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Eagles prepare for test vs. Terriers

 

When the Wofford Terriers defeated No. 18 Furman Saturday, the Southern Conference was generally surprised.

Georgia Southern wasn’t.

As they prepare for the Terriers (3-1, 1-0 SoCon) this upcoming weekend, the Eagles (3-1, 1-0) know better than to take lightly a team that runs the football as well as Wofford, which averages 322 yards per game on the ground.

"I think their ranked No. 1 in rushing offense in the entire nation," said middle linebacker Josh Rowe, who recorded 10 tackles on Sept. 11 against Navy — the last option team the Eagles faced, "so it will be a big challenge for us."

Wofford likes to get its receivers involved in the running game, use shotgun and misdirection and spread the field east and west, as opposed to GSU’s more north-and-south running approach.

"They’re very multiple," said GSU offensive coordinator Brent Davis. "Their base triple option play is more about attacking the perimeter. They probably do a lot more misdirection than we do, and for some reason when they line up in the shotgun, the safeties have trouble staying in their lanes."

Still, for the GSU cornerbacks, it will be nothing new.

"I’ve still got a clean vision on the wingbacks or the slotbacks," said senior corner Carson Hill. "It’s a little different when they’re in the shotgun formation and you’re like, ‘Whoa, are they about to pass it or what?’ But it’s Wofford, so it’s 85 percent run."

 

This one’s personal

Hill has the rare opportunity at a third shot at Wofford. While Georgia Southern has gone 2-2 against the Terriers since Hill arrived in 2006, the Eagles have lost two straight to WC at Paulson Stadium, and three of the last four.

"They came and beat me my freshman year at Paulson. My junior year they beat us at Paulson," Hill said. "It’s the option, and we’ve just got to prepare to play assignment football. Everything will take care of itself."

 

A week off

Georgia Southern got some much-needed time off over the weekend with its bye coming at the same time as Appalachian State and Chattanooga.

The break was nice, but the Eagles were glad to get back to work.

"Once the bye week comes, you’re excited just to have the weekend off," Hill said. "You watch some football and just relax. But Monday or Tuesday you’re back to game mode. I’m ready to play now."

The extra time also gave the Eagles a few more days to transition from defending Elon’s spread passing attack and prepare for Wofford’s multiple, option-based running attack.

"Playing against the spread it’s kind of a finesse offense. You play against the triple option — teams like Navy and Wofford — you know it’s going to be physical, you know you’re going to get hit every play. You’ve just got to prepare yourself to get hit. Don’t be the nail. Be the hammer."

 

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

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