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Dominique Swope misses game with injury


CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — Georgia Southern’s leading rusher didn’t travel with the Eagles for Saturday’s epic, 39-31, three-overtime win over Chattanooga in Finley Stadium.

Dominique Swope, who leads GSU (7-1, 6-1 Southern Conference) with 729 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns, was out with an undisclosed injury.

"We didn’t say anything about it," said GSU coach Jeff Monken, "because we didn’t want to give Chattanooga the chance to gameplan without him, but we expect him to be back next week."

Without Swope, the Eagles relied on B-back by committee. William Banks led the way with 18 carries for 69 yards. On the season, Swope averages 104.1 yards per game.

"I think he’s our best B-back, and that’s why he’s out starter," Monken said about Swope. "Those other guys did a really good job. Will Banks ran the ball hard and got some tough yards for us. He had to slug it out. James Dean played some. Seon Jones played some."

Banks, Dean and Jones combined for 23 carries for 83 yards.

Banks credits the offensive line, the same starting lineup that the Eagles used against Wofford in a 17-9 win.

"They’ve got to get the push up front," Banks said. "We’ve just got to keep our eyes open and find the hole."


Honoring a teammate

The Eagles wore an emblem with the letters "EV" on their helmets, in honor of Elizabeth Volker, a student manager who died on Monday.

The Mocs shared in the tribute, also wearing the emblem.

Georgia Southern’s student managers carried the team’s black flag onto the field before the game.


Banged up

Georgia Southern defensive tackle Brent Russell played on an ankle he said he sprained the previous Saturday against Furman.

Russell wasn’t too concerned about the injury, or the taped-up ankle.

"Well, I played the whole game," said the senior. "This time of year, everybody’s got bumps and bruises."

Russell finished with one tackle, but was involved throughout the game.

Manrey Saint-Amour, the starting center, left the game with a first-half injury. Senior Blake DeBartola finished out the game at the position.


A lot to take in

Russell knows the defense didn’t play perfect against the Mocs (4-4, 3-2), but with the fast-paced way the game played out, he’s not sure exactly where the problems were.

"So much stuff just happened," he said, "it’s hard to get it picture in your head. Right now we’re just going to enjoy it, and look at the tape (Sunday) because I know there’s going to be a lot of stuff to correct."

It was reminiscent of GSU’s 35-27 loss to UTC at Finley Stadium in 2010.

"I had flashbacks to two years ago," said Russell. "They came out and just ran the ball on us in the fourth quarter. Luckily this year, we were able to get some stops."


This and that

McKinnon’s three rushing touchdowns were a career high. Robinson’s two scores also set a career high. … The Eagles improved to 2-7 under Monken when trailing in the fourth quarter. … McKinnon’s two-point conversion in overtime was the first in GSU history. The Eagles improved to 7-5 all-time in overtime games. … Announced attendance was 8,908.


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