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GSU football: Ready or not, here they come
041010 GSU FOOTBALL 01 web
Georgia Southern defenders K.R. Snipes, top, and Zay Shorthouse sack quarterback Russell DeMasi in the backfield during Saturday's scrimmage at Paulson Stadium. - photo by SCOTT BRYANT/staff

For all the Georgia Southern fans who spent the last four years thinking about B-backs, veers, pitches, slotbacks and how “pitching it forward” doesn’t seem to work in Paulson Stadium, next Saturday probably can’t come fast enough.

The Eagles will unveil the newly-installed-yet-still-retro-triple-option offense they’ve spent the spring installing at the annual Blue and White game and, for a lot of you, it’s about time.

Sitting in the stands and watching the second scrimmage Saturday, the thought that kept popping into my head was, “Just give it time.”

The spring game will be a big day for a lot of fans who haven’t seen this group of Eagles running the option, so, rather than write up a recap of Saturday’s scrimmage, I decided I’d rather just prepare everybody for a little bit of what to expect next weekend.

If you came here for a recap, here it is – Tobi Akinnirayne looked awesome with limited chances, taking four carries for 42 yards, quarterback Jawaun Luckey had a 53-yard touchdown run and a nine-yard TD pass, and if you take out Akinnirayne’s four carries and Luckey’s long run, GSU carried it 83 times for only 232 yards and completed six of 16 pass attempts.

And that’s about it.

Yikes.

Granted, of the 26 tackles for loss or no gain, most were sacks (here we go again) and fumbles, and those are the types of miscues that will improve with repetition and time.

But that’s the problem.

Folks around here are sick and tired of hearing about how they have to wait for the team to get better. They don’t care how young the team is, they don’t care how many players quit, or got booted off the team, or flunked out over the last three or four years, and they certainly don’t care that the Eagles are on their fifth coach since the last national championship in 2000.

Just win, baby. Right?

Well, in my oft-off-based and semi-scatterbrained opinion, next Saturday at the Prettiest Little Stadium in America may be a reality check for a lot of people.

There will probably be turnovers. There will probably be missed assignments. There will probably be some ugly things on both sides of the ball.

But, there’ll also be some long runs, some big hits by a defense that seems all of a sudden enlightened, and maybe even some long passes for touchdowns (something which, as a passing team, didn’t seem to happen all that much.)

After all the bad things that happened on that turf on Saturday, first-year head coach Jeff Monken and the rest of the staff still haven’t shown the slightest signs of panicking.

I guess I’m trying to make two points.

Number one – Georgia Southern fans no longer trust coach speak or promises of what the distant, distant future holds.

Number two – the coaching staff seems to like the way things are heading.

And that’s about all I know after watching three weeks of practicing and scrimmages.

I guess all that’s left to do next Saturday at Paulson Stadium is sit back, relax, don’t hit the panic button quite yet and try not to freak out, at least until the season actually starts.

If you try to see the forest for the trees at the Blue and White game next weekend, you may even see flashes of why everyone wanted the option back in the first place.

 

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