Eagles and Terriers Tee It Up in Quarterfinals
The Georgia Southern Football team (9-4) will wrap up final exams and preparation for the NCAA FCS quarterfinal game at Wofford (10-2) Saturday. This is the second meeting between the Eagles and Terriers this season and first-ever meeting between the two institutions in postseason play. Georgia Southern, by virtue of a 31-15 victory at fourth-ranked William & Mary, faces Southern Conference foe Wofford. The Terriers shared the 2010 Southern Conference title with Appalachian State and moved into the quarterfinals for the second time in four years with their 17-14 win at Jacksonville State last weekend.
2:05 p.m. Eastern Time at Gibbs Stadium.
Eagle fans headed to Gibbs Stadium who did not obtain tickets through the Georgia Southern Athletics Ticket Office can purchase game tickets through the Wofford Ticket Office online at http://athletics.wofford.edu/sports/2010/12/5/GEN_1205100019.aspx or by calling 864-597-4090. Georgia Southern’s Will Call will be located near the scoreboard end of Gibbs Stadium and will open at 11 a.m. (one hour earlier than originally announced) on game day.
WHERE TO LISTEN
In his fifth year as the "Voice of the Eagles," Chris Blair will call all the action for Saturday's matchup on the 17-station Georgia Southern Radio Network. Eagle standout Terry Harvin provides the color commentary and Ryan Chambers brings the sideline experience to the broadcast. The game can be heard locally in Statesboro on 102.9 WPMX-FM or globally online at GeorgiaSouthernEagles.com/Eaglevision. A complete list of affiliates can be found at GeorgiaSouthernEagles.com/radionetwork. Eagle fans can listen to the Georgia Southern Radio Network broadcast inside Gibbs Stadium by tuning into 91.9 FM.
WHERE TO WATCH
Georgia Southern fans will be able to view the Eagles-Terriers football game webcast, available for free, at ESPN3.com. Doug Bell will provide the play-by-play for the game with David Diaz-Infante handling the color analysis. The game will also be broadcast in the Coastal Empire on WTGS-TV Fox 28. The telecast begins at 2 p.m. with kickoff at 2:05 p.m.
The Eagles celebrated three anniversaries during the 2010 season: the 25th anniversary of the first championship in 1985 (more than 50 members of the 1985 team returned for the Wofford game October 9th), the 20th anniversary of the 1990 championship and the 10th anniversary of the 2000 championship (both teams honored on November 6th).
Saturday's game will mark the 17th meeting between the two teams and the second encounter this year. The road team has won the last five games, including the 33-31 Wofford win at Paulson Stadium on October 9, 2010. The largest margin of victory in the last four games has been five points with a total of 11 points deciding those four contests. In those last four games, the Eagles have won by three points (2007 -- 38-35) and five points (2009 -- 26-21) with the Terriers taking a 38-37 overtime squeaker (2008) and a 33-31 (2010) win from Paulson.
In his first year as head coach at Georgia Southern, Jeff Monken guided the Eagles to their first playoff victory since 2002 with the 41-16 win over #11/12 South Carolina State. Georgia Southern followed up the first-round playoff win with a second-round triumph over fourth-ranked and second-seeded William & Mary 31-15.
With 21 years of coaching experience, the Joliet, Ill., native has compiled an 9-4 overall record and recorded a 5-3 mark in Southern Conference play. In November, the Eagles defeated then-top-ranked and previously undefeated Appalachian State 21-14 in overtime at Paulson Stadium and picked up road wins at Western Carolina and Furman to earn an at-large bid to the NCAA FCS playoffs.
Monken served for five years as an assistant coach on Paul Johnson's staff at Georgia Southern from 1997-2001. During that time, the Eagles went 62 and 10, winning five straight SoCon championships and won two national titles. He joined Johnson at Navy, helping the Midshipmen to five straight bowl appearances, and then at Georgia Tech, where the Yellow Jackets won an ACC title and earned an Orange Bowl berth in 2009.
