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Southern will continue to use the Clark-Foster tandem

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Posted: November 14, 2006 8:46 p.m.
Updated: November 22, 2006 5:00 a.m.
    Georgia Southern will continue to use the two-quarterback system it unveiled last weekend at Furman, but Eagle coach Brian VanGorder said he doesn’t envision using Jayson Foster as much as he did last week.
    Foster, a receiver who started at quarterback in 2005, took the majority of snaps against Furman because of an undisclosed injury to regular starter Travis Clark. Foster’s playing time in Saturday’s 1 p.m. season finale against Central Arkansas (7-3) will depend on Clark’s health, said VanGorder, who wouldn’t specify Clark’s injury.
    “He’s just been battered and banged up like a lot of players and a lot of quarterbacks,” the first-year coach said.
    Coaches used Foster at the helm very occasionally early in the season and constantly reiterate their desire to get the elusive runner the ball more. They finally did last Saturday when the junior had a season-high 21 carries for 157 yards and one touchdown.
    But Foster’s efforts couldn’t pull Georgia Southern out of its four-game offensive slump. The Eagles (3-7) were held to 121 total yards in the first half – 83 came on Foster’s TD sprint – and 278 for the game. GSU was shutout in the final two quarters for the fourth time this year, and the Eagles’ 10 points tied the season-low set the week earlier in a loss to Wofford.
    Furman’s defense wasn’t thrown off by the continuous switch between Foster and Clark partly because the Eagles called a running play every time Foster was at the helm and used Clark primarily in passing situations. Clark, whose last successful outing was also GSU’s last win (Oct. 14 versus Elon), was 8 of 18 for 57 yards against the Paladins.
    Hoping to spark their troubled offense, the Eagles may make some adjustments this week.
“We’ll be a little bit more multiple in first and second-down situations with both (Foster and Clark), but right now that’s just where we need to be,” VanGorder said. “It’s a good little tempo change for us. Hopefully (with) the package that we used for Jayson we can grow a little bit and make them prepare for both (quarterbacks).”
    Will the Eagles allow Foster to throw the ball, a tactic Central Arkansas’ defense may not anticipate?
    “We might,” said VanGorder, who was unsure if the Eagles will go with the Clark-Foster tandem next year
    “I honestly don’t know right now,” he said. “We’ve struggled down the stretch here, and it’s kind of hard to put your finger on exactly why. We had Travis really developing through about midseason, then for whatever reason, we just haven’t played as well. That’s not unusual, it happens at every level of football, but we’ve got to find out why. We have to find out if we can indeed overcome that.”
    
    Alex Pellegrino can be reached at (912) 489-9413.

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