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Samford trips up Georgia Southern

Bulldogs win third straight against Eagles

Samford trips up Georgia Southern

Samford trips up Georgia Southern

Georgia Southern wide receiver Mitche...


Samford came to town with every intention of putting the ball into the hands of senior running back Chris Evans.

Georgia Southern couldn’t stop it.

Evans rumbled his way to 188 total offensive yards — 14 more than the entire GSU offense — as the Eagles dropped a 20-13 decision Saturday afternoon at Paulson Stadium.

Georgia Southern (4-4, 2-3 Southern Conference) rushed for only 122 yards and true freshman fullback Robert Brown was held to 42 yards on 13 carries.

"When they’re taking the fullback, you’ve got to be able to run the ball to the perimeter, so we were out there trying to perimeter block," said GSU coach Jeff Monken. "They were coming up the field real hard, so you’ve got to be able to throw a play-action pass. We either couldn’t protect or we had it in our chest and they intercepted it. You’ve got to be able to do something, and we just weren’t doing anything very good."

Junior quarterback Jaybo Shaw, who was injured on October 23 against The Citadel, didn’t play until the third quarter, and true freshman Jerick McKinnon (17 carries, 61 yards, TD) got the start.

McKinnon led the Eagles to a touchdown on their first drive, resulting in a 6-0 lead after marching 69 yards on 12 plays. McKinnon scored on a one-yard keeper, but a faked two-point conversion by J.J. Wilcox fell short.

The Eagles only managed 19 yards for the rest of the half.

"They stayed in the same defense the entire night. I think we got complacent after going down there on the first drive and scoring," said GSU slotback Darreion Robinson. "It kind of backfired on us. We didn’t have as much enthusiasm as we did on that first drive."

Evans scored Samford’s first touchdown from five yards out in the Wildcat formation early in the second quarter, the end result of a 98-yard drive that began after a Charlie Edwards punt down to the 2-yard line, and Cameron Yaw kicked a 46-yard field goal with six seconds left before halftime to give the Bulldogs (4-4, 2-3) a 10-6 advantage at the break.

Shaw entered the game on the third drive of the third quarter, after Yaw kicked his second field goal of the game and GSU trailed 13-6, and led the Eagles to their second and second and final score of the game in the fourth quarter.

"Coach Monken came to me and told me I was up that series," said Shaw. "I was able to make some plays, but that’s not all on Jerick because the offense stalled out. Heck, we stalled out after that touchdown drive that I had. You can say that both ways, but we just have to get back to work."

Shaw’s first three drives were unsuccessful, and the third resulted in an interception in Samford territory.

With 8:24 remaining in the game, Shaw attempted a pass to Robinson, which deflected into the air and was picked off by Sean Thompson.

"I was running a wheel route, I turned my head and it was already there," Robinson said. It just bounced off my hands and the defense came up with it."

"We can’t turn the ball over," Monken said. "We’re just not good enough to turn the ball over and give them a short field, which we did a couple of times."

The play led to a 21-yard Samford drive that consisted of four-straight carries by Evans and resulted in a 20-6 SU lead.

On the ensuing kickoff, GSU cornerback Laron Scott had a 76-yard return that set up Shaw’s scoring drive. Nico Hickey got a first down on a 10-yard option pitch and Shaw scored on the next play from 11 yards out.

Scott finished the game with 146 kick-return yards and wasn’t the only bright spot on special teams. Edwards averaged 42.5 yards on six punts and pinned it inside the 11-yard line three times.

"He’s our best offensive player right now," Monken said about Edwards. "We gain 50 yards every time he goes out there. He’s a fantastic punter, he’s done a great job, he buried them a couple times inside the five and he’s playing as good a job at his position as you could ask a guy to play."

The Eagles won’t have long to recover from the loss to Samford – the third in as many years and third-straight since Samford joined the SoCon in 2008 — as No. 1 Appalachian State comes to town for Georgia Southern’s homecoming Saturday.

Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. at Paulson Stadium.

NOTES

 

 

: Halftime saw the recognition of the 2010 Georgia Southern Hall of Fame induction class. All seven inductees — Tara Chaisson (women’s soccer), Pat Douglas (football), Greg Hill (football), Paul Johnson (football coach), Stacy Scheible (women’s swimming), Jeff Shireman (baseball) and Britta Wilms (women’s tennis) were recognized in the ceremony. … The game marked the fourth-straight 100-plus yard rushing game for Evans. … Announced attendance was 15,341.

 

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

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