The winningest football coach and longest-serving coach in Wofford history, Mike Ayers is in his 26th season as a head coach and 23rd year at the Terrier helm with a 153-106-1 record at Wofford. His overall coaching record of 164-127-2 includes his three-year stint as head coach at East Tennessee State. After a 3-8 season last year, the Terriers are 10-2 and earned a share of the 2010 Southern Conference championship. Ayers was honored as this season's Wallace Wade Coach of the Year by the Southern Conference Sports Media Association.
A four-sport athlete at Georgetown College, Ky., Ayers spent three years as an assistant coach at Wofford before heading to East Tennessee State as defensive coordinator. He took the reins of the Buccaneer program in 1985 before returning as Wofford's head coach in 1988 where he brought the Terriers to a 1990 postseason appearance, their first since 1970.
STILL THE ONE
Georgia Southern ranks FIRST ALL-TIME with 40 playoff wins and six National Championships. Georgia Southern currently stands fourth all-time in most NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision playoff appearances.
Team (Appearances - Last)....................... Record
Georgia Southern (17 - 2010)....................... 40-10
Montana (20 - 2009)...................................... 30-18
Youngstown State (11 - 2006)......................... 25-7
Appalachian State (18 - 2010)....................... 24-14
Delaware (15 - 2010)..................................... 19-13
Northern Iowa (15 - 2010).............................. 18-15
Furman (15 - 2006)........................................ 17-14
Eastern Kentucky (19 - 2008)......................... 16-17
McNeese St. (14 - 2007)................................ 11-14
Eastern Illinois (13 - 2009)............................... 3-13
Jackson State (12 - 1997)............................... 0-12
After ending Appalachian State's 26-game Southern Conference win streak at the beginning of November, the Eagles came back to win 31-15 at William & Mary's Zable Field to break the Tribe's 11-game home winning streak.
AGAINST THE FIELD
Georgia Southern owns a 2-1 regular-season record against the NCAA FCS Playoff field with wins over top-seeded Appalachian State and Coastal Carolina with a loss to Wofford.
SECOND TIME AROUND
Saturday's playoff game against fellow SoCon member Wofford will be the sixth time the Eagles will face an opponent in postseason competition that it played earlier in the year. In both the 1985 and 1989 seasons Georgia Southern and Middle Tennessee State played in September and then met again in December. In 2001, Georgia Southern played two SoCon teams, Appalachian State and Furman, in the regular season and then met again in the playoffs.
Date Opponent Result
Sept. 14, 1985 Middle Tennessee State L, 10-35
Dec. 7, 1985 playoffs Middle Tennessee State W, 28-21
Sept. 21, 1989 Middle Tennessee State W, 26-0
Dec. 2, 1989 playoffs Middle Tennessee State W, 45-3
Oct. 20, 1990 at Central Florida W, 38-17
Dec. 8, 1990 playoffs Central Florida W, 44-7
Oct. 13, 2001 at Appalachian State W, 27-18
Dec. 8, 2001 playoffs Appalachian State W, 38-24
Nov. 3, 2001 Furman W, 20-10
Dec. 15, 2001 playoffs Furman L, 17-24
IN THE FAMILY
Three Southern Conference teams have advanced to the FCS quarterfinals for the first time since 2001. Appalachian State will play host to Villanova while SoCon foes Georgia Southern and Wofford will meet.
The 2001 quarterfinal participants included Georgia Southern, Appalachian State and Furman.
WINS OVER NUMBER ONE
Georgia Southern has notched wins over the number-one team in the country twice in the last six seasons, both at Paulson Stadium. The Eagles defeated top-ranked Furman 27-24 in 2005 and knocked the Mountaineers out of the top spot in the polls with a 21-14 overtime victory November 6, 2010.
WINS OVER RANKED TEAMS
In addition to the win over top-ranked Appalachian State in November, the Eagles have picked up win s against three other top-25 teams this season. Georgia Southern defeated #10/11 Elon and #1 Appalachian State in overtime and picked up wins over #11/12 South Carolina State and #4 William & Mary in the postseason. Wofford, ranked #25/21 at the time of the first meeting, is one of the Eagles' losses.
