The Georgia Southern Eagles took another step towards the start of the 2023 football season as they held their first preseason scrimmage Saturday evening at Paulson Stadium.
The offense struggled getting into the end zone for most of the scrimmage until quarterback Davis Brin found Derwin Burgess for a 29-yard touchdown and the only score of the session. After the scrimmage coach Clay Helton had praise for the defensive effort and felt like the offense didn’t quite click for at least this one day.
“It was an exciting day defensively, but obviously when one side does well you wish the other side would have done better,” Helton said. “I think we continue to see how deep we are on defense and you just don’t see the production trail off from the ones to the twos. They played at a consistently high level and are tackling much better than we were a year ago. There were some good flashes on offense and I thought Davis played consistently and made some good decisions. We are glad we still have plenty of practices to get better.”
In an otherwise forgettable offensive performance Burgess’ touchdown stands out, not only because of the high level of difficulty in him hauling in the touchdown, but also the fact that Burgess seems to be totally back after a broken leg ended his season last year against Louisiana.
“I have really tried to just take it one day at a time in coming back from my injury,” Burgess said. “I tried to not push it too much and trust the process with my treatment and rehabilitation. I feel like I am back to 100 percent and on that touchdown, I know when it is one-on-one it is supposed to be a 50/50 ball but when I go up, I think it is more like 90/10 that I am coming down with it.”
Davis Brin is sure happy to have a weapon like Burgess to throw to, as well as a very deep wide receiver room as well.
“We have some big-time plays made by some of our big-time players,” Brin said. “There is a lot of talent in the receiving corps and I feel like if I put the ball up for them, they can bring it down in every situation. I have a lot of chemistry with these guys that has developed over the off-season. I feel like the running backs, the offensive line and the receivers, we all complement each other and it is exciting to watch.”
The Eagle defense created four turnovers in the scrimmage which is noteworthy as the Eagle defense struggled to create turnovers a year ago. Helton credits new defensive coordinator Brandon Bailey with bringing a style that should help the Eagles in the takeaway category this season.
Following the scrimmage, the Eagles held their annual Little Eagle Clinic on the field at Paulson Stadium. The next scrimmage is currently scheduled for Saturday morning at 10:00.