Thursday the Georgia Southern Eagles held their final practice prior to the annual Blue/White game Saturday at noon. Coach Clay Helton is excited the team was able to get through the spring healthy and put in a productive 15 practices which culminates with the spring game Saturday at Paulson Stadium.
“We get to have kind of a celebration of these nine weeks of strength and conditioning,” said Helton. “To be able to get in front of our fans, alumni and the players families Saturday is just a celebration of them coming together as a football team and to show our fans our product.”
“This is also a great opportunity to play in front of a crowd,” said Helton. “For 16 guys this will be their first time to play college football in front of a crowd at Paulson Stadium. We will then put this camp to bed and hopefully sit down and learn from it.”
Helton has prevented camera and videos at practice for anything but individual and position sessions. Saturday will be the first time anyone who hasn’t actually been at practice has seen the Eagles in action. Helton would still like his offense and defense to be a little bit of a mystery going into the season so he will be holding plenty of his cards close to his vest Saturday.
“We will have a lot of fun, and I think people will get a feel for what we are,” said Helton. “We are going to be on ESPN+ so obviously we won’t show everything, we will hold some stuff back but we will put on a good show. It won’t be the entire playbook but it will be a lot of it.”
The format for the game will be offense vs defense, rather than a Blue team vs. a White team. It will be a typical game for the first half with clock stoppages and time outs. The second half will see a running clock and Helton expects the entire scrimmage to last about an hour and forty-five minutes.
“We plan on playing everyone Saturday,” said Helton. “We will divvy up the reps between the players including the quarterbacks. I expect we will probably half the quarterbacks in the first half and the others in the second half.”
Helton said the starters will be based on who has done the best in the 15 practices up until this point. Helton also stressed that there are still plenty of practices to go before the Eagles season opener against Morgan State for players to make an impact and earn a starting spot.
“This has been a nice resume but we aren’t even halfway there as there are still 25 practices to go,” said Helton. “What you do in the summer and in fall camp matters. It is all about who is playing the best at that time. There could be a guy that is not even on campus that comes in and makes an impact and gets the start.”
With that in mind Helton has said he will re-evaluate and determine what else he Eagles may need as far as the transfer portal goes. He is planning on going over that with his coaching staff and addressing that in the next weeks.
“You gain clarity on May 1,” said Helton. “We will find out who is here and who is not. We have decisions to make and players have decisions to make. After sitting down with the coaching staff, we will go out May 2 and start our recruiting from the transfer portal and spend the next four weeks recruiting. We want to have everything in place by June as far as our team goes with the exception of a player or two.”
There are plenty of events surrounding the Blue White game Saturday including a groundbreaking for the new indoor practice facility which is set to take place at 10:00 a.m. in the tailgate area. The game is scheduled to start at noon.