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Eagles await bowl destination and opponent
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The Georgia Southern Eagles capped off the 2022 season with a thrilling 51-48 double-overtime victory over Appalachian State last Saturday night at Paulson Stadium. The win improved the Eagles record to 6-6 and made them bowl eligible. 

The big question now is where will the Eagles travel to. Montgomery Alabama for the Camellia Bowl on Dec 27 looks like a real possibility, but there are plenty of other bowl games within a reasonable drive from Statesboro like the Myrtle Beach Bowl and the Cure Bowl which could also be in the mix. 

The official word will not be announced until after Saturday’s conference championships are played, and typically the NCAA announces the bowl schedule Sunday afternoon. Georgia Southern athletics director Jared Benko revealed the Independence Bowl and the Cure Bowl had representatives at Saturday’s game and said they have been in contact with quite a few bowl representatives the past week or so. 

“We have been on bowl teleconferences with the Sun Belt conference for all the teams that may be bowl eligible the past two weeks,” said Benko. “We had another one Monday to find out where we are as a league. We have the five bowl tie-ins and we also have an agreement with the Independence bowl,” 

Benko said he feels there is a pathway to have seven teams from the Sun Belt advance to a bowl game but a lot of what will happen and where teams will go is dictated by ESPN. 

“ESPN has a lot of flexibility to determine things,” said Benko. “People are asking where could we go and honestly it could be a lot of places. A lot is dependent upon where we are slotted. The bowls also have flexibility and discretion as well.” 

Benko did say that he believes that geography will play into decisions to try and give fan bases the best chance to attend the games. 

“I think they will try and keep teams as close geographically as possible,” said Benko. “When we look at our geographic fit you look at places like the Cure Bowl in Orlando, the Myrtle Beach Bowl and maybe Camellia Bowl in Birmingham, but things can always happen which could put you farther away as well.” 

Benko also mentioned how important making a bowl game is this year in order to propel the Eagles into year two under coach Clay Helton. 

“It is important to have this in order to send our seniors out the right way,” said Benko. “It is also important to have this as a springboard for the future. You look at this as a way to get in extra practices and the ability to be on television again. It also shows recruits we are on the right path advancing to a bowl game as the early signing period is coming and it projects the upward trajectory that we are on.” 

The Sun Belt championship game is scheduled for Saturday at 3:30 on ESPN and features Troy vs. Coastal Carolina.