By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Eagles travel to The Citadel
GSU hopes to put last week's loss behind them
Placeholder Image
    Georgia Southern poured everything it had into stopping defending national champion Appalachian State last weekend in Statesboro. The underachieving Eagles hung with the nation’s top-ranked team for four full quarters and one overtime session before a draining double-overtime loss.
    GSU (3-4, 2-2) used this week to regroup and prepare for today’s 2 p.m. bout at The Citadel (2-5, 2-2). And in the emotional game that is college football, the Eagles know they must put last week’s disappoint behind them.
    “We are looking forward to picking ourselves up off the turf,” offensive lineman Brad Williams said. “We can’t let App State beat us again this weekend. We can’t hang our heads, and we can’t focus on last week’s game. The Citadel is a new game and a new team. We look forward to the competition. It should be a great game.”
    Through seven games, the Eagles have been wildly inconsistent, rushing for more than 200 yards one week (Western Carolina) only to gain 65 the following game (North Dakota State) and throwing for 375 yards one Saturday (Elon) and just 95 the next (ASU). Georgia Southern has alternated wins and losses all season.
    The Eagles will look to gain some stability in their rollercoaster season this afternoon against a Bulldog team whose 2-5 overall record is rather misleading. Excluding a pair of blowout losses to Texas A&M and Pittsburgh, The Citadel has been in every game its played, losing the other three games by a combined 16 points.
    “They know what they are doing,” Eagle coach Brian VanGorder said. “They know how they want to do it. Their players are really dialed in to their system so they’re difficult. Defensively, they play hard. It’s a smaller defense, but they are very fundamental.”
    Bulldog quarterback Duran Lawson posses a threat on the ground and in the air, while Nuru Goodrum and Tory Cooper give the home team a one-two punch in the backfield. Lawson throws for an average of 196.7 yards a game and is ranks second in the SoCon in total offense (220.7 ypg).
    “He’s another good quarterback,” VanGorder said. “He’s very well coached, very poised and does a really good job in the pocket throwing the ball. They’ve got a real strong quarterback running game. It’s another game with a quarterback with multidimensional abilities, so it makes it difficult.”
    A sore shoulder limited Georgia Southern quarterback Travis Clark in practice this week, and the sophomore will look to get back on track today. Clark has shown significant improvements since the season opener but struggled against Appalachian, completing just 14 of 36 attempts for 95 yards and one touchdown.
    The Eagles also want to reestablish their running game after rushing for a combined total of 295 yards in the last three games. That’s a huge change from earlier in the year when the Eagles averaged 241 rushing yards a game through the first four games.
    GSU’s leads the all-time series with The Citadel, 12-3, and has won the last two meetings dating back to the Bulldogs’ 28-24 victory that spoiled the Eagles’ homecoming in 2003. Georgia Southern won 49-14 last year in Statesboro.

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