STATESBORO - Logan Wright and Jalen White each had two of Georgia Southern's seven rushing TDs and the Eagles beat Arkansas State 59-33 on Saturday, giving interim head coach Kevin Whitley his first win.
Whitley, who starred as player at Georgia Southern from 1988-91, joined the staff in 2019 and was a cornerbacks coach until this week when he replaced Chad Lunsford, who was fired last Sunday. Whitley was a high school head coach, going 49-5 (.907) with three regional titles and 18 all-state players over his final four seasons at Stockbridge, in the Atlanta area.
Wright finished with 10 carries for 208 yards and White added 157 yards on 15 carries. J.D. King, Justin Tomlin and Gerald Green each added rushing touchdowns for Georgia Southern (2-3, 1-1 Sun Belt).
James Blackman threw a 19-yard TD pass to Corey Rucker to give Arkansas State (1-4, 0-1) its first lead at 19-17 with 4:38 left in the first half but Wright answered about a minute later with a 41-yard scoring run and King added a 5-yard touchdown with 2 minutes remaining in the second quarter.
The Eagles took the opening kickoff of the second half and ripped off a nine-play, 65-yard drive the culminated when Tomlin scored on a 6-yard run with 10:54 to go in the third and Georgia State led the rest of the way.
Blackman — who transferred from Florida State, where he ranks No. 10 in program history with 43 career TD passes — was 28-of-43 passing for 292 yards and two touchdowns. The redshirt junior threw three interceptions, including a 22-yard pick-6 by Georgia Southern's Quin Williams, before he was replaced in the third quarter by sophomore Layne Hatcher, who completed 8 of 18 passes for 151 yards and two TDs with one interception.
Georgia Southern, which scored 66 combined points in its first four games, snapped a three-game losing streak.