By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
GSU drops in polls, prepares for Citadel

For the first time in seven weeks, Georgia Southern’s football team is not ranked No. 1 in The Sports Network/ FCS Top 25 Poll or the FCS Coaches Poll.

GSU (7-1 overall, 5-1 Southern Conference) on Monday dropped to No. 5 in the TSN/ Poll and fell to No. 4 in the FCS Coaches Poll after losing, 24-17, to Appalachian State on Saturday in Boone, N.C. Appalachian State (6-2, 4-1) moved up two spots to No. 3 in both polls.

"We’ve got a lot to build on. It’s not our last game of the season," said GSU nose tackle Brent Russell, who made a team-high 10 tackles, including a sack. "I think this entire team’s mindset is we’re never going to give up. It’s why we carry that black flag. It means never surrender. Everybody has that mindset. We’re going to fight you for 60 minutes or overtime if we have to."

North Dakota State (8-0) moved up two spots in both polls and is the new No. 1 after a 27-19 victory over Northern Iowa (6-2), formerly No. 2 in both polls. Northern Iowa dropped to No. 6 in both polls.

Montana State (8-1) moved up two spots to No. 2 in both polls after beating Idaho State, 54-13.

Wofford (6-2, 4-1) moved up a spot to No. 11 in the TSN/ Poll but remained No. 9 in the FCS Coaches Poll.


The Citadel

GSU will attempt to rebound against The Citadel (4-4, 2-4) in a SoCon game at 2 p.m. Saturday at Paulson Stadium. It will be the Eagles’ homecoming game.

The Citadel crushed Virginia Military Institute, 41-14, on Saturday in Charleston, S.C. Perhaps more impressive, the Bulldogs scored 42 points in a 49-42 loss to Appalachian State on Oct. 15.

"We’ve got to get ready," GSU quarterback Jaybo Shaw said. "The Citadel scored 42 points on App, so we’ve got our hands full this week. We’ve got to put this one behind us and get ready for The Citadel."

The Citadel, which uses a triple-option offense, is eighth among the SoCon’s nine teams in total offense, averaging 341.9 yards per game.

The Bulldogs’ defense is third in the league, allowing 329.5 yards per game. GSU’s defense is fourth, allowing 335.4 yards per game.


Season-low total offense


GSU produced a season-low 201 yards of total offense on 62 plays compared to Appalachian State’s 320 yards on 59 plays.

"We practiced multiple (defensive) fronts that they were going to show, and they did that," Shaw said. "It’s just, the credit goes to them. They made the plays and we didn’t."

The Eagles generated 69 yards of total offense on 28 plays in the first half, while the Mountaineers had 247 yards on 33 plays.

GSU head coach Jeff Monken said he was pleased with the Eagles’ effort, particularly in the second half.

"I’m just really disappointed with the way we kind of seemed to get manhandled a little bit in the first half by their defense," Monken said. "We weren’t getting much movement, and we weren’t doing a very good job blocking on the perimeter. We just weren’t making plays. And don’t just make plays with the ball. You know, there’s 11 guys out there that have to make plays. We didn’t do a great job of that."


Mora moves up

GSU kicker Adrian Mora moved into sole possession of fifth place on the Eagles’ all-time scoring list Saturday.

Mora, who was tied with Tim Foley at 300 points, kicked a 22-yard field goal against Appalachian State. He also made two extra-point attempts.

With 305 points, Mora needs 35 points to tie Gerald Harris (340 points) for fourth place.

Mora extended his consecutive extra-points streak to 137. The senior has never missed.


GSU’s President has surgery

GSU President Brooks Keel had surgery Sunday to repair a broken left ankle that he suffered after being accidentally hit by a player while standing on the Eagles’ sideline against Appalachian State.

According to GSU spokesman Christian Flathman, Keel is in good spirits and he is recovering at his home in Statesboro.

"We have been very moved by the outpouring of well wishes from the entire Eagle Nation," Keel said in a statement. "I particularly want to express thanks to the outstanding staff at Appalachian State University, including the athletic director, trainers and medical personnel. They are a class act and I appreciate their help and support. I hope to be back at work and on the sidelines as soon as possible. Go Eagles!"


Noell Barnidge can be reached at (912) 489-9408