Georgia Southern and Furman Face Off in Regular Season Finale
STATESBORO, Ga. - The regular season finale at Furman is on the slate today for the Georgia Southern Football team (6-4, 4-3 SoCon). The rivalry between the Eagles and Paladins dates back to the 1985 national championship game where the two teams met for the first time in Tacoma, Wash. Georgia Southern rallied from a 22-point third-quarter deficit culminating in victory when quarterback Tracy Ham threw a bullet of a touchdown pass to Frankie Johnson in the final seconds to claim the Eagles' first title.
The Paladins would deny the Eagles a championship in 1988, winning 17-12 in Pocatello. The two teams have not met in a championship game since, but the contests have been no less intense. Going back to 2000, neither team has won more than two games in a row, and in the last seven games, the average margin of victory is only five points.
2 p.m., Saturday, November 20th at Paladin Stadium (grass/capacity 16,000)
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 Paladin Stadium by tuning in at 101.7 FM.
WHERE TO WATCH
Georgia Southern fans will be able to view the Eagles-Paladins football game webcast, available by subscription, by accessing the Paladins athletics website for video at http://client.stretchinternet.com/client/furman.portal#. Registration may be required.
Georgia Southern leads the overall series with Furman 13-8 and has a slim 5-4 edge over the Paladins in their home stadium. The road team has won the last two meetings with Furman taking a 30-22 win at Paulson Stadium last year and the Eagles posting a 17-10 victory in Greenville in 2008. The last seven meetings have been decided by an average margin of victory of only 5.0 points.
Jeff Monken, with 21 years of coaching experience, is in his first year as head coach of the Eagles. The Joliet, Ill., native picked up another win over a ranked team last week after Georgia Southern defeated top-ranked Appalachian State 21-14 in overtime at Paulson Stadium. Earlier in the season, the Eagles beat #10/#11 Elon at home 38-21. 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 history between Georgia Southern and Furman Head Coach Bobby Lamb goes back to his playing days when the Eagles and Paladins met in the I-AA National Championship game in 1985. Lamb, the starting quarterback for Furman, helped the Paladins to a 12-1 record to that point before Georgia Southern engineered 44-42 comeback win for its first title. Lamb was honored as the Southern Conference Player of the Year in 1985 and would begin his coaching career as a student assistant at his alma mater the following year.
In his 25th year on the Furman coaching staff and ninth as the Paladins' head coach, Lamb ranks among the leaders of active FCS head coaches with at least five years of service to their institution.
GRIDIRON POWER INDEX
The latest Gridiron Power Index (GPI) of the 2010 season was released earlier this week with Delaware in the top spot and four Southern Conference teams ranked in the top 20. The Eagles are currently in the 20th in the index ranking with Appalachian State at number two, Wofford at 10th and Chattanooga at 16th.
RED ZONE SUCCESS
Georgia Southern began the season a perfect 7-7 in its trips to the red zone and currently stands at a 91 percent success rate (33-36), good for third in the nation. Furman ranks first nationally with 95 percent success in the red zone (39-41).
RUSSELL ON BUCHANAN WATCH LIST
Brent Russell's disruptive play as a nose tackle earned him a spot on the Buck Buchanan Award Watch List. The Buchanan Award, presented by The Sports Network and sponsored by Fathead.com, features a stellar 20-player Watch List to identify the top candidates for the Football Championship Subdivision's (FCS) outstanding defensive player award. The award winner will be announced at the national awards banquet on Thursday, Jan. 6 in Frisco, Texas - the night before the FCS national championship game.
SCOTT SCAMPERS FOR RECORD
Junior kickoff return specialist Laron Scott (Warner Robins, Ga.) broke Anthony Williams single-game record for most kickoff returns in a single-game with his 146 yards against Samford last weekend. Scott's 76-yard return brought the Paulson Stadium crowd to their feet and accounted for more than half his total on the day. Scott has 684 kickoff return yards on the year, just 31 shy of Nay Young's 1986 season record of 715. Scott's 2010 total is second only to Young on the single-season chart.
RUSSELL AND BROWN SELECTED FOR SOCON HONORS
The Southern Conference named its football players of the week following outstanding performances in games of Saturday, November 13th. Eagle running back Robert Brown was selected as the Freshman of the Week for the second straight week and Georgia Southern sophomore nose tackle Brent Russell (Comer, Ga.) earned Defensive Player of the Week honors. The players of the week are selected by the league office.
A dominating presence on the defensive line, Russell finished second on the team with seven tackles as Georgia Southern defeated Western Carolina, 28-6 Saturday in Cullowhee, N.C. The sophomore nose tackle tallied a career-high 3.5 tackles for loss which resulted in minus 22 yards and was also credited with a sack for negative 12 yards. He is second in the conference with 14.5 tackles for loss this season and ranks fifth in the league in sacks (6.0).
Brown was named the league's Freshman of the Week for the second consecutive week. A native of Macon, Ga., he rushed for a personal-best 153 yards and a touchdown in GSU's win. Brown ripped off an 80-yard touchdown run in the third quarter to give the Eagles a 21-6 lead. It was the longest run by an Eagle this season. He added one reception for seven yards.
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 81. Mora has been perfect in PATs in his career, 81-81 (31 in 2008, 19 in 2009, and 31 straight so far in 2010). Mora has accounted for at least one point in every game in which he has played.
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.
Live stats can be followed on GeorgiaSouthernEagles.com website by scrolling to the schedule at the bottom of the home page and clicking on the "Live Stats" link. Score and quarter updates will also be available on twitter.com/GSScores.
- Category: Football
- Published on Saturday, 20 November 2010 11:30