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Same song, but a very different story

Same song, but a very different story

Same song, but a very different story

The Citadel wide receiver Andre Rober...


    Both teams switched to the triple option during the offseason, but the reason was entirely different in each case.
    Georgia Southern fired coach Chris Hatcher after his spread, passing attack finished 2009 with a 5-6 record. The Citadel lost its best player — wide receiver Andre Roberts — to the NFL Draft.
    Both teams hired a former Georgia Southern coach — Jeff Monken took over as head coach of the Eagles, while former GSU and VMI assistant coach Bob Bodine was brought in as The Citadel’s offensive coordinator — and made a good deal of offensive changes.
    Now, both teams run the football with the spread-option, dual-slotback look, and the biggest difference has been in offensive production. The Eagles (3-3, 1-2 Southern Conference) score 32.3 points per game, while the Bulldogs (2-5, 0-4) average just 19.3.
    Still, the main philosophy is the same.
    “Their play is to run the option and try to get the fullback going,” said GSU coach Jeff Monken. “I’d say that anybody that runs a type of offense similar to what we do, that’s their main focus. The overall scheme and the philosophy, I think they’re the same.”
    Georgia Southern has used a three-man attack at the fullback position, with true freshman Robert Brown getting a bulk of the carries before leaving the Coastal Carolina game on September 18 with a back injury. Since then, Tobi Akinniranye (31 carries, 215 yards, three touchdowns) and Lee Banks (44-179) have carried the load.
    Brown got one carry in GSU’s 35-27 loss at Chattanooga last Saturday and fumbled it. This week was his first full week of practice since CCU.
    “This week he got hit, and I know he feels a lot more comfortable going in there,” said offensive coordinator Brent Davis. “He practiced fast this week. He knows his assignments better than he did before he got hurt because he stayed mentally into it. It’s good to have a little bit of depth there.”
    Defensively, the Eagles will be without Carson Hill, who was injured in the October 9 loss to Wofford. Senior walkon Jawaun Luckey, who played quarterback in the spring and was moved to slotback in the fall before working with the scout team, was moved to corner to add depth to the position.
    The rest of the defense — which held Navy’s similar offensive scheme to 109 rushing yards on Sept. 11 — appears to be intact.
    That should bode well against the struggling Bulldogs.
    “They’re cut from the same mold,” said defensive coordinator Brent Pry about The Citadel. “A lot of the things that our guys do out here, we see in the Citadel. They have a two-platoon quarterback, so that’s a little different, each one of them brings a little different element to it. But for the most part their awfully similar to what we see out here at practice.”
    Georgia Southern faces The Citadel Saturday at 1 p.m. in Carleston, S.C.

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

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