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Eagles welcome in Texas State
GS Football v Troy
Georgia Southern cornerback Derrick Canteen (13), center, celebrates after intercepting a pass from Troy quarterback Jacob Free to snuff out a third quarter drive at Paulson Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 7. Canteen notched two interceptions, including a late one to preserve the Eagles 20-13 victory. - photo by By SCOTT BRYANT

They say the only sure things in life are death and taxes, well this year you can add the Georgia Southern football team having a game come down to the wire to that list.

The Eagles had a 41-0 blowout over UMass, but were tied or leading in the fourth quarter in all six of their other games. An optimist may say the Eagles could easily be 7-0, a pessimist may say they could be 1-6, but the fact of the matter is Georgia Southern currently stands 5-2 and 3-2 in Sun Belt play.

The Eagles only two losses this season came to then nationally ranked Louisiana 20-18, and a 28-14 loss to Coastal Carolina who is currently ranked 15th in the nation. Last week the Eagles had their most impressive win of the year as they knocked off Troy 20-13 for the first time in four years.

“I was very excited to get the win over Troy,” said Coach Chad Lunsford. “I can’t say enough about how our defense played., and how they shut down a very powerful Troy offense. We had a lot of yardage, and controlled the time of possession. I would have liked to have had more points on the scoreboard, but I felt like our offense did exactly what we needed them to do to keep Troy’s offense off the field.”

The Georgia Southern defense played their best game of the season as they held a potent Troy offense to only two field goals. The Eagles defense forced five 3-and-outs, had two interceptions and held Troy to just 5 of 14 on third down.

“I really think our defense has continued to grow from week one up until now,” said Lunsford. “One big factor that may get overlooked is getting Kendrick Duncan back. He is really the quarterback of our defense, and does a great job of getting both the secondary, and entire defense on the same page. He is a huge leader for us, and a guy we really missed early in the year.”

“I thought our game plan against Troy was really awesome,” said Lunsford. “We were worried about the tempo, because that was something that had hurt us in the past. Our guys made a statement this week that it was harder in practice working against their tempo than it was in the game. That tells me how serious our guys took it, and how well we did in simulating their tempo.”

This week the Eagles welcome in the 1-8 Texas State Bobcats to Paulson Stadium for a senior day matchup. This was originally the Eagles final home game of the season, but COVID issues caused postponements of both the Florida Atlantic and Appalachian State games, which will be held on December 5th and 12th.

The Bobcats have only one win on the season, and like the Eagles have had quite a few games come down to the wire. Unlike the Eagles though, Texas State has lost three games by a touchdown or less.

“I think they are a team that is a lot better than what their record says,” said Lunsford. “Watching them on tape they play everybody really tough. They have just had trouble closing games out, but they are a better team than what their record shows.”

“I think coach Jake Spavital is doing a really good job with them,” said Lunsford. “They have a really good offensive scheme. I don’t think they are as up-tempo as Troy, but they do try to move at a no-huddle pace. They run a lot of RPO, and they will try and establish the run. They try to be a balanced offense with mixing in the pass. Defensively they are interesting because they work out of an odd front. They like to play five defensive backs, but I am interested in what they do against us and our offense.”

The Eagles and Bobcats are scheduled for a 3:30 kickoff at Paulson Stadium. The Eagles will recognize this year’s senior class prior to kickoff.