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Monken halftime speech a reality check

            ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Georgia Southern ran 21 plays in the first half and put up 23 yards against Navy Saturday the home opener for the Midshipmen.

            They hit the locker room at halftime, where first-year GSU coach Jeff Monken gave them a challenge.

            “I can’t repeat [some of what] I said at halftime,” he said. “But I was not happy with the way we were playing. I thought our guys needed to play with more confidence – like they were supposed to win the game. I thought we played that way in the second half. … I think our team decided they were capable of hanging in there and at least making this thing a football game.”

            The Eagles more than doubled their first-half production on the first drive of the third quarter, building on a 49-yard Laron Scott kickoff return and marching more 49 yards in 5:52 to cut the Navy lead to 13-7 on a 17-yard pass from Jaybo Shaw to slotback J.J. Wilcox on 4th-and-8.

            “They kind of came out and hit us in the mouth, didn’t let us get anything going,” said GSU quarterback Jaybo Shaw. “After the second half we settled down. It wasn’t so much us doing something different. We were just able to settle down and play our football.”

 

We’ve got that covered

            For GSU cornerback Carson Hill, the Navy game was something for the defense to build on. There’s still some work to do, but after holding a Navy offense that rushed for 412 yards against Maryland Monday to just 109 on the ground, Hill feels like stopping the run is less of a concern these days.

            “It’s something we can build off of. It shows we can stop the run,” he said. “We can definitely stop the run game.”

 

A measuring stick

            Navy has won eight or more football games in each of the last seven seasons.

            Not only was having a win in reach encouraging for a GSU team learning a new offense, but it also gave the players a good way to see how they measure up with the FBS.

            “They’ve won a lot of football games here,” Shaw said, “and you could definitely tell that this we need to get to, and to be even better.”

 

The ‘other’ D. Robinson

            Darrion Robinson is in his second season as a running back/kick returner at GSU.

            The other D. Robinson – true freshman Darries Robinson – was declared eligible by the NCAA on Tuesday, suited up, and got 12 yards on three carries in his firt game Saturday.

            He got the ball on 4th-and-1 in the fourth quarter, converting a first down on the Eagles’ final drive of the game.

            True freshman offensive lineman Zach Lonas also got his first start after Blake DeBartola moved to center to replace Brandavious Mann as the starter in Saturday’s game.

 

All in the family

            Senior linebacker E.J. Webb celebrated his birthday Saturday, and 70 friends and family members were in attendance.

            Saturday was also the anniversary of Georgia Southern’s first football game of the modern era – a 16-9 win over Central Florida on Sept. 11, 1982 in Jacksonville, Fla.

 

            Matt Yogus can be reached at (912) 489-9408.

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