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Eagles gear up for season opener
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The Georgia Southern Eagles are excited about finally getting the 2020 season underway Saturday at 3:30 at Paulson Stadium as they host the Campbell Camels.

The Eagles had to shut down football recently for a short period due to positive COVID-19 testing. Despite being as careful as possible the Eagles have had to find out that the old saying of next man up could really be in play this year.

“You have to get more people in your gameplan,” said Coach Chad Lunsford. “You may Saturday morning get up and find out a guy woke up with a runny nose, and he would be out because that is a system of COVID. That leaves you to have to figure out that puzzle piece. We have to be ready, and all our backup plans have got to be ready.”

The backup plans have to be in place for not only players, but coches as well.

“We have to have a next man up plan,” said Lunsford. “If I was to test positive, or I was in contact with somebody that was positive and I’m out, we have a backup plan for that.We have a backup plan for the offensive coordinator, the defensive coordinator, and on down the line.

“I don’t want anybody to be sick, or anyone to be unhealthy,” Lunsford said. “We are obviously concerned about that type of stuff,it’s a different time, and the best thing you can do is be prepared for anything.”

The Eagles have depth at many more positions than they have had in the past few years, but some areas could be affected that would cause even more concern than others.

“I’ll tell you where it gets really interesting is in special teams,” said Lunsford. “You only have so many of those guys, and they are usually all together. You can’t just always get in a starting punt team, and starting kick off team set. There are changes that happen daily. Our guys have learned that next man up is real.”

One positive with all that is happening as far as the COVID-19 pandemic is with so many schools postponing, or cancelling football this year, there are more available slots on the networks that normally would not show a Georgia Southern vs. Campbell game.

“I am very excited that our game is on ESPNU,” Lunsford said. “It’s exciting to play on national television. Obviously with recruiting being a dead period being on national television gives our recruits a chance to watch us. 

“It’s great for our guys too,” said Lunsford. “All of their family members won’t be able to come to our games since we only have a certain amount of tickets we can give out. I also know how exciting it is for our players to get a chance to be on national television. Any time we can get the Georgia Southern brand out there, I think it’s great.”

The Eagles are set to kick the season off Saturday at 3:30 at Paulson Stadium against Campbell.