Eagles Travel to Colorado State for Regular Season Finale
STATESBORO, Ga. Georgia Southern Football closes out the regular season this Saturday (Nov. 17), with hopes of making the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision playoffs very much alive. The Eagles (7-3 overall) travel to Colorado State, kickoff scheduled for 2 p.m. Eastern (12 noon local).
This will be the first meeting between the 16th-ranked Eagles and Colorado State, a member of the Mountain West Conference. If Georgia Southern wins, it will strengthen its resume in order to receive one of the eight playoff at-large bids available. The playoff announcement show will take place Sunday afternoon.
Every Eagle Football game can also be heard on the Georgia Southern Radio Network (flagship station 102.9 FM in Statesboro). Chris Blair, Terry Harvin and Ryan Chambers will call the action as the pregame broadcast begins two hours before kickoff.
Georgia Southern squares off against its first Football Bowl Subdivision opponent since the 2004 season. That year the Eagles defeated Florida International (in transition to the FBS level) 53-32 in the regular season finale. To open the season GS traveled to Georgia and fought hard in a 48-28 defeat. The Colorado State game will mark the 16th time Georgia Southern has played a NCAA Division I-FBS opponent since 1984.
The Eagles continue to lead the nation in rushing offense averaging 324 yards on the ground per game. Georgia Southern also ranks eighth nationally in total offense (451 ypg), 10th in scoring offense (36.8 ppg), tops in fourth down conversions (85 percent), tied for fourth in turnovers lost (11) and tied for fifth in fewest passes had intercepted (4).
Jayson Foster (Canton/Cherokee County) will be listed on the final ballot for the Walter Payton Award, as announced earlier this week. The senior quarterback is making a strong case to become just the second Eagle ever to win the award. He is the first GS quarterback in eight years to record 1,000 yards rushing (1,649) and passing (1,096) in the same season. Among the 16 finalists, Foster ranks third in total offense and tied for fourth in touchdowns accounted for. He is the only finalist to record 1,000 yards rushing and passing. Last week Foster broke the NCAA Division I record for most season rushing yards by a quarterback.
Foster enters the game ranked third nationally averaging 165 rushing yards per game, and 36th recording a 131.94 passing efficiency. He also ranks among the national leaders in: total offense (17th, 274.5 ypg), all-purpose yards (ninth, 181.8 ypg), scoring (third, 12.6 ppg) and punt returns (55th, 7.6 ypr). Foster is the nation’s only quarterback ranked in punt return average.
Senior running back Lamar Lewis (Jacksonville, FL/Trinity Christian) is third in the Southern Conference and 41st nationally averaging 93 yards per game. Raja Andrews (Swainsboro/Swainsboro) moved up to fourth among the GS season Top 10’ leaders with 34 receptions this year. The junior wide receiver is five away from tying the season record. Andrews also leads the team with 378 receiving yards, three receiving TDs and 423 yards on kickoff returns.
Jesse Hartley (Tallahassee, FL/Lincoln) also set a program record last week, his 43rd consecutive extra point made this season. The junior place kicker is tied for 20th nationally in scoring, averaging 8.8 points per game. Having made 15-of-22 field goals this year, Hartley is two away from tying the Georgia Southern season record.
Junior Chris Covington (Lawrenceville/Brookwood) continues to lead the Southern Conference and is tied for 29th nationally with four interceptions. He also leads the team with 63 tackles. Fellow junior Quentin Taylor (Apopka, FL/Apopka) is second on the squad averaging 5.8 tackles per game.
CSU enters the game 1-9, its win a 48-23 decision at UNLV. The Rams are coming off a last second defeat at New Mexico when John Sullivan nailed a 43-yard FG as time expired for a 26-23 win. Gartrell Johnson rushed for 172 yards on 31 carries. Caleb Hanie completed 13-of-19 passes for 221 yards and two touchdowns while Johnny Walker caught seven passes for 177 yards and was on the receiving end of the two TD passes. Jason Smith nailed field goals of 37, 23 and 32 yards but missed from 42. CSU held the ball nearly seven minutes longer and was 6-of-16 on third down. Tommie Hill, Nathan Pauly, Jeff Horinek and Darry Williams had six tackles apiece.
Overall Colorado State ranks 27th nationally averaging 23.4 yards per kickoff return. Hill is tied for 62nd in sacks (0.55). Jim Kaylor is 18th nationally averaging 43.6 yards per punt. Hanie is 43rd in passing efficiency (132.96) and 74th in total offense (195.3).
Published on Wednesday, 14 November 2007 00:09