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Swope is TSN Player of the Week
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Georgia Southern's Dominique Swope dives for a touchdown in the Eagles' playoff win Saturday at Paulson Stadium.

Georgia Southern freshman B-back Dominique Swope on Monday was named The Sports Network’s Football Championship Subdivision Offensive Player of the Week following his 255-yard, two-touchdown rushing performance in GSU’s 55-48 victory over Old Dominion on Saturday in the second round of the FCS playoffs.

Swope’s 255 yards on 31 carries made him the first Eagle with more than 200 yards rushing in a game since Jayson Foster ran for 279 yards against Wofford in 2007.

A 6-foot, 209-pound Buford native, Swope ran for more than half of GSU’s 477 yards rushing, including a 76-yard touchdown run at the start of the third quarter.

"This is one of my best games, but I had two of the fumbles out of the six," he said. "I’ve got to work in practice on ball control."

GSU quarterback Jaybo Shaw said Swope is a special talent.

"He makes it easy on me," Shaw said. "I can turn around and hand it to him. He’s just an outstanding player. He’ll be the first one to tell you the credit goes to the offensive line, the guys up there blocking for him. He’s a special player. I’m glad he’s on our team."

A television reporter asked GSU head coach Jeff Monken to compare Swope’s style of play with that of former GSU star and former NFL running back Adrian Peterson.

"It’s not fair to do that," Monken said. "I won’t do that to Dominique. I know you’re talking about Adrian Peterson. Dominique is Dominique Swope. Dominique Swope is a heck of a player. Adrian Peterson is a heck of a player. It’s difficult for me to do that, to compare. The things that are similar between Adrian and Dominique is they’re powerful runners. They’re good between-the-tackle runners."

Monken said he hopes some day to be talking about Swope’s GSU days the way folks talk about Peterson’s glory days, but he said it would be premature to do so at this time.

"Right now, there’s no need for Dominique to feel any pressure," Monken said. "He understands his role. He got a lot of opportunities to carry the ball today. There will be games where he doesn’t get as many opportunities. He’s made the most of the opportunities that he’s had, and I’m really proud of him. As Jaybo said, we’re very privileged to have him as a part of our program. He’s a great kid."


Bracket watch

Third-seeded GSU (10-2) will play Maine (9-3) at 2 p.m. Saturday at Paulson Stadium in the FCS quarterfinals. Maine defeated Appalachian State (8-4), 34-12, on Saturday at "The Rock" in Boone, N.C.

Lehigh (11-1) beat Towson (9-3), 40-38, to advance to the quarterfinals. Lehigh will play at second-seeded North Dakota State (11-1), which beat James Madison (7-5), 26-14, at 4 p.m. Saturday.

The Lehigh-North Dakota State winner will play the Maine-GSU winner in the semifinals at 8 p.m. Dec. 16 or 2:30 p.m. Dec. 17 at a site to be determined, according to the NCAA.

In the other half of the bracket, top-seeded Sam Houston State (12-0) beat Stony Brook (9-4), 34-27, and will play Montana State (10-2) at noon Saturday. Montana State beat New Hampshire (8-4), 26-25, on Saturday.

The Sam Houston State-Montana State winner will play the Northern Iowa-Montana winner in the semifinals. Fifth-seeded Northern Iowa (10-2) beat Wofford, 28-21, and will play fourth-seeded Montana (10-2), which beat Central Arkansas (9-4), 41-14, on Saturday.

The FCS championship game will be at 1 p.m. Jan. 7 at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, Texas. The game will be televised on ESPN2.


Road warriors

Maine is 5-2 on the road this season.

In addition to winning at Appalachian State on Saturday, the Black Bears won, 25-24 in overtime, at James Madison. Maine won, 23-22, at Richmond, and also won, 41-25, at Villanova. The Black Bears won, 31-15, at Albany, New York.

Maine’s three losses were 35-29 at Pittsburgh, 40-30 at home to Towson, and 30-27 at New Hampshire.


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