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SoCon now focused on Foster's arm, too
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    As if opposing defensive coordinators didn’t already have enough to worry about, Jayson Foster is now commanding respect as a legitimate passing threat.
    The Georgia Southern quarterback, one of the fastest players in the Southern Conference, has long been known for his abilities as an elusive runner, and his 176.4 rushing yards a game ranks fourth in the nation.
    But just when defenders starting stacking the box, Foster showed running isn’t the only thing he does well.
    In the last three games, the Canton native has completed 50 of 61 passing attempts (nearly 82 percent) for 459 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.
    “Obviously Jayson Foster is a force to be reckoned with (considering) the ball touches his hands so often,” said Elon coach Pete Lembo, whose team hosts No. 21 Georgia Southern for a 3 p.m. game Saturday. “But the thing he’s done in the last couple of weeks is thrown it more and completed a high percentage of his passes, so the challenge just gets greater and greater with each passing week.”
    Lembo thinks the Phoenix will need to play their best game of the year Saturday in order to pick up Elon’s first win over Georgia Southern. Though the Eagles hold a 7-0 edge in the all-time series, the Phoenix are excited about the matchup, particularly after a narrow loss last October in Statesboro. GSU running back Lamar Lewis scored on a 10-yard run with 63 seconds to go to lift the Eagles to a 28-21 victory in 2006.
    “We just didn’t make some plays down the stretch to find a way to win,” Lembo said. “I think this is a much better (GSU) team coming up here this year, so the challenge will be much greater.”

Look out for the Bulldogs’ D
    Sure, The Citadel’s offense has been impressive, putting up 38 points a game — third best in the Southern Conference behind Georgia Southern (43.2) and Appalachian State (40.2). But the Bulldogs have been equally productive on the other side of the ball and currently lead the league total defense (290.8 yards per game), pass defense (158.4) and scoring defense (20.6).
    Citadel coach Kevin Higgins said the success has been largely due to three key players, defensive end Trevar Broughton, middle linebacker Andrew Rowell and safety Josh Lawson.
    “Every game they’ve been the leaders for us and have stepped up,” Higgins said. “They’ve made big plays and been able to keep us in games. Obviously for us to be successful, those three guys have got to play very well week in and week out.”
    The Bulldogs host Furman Saturday.

Home sweet home
    With Appalachian State’s 45-7 win over Gardner-Webb last week in Boone, N.C., and Stanford's 24-23 victory at Southern California, the Mountaineers now own the nation’s longest Division I home winning streak. ASU has won 30 straight games at Kidd Brewer Stadium, a streak Georgia Southern will look to snap on its Oct. 20 visit. Prior to last Saturday, USC had won 35 straight at home.
    Appalachian State is off this week.

    Alex Pellegrino can be reached at (912) 489-9413.