FROST ON THE PUMPKIN
One of Coach Erk Russell's well-known sayings reminded everyone that the Eagles needed to be playing well when the "frost was on the pumpkin." Georgia Southern posted a 4-0 record in November for the first time since 2005. The Eagles are playing in December for the first time since 2002.
The overtime win over Appalachian State was the program's sixth overtime win and 11th overtime game overall. The Eagles have won three straight overtime games, the streak beginning with the 38-31 OT win over Western Carolina in 2008. In the game against the Catamounts at Whitmire Stadium, Georgia Southern erased a 28-point deficit in less than 11 minutes in the fourth quarter - an NCAA record - to take the game to overtime.
In last Saturday's game at William & Mary, the Eagle defense held the Tribe without an offensive touchdown and held it scoreless in the second half, adding two more scoreless quarters to its total for 2010. Georgia Southern has held its opponents scoreless for 25 quarters this year with six teams blanked in a half, including the shutout of The Citadel. The Eagle D recorded second half shutouts of Navy, The Citadel, Appalachian State, Western Carolina and William & Mary and kept Savannah State and The Citadel from scoring in the first half.
One of the 20 finalists for the Buck Buchanan Award for the top defensive player in the FCS, Brent Russell (Comer, Ga.) was selected as the November student-athlete of the month representing the defensive football players in the league.
Russell helped lead the Eagles to a 4-0 month of November which included wins over then-top-ranked and previously undefeated Appalachian State and 11th-ranked South Carolina State in the first round of the NCAA FCS playoffs. The Eagle defense held the Mountaineers to 114 yards on the ground and a season low 323 yards of total offense in a 21-14 overtime win on Nov. 6. Russell shared the team lead for tackles in that game with six, including 2.5 tackles for loss for 12 yards.
The First-Team All-SoCon selection recorded seven tackles in Eagles' win at Western Carolina with 3.5 tackles for loss for a total of 22 yards. He also registered four assisted tackles in comeback victory at Furman and helped keep the Paladins scoreless in the fourth quarter. In the FCS playoff game against the Bulldogs, he tallied four tackles with one tackle for a loss of nine yards. Russell forced a fumble that led to an Eagle recovery and return for touchdown. For the month, he recorded 22 tackles, eight tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks.
SCOTT SCAMPERS FOR RECORD
Junior kickoff return specialist Laron Scott (Warner Robins, Ga.) broke Andre Weathers' single-game record (167) for most kickoff return yards in a single game with his 173 yards against Wofford and tied the record of six kickoff returns with former Eagles Darrell Pasco (vs. Furman, 2009) and Marvin Bell (Bethune-Cookman, 1984) in the same game. Scott now owns the single-season record for kickoff returns with 36 after the William & Mary game.
Scott surpassed Young and his 1986 season-record 715 yards on kickoff returns in the Furman game. Scott currently has 956 yards on 36 returns in 2010.
EVEN MORE FOR MORA
With two PATs against Wofford, junior kicker Adrian Mora (Dalton, Ga.) tied and then set the Georgia Southern career record for consecutive PATs made, currently standing at 92. Mora has been perfect in PATs in his career, 92-92 (31 in 2008, 19 in 2009, and 342 straight so far in 2010). Mora, who was named Monday to the list of 10 finalists for the Fred Mitchell Place Kicker Award, has accounted for at least one point in every game in which he has played.
SAFETY FIRST... AND SECOND
Georgia Southern recorded not one, but two safeties against South Carolina State November 27th. The NCAA record for safeties in a game (and a half) is three, but no current record exists for multiple safeties recorded on kickoffs. NCAA.com play-by-play announcer Greg Rakestraw commented after the Eagles' first safety on a kickoff that "folks might see one of those every five years." At the start of the fourth quarter, a Bulldog fumble on the kickoff that went into the end zone provided the Eagles another safety.
SUPPORTING THE GULF COAST
Southern Conference football teams will show their support for those being negatively impacted along the Gulf Coast by wearing helmet decals with the initials "GC" during the 2010 football season. More than 170 SoCon football players come from states that share a coastline being affected by the oil spill. The nine institutions that play SoCon football agreed to display the decals to express their support and encouragement for the people living in the region.
- Category: Football
- Published on Thursday, 09 December 2010 01:19