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Hatcher faces familiar for in UWG
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    Georgia Southern coach Chris Hatcher said his biggest concern going into his first season with the Eagles is the fear of the unknown.
     “I don’t know how good we’ve got to be,” Hatcher said as his team was wrapping up pre-season camp. “I’ve never seen our guys play in a real game. I haven’t seen Coastal Carolina, Appalachian State, Furman or The Citadel. The only team I’ve seen is West Georgia.”
    And, according to Hatcher, that doesn’t necessarily carry a lot of weight. The West Georgia team his Eagles will face Saturday night at Paulson Stadium is, he indicated, different from the one he faced in his final game at Valdosta State.
    In a scheduling quirk Hatcher will be the only new coach at a Division I program this year who will play his opener against the school he last faced in his previous job. The Georgia Southern-UWG game was scheduled before Hatcher was hired.
    The Wolves, who last played Southern in 1994 when they pulled off a 15-14 shocker, opened last week with a 23-11 win at Clark-Atlanta. West Georgia was 1-9 last year including a 38-13 loss to Valdosta.
    “They’ve got a new offensive coordinator and a new defensive coordinator,” Hatcher noted. “They’re probably a little bit different from what I’m accustomed to seeing in a West Georgia team.
    “They’ve always been strong on the defensive side of the ball, and this year looks to be no different,” said Hatcher who is 6-1 against UWG. “Now, they spread you out more offensively as they are getting away from their traditional I-formation which they ran for such a long period of time.”
    West Georgia lost 15 starters off last year’s team which lost six games to nationally ranked opponents. Pre-season polls projected the Wolves to finish next to last in the Gulf South Conference which has been dominated in recent years by Valdosta State.
    However, the Wolves have three excellent offensive weapons in senior quarterback Keats Baldwin, tailback James Kennebrew and kicker Jared Guberman.
    Baldwin missed last season due to injuries after starting the previous season. Brett Yenser, who started at quarterback last year, is now at tight end. Baldwin completed 14 of 28 passes for 220 yards and two touchdowns.
    Kennebrew was a freshman walk-on last year, and he wound up being the second leading rusher in the GSC with 741 yards on 162 carries with five touchdowns. He also caught 15 passes for 206 yards.
    “Kennebrew has tremendous speed,” said Hatcher. “They’re going to want to get him rolling early.  We’ve got to do a good job stopping the run.”
    Kennebrew had 61 yards on 17 carries against a CAU defense designed to stop the run which made it easier for Baldwin to have his big night. Jimmy Howard had 121 yards receiving while Patrick Higgins had 81.
    Guberman had an especially big night as he kicked three field goals, converted both extra point attempts and punted eight times for a 44.9 average. His efforts won him national Special Teams Player of the Week for Division II players.
    “I can’t say enough about Jared,” said Coach Mike Ledford. “He did an outstanding job for us and was a major difference in the game. We absolutely dominated in the kicking game.”
    The UWG defense forced six fumbles, recovering four. The Wolves also had four sacks.