SPARTANBURG, S.C. —Kickoff for the Georgia Southern-Wofford football game Saturday originally was scheduled for 1:30 p.m. but it was moved to 1 p.m. to accommodate the first Republican Presidential Primary debate, which was held at 8 p.m. inside Benjamin Johnson Arena on Wofford’s campus.
"The Secret Service, FBI, CIA, they’re all here," Wofford sports information director Brent Williamson said. "It was pretty strange seeing (Minnesota Congresswoman) Michele Bachmann walking around on campus. (Texas Governor) Rick Perry watched the game from inside the (Wofford) President’s box."
After the game, when GSU head coach Jeff Monken was asked if he saw any Republican Presidential candidates, he said, "I see some guys with earpieces walking around here. I hope they’ll give me a chance to shower."
No rotating quarterbacks
Earlier in the week, Monken said the Eagles might use three quarterbacks — Jaybo Shaw, Jerick McKinnon and Ezayi "Izzy" Youyoute — against Wofford on Saturday.
That didn’t happen. Shaw played the entire game, a week after he and McKinnon rotated at the position against The Citadel.
"It wasn’t a case of we didn’t want to play the other two guys," Monken said as his players celebrated a Southern Conference championship following a 31-10 victory over Wofford. "Both of those guys are capable of making plays. We use Jerick a lot at slot back. Izzy doesn’t have nearly as many snaps as the other two, and it’s a big ball game, a tight ball game, and you’ve got to play the guy that you think is going to give you the best chance. Jaybo was the guy today."
GSU All-America nose tackle Brent Russell played against Wofford after serving a one-game suspension against The Citadel, his punishment for an unspecified violation of team rules.
Russell made five tackles and disrupted Wofford’s running game, which mustered a season-low 192 yards on 37 carries.
"Just his presence, the way he plays the game. He plays it like nobody else," GSU senior cornerback Laron Scott said. "Brent Russell, he’s a man-bear out there going after everybody. It’s amazing just to have him back out there."
Monken said earlier in the week that not having Russell against The Citadel was a major reason the Eagles struggled because he has a knack for stopping the run.
Russell said he received a lot of criticism from people on chatboards earlier in the week and wanted to redeem himself against Wofford.
"I think that’s one of my good characteristics," he said. "I really don’t care what people think. Once I hit the football field, I’m focused on football. Just to come out, be at practice all week with the defense, knowing what we had to do — we had to win the one-on-one battles, play our assignments and get after them — and coming out and basically doing that the whole game, it felt great."
Noell Barnidge can be reached at (912) 489-9408.