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Eagles looking for much-needed win
Mascot Gus leads new Georgia Southern head football coach Clay Helton, right, and wife Angela past fans into Paulson Stadium before being introduced at a press conference on Thursday, Nov. 4. - photo by By SCOTT BRYANT/staff

The Georgia Southern Eagles are in the midst of a four-game losing streak and are trying to avoid tying for the worst record in school history as they prepare for a road game at Texas State on Saturday in San Marcos, Texas.

The Eagles have only won two games this year and both of those came at Paulson Stadium. So far this year when the Eagles have hit the road, the road has hit back. Georgia Southern is 0-4 away from the friendly confines of Paulson, but two of their road performances were within a touchdown as they lost 28-20 at No. 24 Louisiana and a 27-24 loss at Troy in the final minutes of an Oct. 9 game.

“One of our nemeses has been playing on the road,” said interim head coach Kevin Whitley. “That has been the case not just this season, but the past few seasons as well. I feel like the last big win we had on the road was at Appalachian State on Halloween a couple years ago. We have to keep trying to tweak the plan and try to start off fast will be a key.”

The trouble on the road this year has been the same kind of trouble the Eagles have had all season and that is being consistent. 

The Eagle defense looked impressive for the entire first quarter last week against Coastal Carolina while shutting them out. The problems began when the Eagles turned the ball over twice and the defense was unable to prevent the Chanticleers from turning those turnovers into touchdowns.

“It’s been more of a challenge than I thought it would be to push the right buttons to play four consistent quarters of football,” said Whitley. “We also have to figure out that if something goes bad, for instance it’s 7-0, the game is not over. We can score on defense, we can block a punt, we need to do something to get the momentum back in our favor.”

One significant change that may be on the horizon for the Eagles this week is a heavier dose of Cam Ransom at quarterback. 

Ransom came in for Justin Tomlin in the fourth quarter against Coastal Carolina and led the Eagles to their only points of the game while going a perfect 4-for-4 through the air to notch a touchdown and a two-point conversion.

“I was really impressed by Cam coming off the bench in cold weather and looked composed and didn’t turn the ball over,” said Whitley. “He is a much stronger passer so he should be a dual threat guy and people will have to respect the passing game a little more when he is in the game. He can also run the ball and should be able to keep the other teams off balance.”

The Eagles will be going up against another team that has been struggling this year Saturday as Texas State is 3-6 overall and 2-3 in Sun Belt play. The Eagles lead the overall series 4-1 including holding on for a 40-38-win last year at Paulson Stadium.

“They have had a lot of struggles this year as well with a lot of things going against them,” said Whitley. “They have been in a lot of games but just haven’t found a way to close them out.”

The Bobcats are led by quarterback Brady McBride who has thrown for 1,507 yards and 12 touchdowns this year, while Tyler Vitt has filled in recently and has 304 yards passing and one touchdown. The Bobcat's leading rusher is Calvin Hill with 472 yards rushing, while Brock Sturges has 309 yards rushing and four touchdowns.

“Offensively they like to throw it around, McBride got hurt recently and they had Vitt playing last week,” said Whitley. “We are familiar with Vitt as he played against us last year and gave us some problems. They like throwing the deep ball so we are going to have to be ready for that. They also have a real tough running game. They play hard on defense and it is going to be a challenge for us.”

The Eagles and Bobcats are set for a 3:00 start Saturday in San Marcos Texas.