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A look at GSU’s non-conference football games

It’s officially July, which means Georgia Southern football kicks off the 2008 season in less than two months.
    We know you can’t wait.
    To help you through the downtime, here’s a quick look at what you need to know about Georgia Southern’s non-conference opponents. With the addition of Samford to the Southern Conference slate, the Eagles step out of league play only three times this fall. First up:

Aug. 30
GSU at Georgia

    This definitely isn’t an ideal year to open the season at Georgia. The Bulldogs are still peeved they were left out the national championship game a year ago and return 19 starters from a team that finished 11-2 and ranked second in the nation after blowing out 10th-ranked Hawaii in the Sugar Bowl.
    Leading the way on offense is junior quarterback Matthew Stafford, who threw for 2,523 yards and 19 touchdowns last season. And don’t forget about stud tailback Knowshon Moreno, who amassed 1,334 yards and 14 touchdowns as a freshman. As a unit, the Bulldog offense averaged more than 375 yards and 32 points a game last season, so no doubt they’ll keep Georgia Southern’s defense busy.

Sept. 6
Austin Peay at GSU

    The Governors are set to visit Statesboro for the first matchup between Georgia Southern and Austin Peay. This year marks the third season Austin Peay’s offered football scholarships after taking a 10-year break because of limited resources. In 2006, their first year funding scholarships, the Governors went 3-8 as an independent. They improved to 7-4 last season, their first in the Ohio Valley Conference and first under coach Rick Christophel, an Austin Peay alum.
    The Govs are looking to replace their version Jayson Foster, all-everything back Chris Fletcher, who rewrote the school’s record book.
    The Clarksville, Tenn., based school opens the season at North Dakota State before heading to GSU.


Sept. 13
Northeastern at GSU

    The Huskies will make their first visit to Paulson Stadium, the return game from when the Eagles opened the 2005 season at Northeastern. Georgia Southern won that meeting 41-38 in overtime.
    Things haven’t been so great lately for the Huskies, whose last winning season was in 2003.          

    They grew hopeful after winning four of their last six games in 2006 but finished 3-8 (2-6 Colonial Athletic Association) a year ago. Coach Rocky Hager (15-29) is entering his fifth season at the helm.
    It won’t be an easy start to the season for the Huskies, whose trip to Statesboro is sandwiched between a pair of Football Bowl Subdivision games at Ball State and Syracuse. The Huskies welcome back 15 starters.

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