgia, 6-for-6 on extra points and a 21-yard field goal... At Coastal Carolina Hartley matched his career-high converting all six extra point attempts... Among the SoCon leaders he is one of four kickers to be perfect in extra points with at least 12 attempts.
- Category: Football
- Published on Wednesday, 19 September 2007 00:26