Junior receiver Irving Campbell enjoyed a career day during the Eagles’ 41-38 home win over South Dakota State Saturday, reeling in seven catches for 122 yards and one touchdown – all career-bests. His afternoon included a career-long 39-yard reception on first-and-10 to help set up a second-quarter field goal. Heading into Saturday, Campbell had just two catches for 23 yards in four games and 146 career receiving yards.
"They were playing really loose coverage, and we just capitalized," Campbell said. "We looked at film and found the holes in their defense. Today was an opportunity to throw the ball a little bit more, so we just came out here and threw the ball."
Eagle coach Chris Hatcher complimented Campbell’s abilities as a receiver and said he hasn’t gotten more opportunities prior to Saturday because certain circumstances. Against SDSU, the Eagles put in a new formation to get Campbell on the perimeter and capitalize on some of his talents.
"He did a really good job today, and made some big plays for us," Hatcher said.
Campbell saw time in all 11 games last year, catching 11 passes for 123 yards after transferring from Michigan State during the summer. And though Campbell was definitely the go-to receiver Saturday, Foster insists he doesn’t have favorites.
"Whoever’s going to catch it, that’s my favorite target," Foster said.
Several Eagles got banged up Saturday, including senior running back Dusty Reddick, who came out after halftime without shoulder pads on and tape around his left calf and ankle. Junior wide receiver Mike McIntosh wore a protective boot on his right foot in the second half, and junior running back Sean Gray was injured on the final play of the game and was carted off the field. Hatcher said junior receiver Raja Andrews was also injured, and he was uncertain of the status of those players.
"We are starting to run out of dang players right now, and that’s a big concern," Hatcher said. "We’re going to worry about that tomorrow and enjoy the victory today."
Covington leads D
Junior safety Chris Covington led the Eagle defense, finishing with a career-high 11 tackles. Carson Hill added nine tackles, two pass break-ups and one interception, which set up Jesse Hartley’s game-winning field goal.
Covington, who switched to defense after leading the team in rushing a year ago, currently has a team-high 30 tackles.
This and that
Junior wide receiver Joe Haynie recorded his first-career reception when he reeled in a 9-yard pass from Foster in the first quarter. The Fairburn native finished with five catches for 48 yards…Linebacker Quentin Taylor got in the game Saturday. The junior hasn’t seen significant playing time since being injured at Coastal Carolina the second week of the season. Hatcher said Taylor is getting better and hopes to be at full strength for the Elon game next week…Foster hit his first 11 passing attempts…Junior Dakota Walker started for the second straight game at defensive end. Prior to last week, he South Carolina transfer had been a linebacker…Senior running back Lamar Lewis saw his first significant action since injuring his ankle at Coastal Carolina. He made his first start of the season and scored his first touchdown of the year, a 1-yard run on GSU’s first possession.
Alex Pellegrino can be reached at (912) 489-9413.