Eagles Step It Up On Saturday
STATESBORO, Ga. - Georgia Southern Football finished its second full scrimmage Saturday at Paulson Stadium. The Eagles ran through 82 plays and also worked on the punt and punt return teams. Only two practices, Tuesday and Thursday, remain before the Blue-White Spring Game on Friday, April 15th at 7 p.m. Tuesday will be the last day in full pads before that final scrimmage.
"I thought there was good competition (today)," said Eagles Head Coach Jeff Monken. "It was better than yesterday's practice. I thought we had guys flying around. There seemed to be some genuine enthusiasm about playing out here and being in Paulson Stadium, which there should be. There should be a sense of urgency when we play here. I thought there were some good plays on both sides."
Quarterbacks Jaybo Shaw and Jerick McKinnon ran the Eagles' offense, but were not subject to contact. Keeping the quarterbacks protected is critical, but it has changed the physical nature of the practice. Both Shaw and McKinnon started plays from under center and from the shotgun during the scrimmage.
"We got in the (shot)gun more just to protect those guys -- it's good work for our defense because they will see a lot more of that than they will what we do," Monken said. "We'd like to do more of our stuff, but I am just very cautious about really, one fully healthy quarterback in Jerick. Jaybo is getting better and improving, (but this is) just to keep him out of the fray a little bit. It's tag, that doesn't make it (practice) quite the same."
Even without live quarterbacks, the other Eagles benefit from the experience of the scrimmage and subsequent film review.
"I would like to be injury free from here on out," Monken said. "We have had some injuries over the spring, those are always frustrating, but you need the competition. We have guys who are getting better. We have guys who were veterans, who have played, who are getting better every time we go out there."
Georgia Southern has yet to enjoy the benefit of strength in numbers. With several members of last year's defense not on the practice field this spring due to either graduation or injury, other players step in to fill those spots on the depth chart. Monken focused in on the defense Saturday as the learning process continues for both veterans and the less experienced players.
"We have a lot of young guys playing," Monken said. "There is a lot of stuff we are throwing at them. We just tried to simplify our plan today and I got involved with that in the last couple of days. I was really trying to pay attention to both sides and I got involved with the defense to help them. We are all on the same team and I try to be actively involved with it as much as I can. We have great assistant coaches, they do a great job, I'm just there to support them."
Junior linebacker Tavaris Williams (Valdosta, Ga.) was reinstated to the team.
SPRING FOOTBALL PRACTICE SCHEDULE
Georgia Southern Football practices are open to the public, but any filming, recording or photography is limited to members of the media only.
2011 SPRING PRACTICE DATES
Tuesday, April 12
Thursday, April 14
Friday, April 15 (Spring Game - Paulson Stadium), 7 p.m.
FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS
The annual Blue-White game will be held on Friday, April 15th at 7 p.m. as the final scrimmage of the spring. Admission is free. Special events leading up to the game include a tailgate in support of the ADA "Kiss-a-Pig" fundraising campaign for the Statesboro/Bulloch County team of Bubba Hunt and Coach Monken, a Little Eagles Football Skills Clinic from 5-6 p.m. and the Blue-White Eagle Rally immediately following the clinic.
EFFA REVERSE RAFFLE & AUCTION
The fourth annual Eagle Football Assistance Association (EFAA) Reverse Raffle and Auction is scheduled for Saturday, April 16th, the night after the Blue-White Spring Game. The evening of great live entertainment, food and opportunity to spend time with the Georgia Southern Football coaching staff and former Eagle players also features the opportunity to win $10,000.
The social hour, ticket check-in and silent auction begins at 6 p.m. at the Gene Bishop Field House. Items for the silent auction include Georgia Southern game day experiences, memorabilia, a round of golf with former Eagle football legends and other packages.
Reverse Raffle tickets can be purchased from the Georgia Southern Athletic Foundation for $100 each and each ticket covers food, beverages for the ticket purchaser and a guest. Reverse Raffle ticket purchasers need not be present at the event to win the grand prize.
Created to assist former Eagles in need of financial help, the EFAA invites all former football players, coaches and athletics staff to support the association through annual membership and fundraising efforts. Proceeds from the Reverse Raffle event benefit perennial EFAA projects including the Erk Russell Memorial Scholarship, the Eagle Fund, the GSU Athletic Foundation and Georgia Southern Football.
For more information about the event or to purchase tickets for the Reverse Raffle, contact the Georgia Southern University Athletic Foundation at (912) 478-5520.
- Category: Football
- Published on Saturday, 09 April 2011 17:16