Kindle Vidor remembers well the first game ever between Georgia Southern and Georgia State.
“I was in high school when I saw that game,” Vidor said. “Georgia Southern scored 60 points or something like that on them. I know they beat them pretty bad.”
To refresh Vidor’s memory the score in the since demolished Georgia Dome was 69-31 before a crowd that was comprised of about 80 per cent Eagles fans who were bedecked in white.
Whether that influenced Vidor, who played at North Clayton High School, to come to Georgia Southern he did not say but it certainly couldn’t have hurt.
The tide in the rivalry has taken a different turn since that game as the Panthers have won three of the next four meetings to take a 3-2 series lead.
Pouring salt on the wound is the fact two of those wins have come at Paulson Stadium in as many meetings.
Yes, as difficult as it is to swallow Georgia Southern has yet to beat Georgia State on its home field.
Vidor and 13 other Eagles seniors will be looking to snap that skein when the two teams meet in their regular season finale at 6 p.m. Saturday.
“We know we haven’t beaten them at Paulson,” Vidor said. “Paulson is a very special place and we don’t want to lose to anyone here so losing to Georgia State, especially, has been tough.”
The Eagles (6-5, 4-3 Sun Belt Conference) and Georgia State (7-4, 4-3) are both bowl eligible. They are two of five teams who are bowl eligible for the Sun Belt’s five bowl spots.
Troy and Louisiana-Monroe could become bowl eligible this weekend with wins over Appalachian State and Louisiana, respectively. That is not expected to happen as both are heavy underdogs.
However, Vidor said the Eagles can’t take a chance on that happening.
“This is a must win game for us,” Vidor said. “Our backs are against the wall.
“Not only is it our in-state rival but we don’t want to be sitting there at 6-6 and find ourselves on the outside looking in. We don’t have any guarantees right now.”
Vidor is one of the top cornerbacks in the conference and was a pre-season all-conference pick. He is rebounding from an injury in the Appalachian State game that caused him to miss the next two games.
“I don’t know where the four years have gone,” he said. “It’s gone by like lightning. We’ve had some bumps along the way but to be able to be a part of the first Georgia Southern team to go to back-to-back bowls would be special.
“It would mean a lot to get that statement win against Georgia State,” Vidor said. “I think the momentum we had in the second half against Arkansas State will carry over this week.
“Everyone is focused in. We’ve got to take care of the little details. We’ve got to scratch and claw and fight to the end.”
In addition to Vidor other Eagles seniors in their final home game are Tyler Bass, Jay Bowdry, Colby Ransom, Lane Ecton, Jessie Liptrot, Mark Michaud, Ryan White, Stedman Waters, Derrick Newby, Jr., Jakob Cooper, Jake Edwards, Ty Phillips and Donald Rutledge.
Rutledge is a graduate student transfer from Savannah State while Bass, Bowdry, Ecton, Edwards, Ransom and Smith have already earned their undergraduate degrees. All of the other seniors are on schedule to graduate in either December or next May.