By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
GSU rises in polls, braces for Wofford


Georgia Southern’s football team on Monday moved up a spot in both The Sports Network/ Football Championship Subdivision Top-25 poll and the FCS Coaches poll.

GSU (8-1, 6-1) is No. 4 in The Sports Network/ poll and No. 3 in the FCS Coaches poll. The Eagles escaped Paulson Stadium with a 14-12 victory over The Citadel on Saturday, setting up a showdown against No. 9 Wofford (7-2, 5-1) for the Southern Conference championship at 1 p.m. Saturday in Spartanburg, S.C.

"Wofford is not a team to play with," GSU defensive lineman Blake Riley said. "We’ve just got to go out there and do business."

Wofford, which moved up two spots in The Sports Network/ poll, beat Western Carolina, 42-24, on Saturday. The Terriers ran for a season-high 500 yards against the Catamounts.

Appalachian State (6-3, 4-2) dropped from No. 3 to No. 10 in The Sports Network/ poll after losing, 20-10, to Furman (6-3, 5-2) on Saturday. Furman moved up to No. 17 in the poll after not being ranked last week.


New kickoff time

Kickoff for the GSU-Wofford game 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 will be held at 8 p.m. inside Benjamin Johnson Arena on Wofford’s campus.

All parking areas must be cleared within 30 minutes of conclusion of the game, according to Wofford’s athletics department.


Preparing for Wofford

GSU struggled against The Citadel a week after the Eagles lost, 24-17, to Appalachian state. GSU head coach Jeff Monken said he congratulated his team after beating The Citadel, but he also told his players to raise their standards.

"We have very high expectations in our program," Monken said. "There’s six (national championship) flags hanging out there. I can see the 2000 one right there over your shoulder. There’s been six teams here that have won a national championship. There’s been eight teams that have won a conference championship. And those are the standards that have been set for this program.

"And if we’re going to have expectations to accomplish those kinds of things then our standards need to be a lot higher for the way we play. And I don’t think that we played up to those standards today. That’s not taking anything away from The Citadel, but we need to play better.

"We need to execute better. We need to be able to play assignments, tackle better, block better, take care of the football better, if we’re going to play championship-level football. That wasn’t championship-level football that we played out there today. I’m disappointed in that. I guess I should be a lot more happy about winning but, to me, it’s more about the way we play."

GSU has not won a SoCon championship since 2004.

"It comes down to this last (SoCon) game, and we’ve got to try to go up there and win the football game," Monken said. "If we do, we’re the outright conference champs."

Wofford leads the SoCon in total offense, averaging 465.8 yards per game compared to GSU’s 436.9 yards, which is second in the league. The Terriers are second in the SoCon in total defense, allowing 305.9 yards to the Eagles’ 327.4 yards, which is third in the league.

GSU leads the SoCon in scoring offense with 38.1 points per game, while Wofford (36.6) is second. The Terriers, who run the triple-option, lead the league in rushing offense with 374.2 yards per game. GSU is second with 323.8 yards.

GSU leads the SoCon in rushing defense, allowing 115.8 yards per game. Wofford is second, giving up 116.8 yards per game.

"We’ve got our work cut out for us," GSU cornerback Laron Scott said. "It’s going to be a slugfest out there and we know it."


Stanley gets SoCon honor

GSU free safety Deion Stanley on Monday was named SoCon Freshman of the Week for the second time after making a career-high 13 tackles against The Citadel.

Stanley made 11 solo tackles and assisted on two others to help GSU limit the Bulldogs to their second-lowest scoring output this season. Stanley also blocked one of two extra-point kicks.


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