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GSU Notebook: Walker makes big debut at d-line
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Georgia Southern defensive lineman Branden Daniel (98) celebrates while coming off the field after another Western Carolina turnover. - photo by SCOTT BRYANT/staff
    Dakota Walker’s days as a linebacker might be over.
    The junior debuted on Georgia Southern’s defensive line Saturday, taking part in a three-man rotation at end with Matt Wise and Larry Beard. Walker finished with a pair of solo tackles, one tackle for a loss of eight yards, a forced fumble and a pass break-up. Needless to say, defensive coordinator Ashley Anders liked what he saw.
    “I think he’s found him a new home right there,” Anders said. “He was actually a spark plug for the defense, so we’re very happy that worked out. We started off wanting to see how he was going to do, and he did a great job.”
    Anders said coaches would have to evaluate game film before deciding if the 6-foot-0, 240-pound Walker would move to the defensive line permanently.
    Walker, who transferred to Georgia Southern from South Carolina prior to fall camp, helped the defense get more pressure on the quarterback. After failing to record a sack in the last two games, the Eagles racked up five in Saturday’s 50-21 win over Western Carolina at Paulson Stadium.
    “It really helps us out,” Beard said of Walker’s addition to the defensive front.

Giboney starts
    Senior left guard Pierce Giboney waited a long time for his first career start. It finally came Saturday when the Tampa native filled in for injured junior Dio Herrera. Giboney missed all of the last two seasons with injuries and hasn’t played since seeing time in four games as a freshman in 2004.
    Hatcher said Herrera might miss a few more games.

Jefferson reels one in
    Senior receiver Lynon Jefferson caught his first pass since the 2005 South Dakota State game with a 31-yard reception over the middle in the second quarter. The play came on third-and-11 and set up a Mike Hamilton 2-yard TD run that put GSU up 20-0.
    Jefferson missed all of last season with what was feared to be a career-ending shoulder injury. He started in all 12 games at slotback as a sophomore in 2005.

This and that
    Sophomore wide receiver Chris Ashkouti recorded his first career reception — an 8-yard screen pass from Foster — on GSU’s first offensive play of the game. He finished with three catches for 38 yards…The Eagles were 3-for-3 on fourth-down conversions in the first half and 4-for-4 for the game...Jesse Hartley’s three field goals were the most by an Eagle since Jonathan Dudley hit four against Western in 2004…Injured running back Lamar Lewis didn’t play…Freshman quarterback Billy Lowe saw his first action since the season opener. He was sacked on his first play at the helm and led the Eagles’ 2-yard touchdown drive in the third quarter. Kyle Collins also saw time under center, directing the Eagles’ final drive but fumbling a snap... Georgia Southern’s first punt of the game came with 2:29 left in the third quarter.