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GS Football Notebook: Eagles look to impress vs. Cajuns
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Over the first month of the season, the Sun Belt Conference did a stellar job of continuing to prove itself as a league headed towards the top of the ‘Group of 5’ conferences. 

The Sun Belt has held its own in non-conference G5 matchups and have also recorded three wins against ‘Power 5’ schools already. A few more chances remain for the league to build its credentials in non-conference games, but this week brings the first full slate of Sun Belt competition. And if the early results carry forward, it’s about to be a very exciting two months of action.

“During preseason and during media day, I said it over and over again - you’ve got to be ready to play every week in the Sun Belt,” GS coach Chad Lunsford said. “As you can see, the Sun Belt is making a name for itself. There’s definitely signs that this conference is for real.”

The Sun Belt has enjoyed growing success in recent years as judged by both non-conference play and bowl games. The league has added four bowl tie-ins - often considered as marks of prestige for a given conference - over the past decade, and have continued to press onward.

A long season still remains, but another sign of the Sun Belt’s growing strength is the uncertainty of this season’s predictions. Once a league where just a few teams seemed to have any shot at winning the conference title at the beginning of a season, the Sun Belt is now a two-division league, with a few contenders on each side predicted to contend for a run at lifting the trophy in December.


Last season was the first year of split divisions in the Sun Belt. Louisiana was able to prevail in the west while Georgia Southern fell short in the east despite a win in the biggest conference clash of the 2018 season when the Eagles toppled No. 25 Appalachian State.

Both teams are back in the mix this season, but off to varying starts. 

While Louisiana is 3-1 and topping the national charts in many offensive categories, Georgia Southern has battled injuries, suspensions and in-game, self-inflicted wounds to the tune of a missed upset at Minnesota two weeks ago and a 1-2 mark.

But Saturday sees both teams clashing at Paulson Stadium in each squad’s Sun Belt opener. And with a deeper wealth of talent in the conference season, there is little margin for error, meaning that both teams desperately need to come away with a win in order to stay on track for their respective season goals.


Louisiana leads the entire nation with 18 rushing touchdowns through its first four games. Conversely, Georgia Southern has played a trio of teams that have preferred to move the ball through the air, but have stffed almost every attempt that has been made against it along the ground. 

Louisiana has proven that it will press its run game for four full quarters, so the GS defense looks to have its first shot at proving that its current run game stats can stand up to a full-game assault from a great running team. 



Georgia Southern's offense has been trying to find its way ever since starting quarterback Shai Werts was knocked out of the season opener at LSU less than two quarters into the season.

Justin Tomlin had just one snap of experience before relieving Werts in Baton Rouge, but has proven that he can move the ball. 

Even if the GS defense holds, the sheer firepower of the ULL offense means that the Eagle attack — no matter who is line up as quarterback — will have to execute more efficiently in order to get its conference slate off to a good start.