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Mike Anthony: Georgia Southern loss a big slice of humble pie
Georgia Southern West Heal
Georgia Southern running back Matt Breida (36) is tackled by West Virginia linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski (35) and West Virginia safety Kj Dillon (9) in the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Sept. 5, 2015, in Morgantown, W.Va. - photo by Associated Press

             If this column is late in getting to you, it's only because it was such a long jog to get here from what had be the worst case scenario for Georgia Southern's season opener.
        That was bad... There really isn't a better or more eloquent way to put it.
        For the first time in a few years, the Eagles ran up against a team that was just better than them, all across the board. And where previous underdog matchups afforded Georgia Southern a few big plays here and there, every single bounce against West Virginia went the way of the Mountaineers - not that they needed any of them.
        Now that we've covered all of the things that barely had to be rehashed to remember Saturday night's struggle, there's nothing left to do than to bury it.
        Yeah. The loss stings.
        Yeah. The loss was more lopsided than even some West Virginia faithful were predicting.
        And yeah. There are plenty of questions that could be asked about specific plays that might have made Saturday's score a bit more bearable - if you really want to delve into things and relive it, that is.
        But none of that needs to be the story of the Eagles' 2015 season. Saturday's 44-0 pasting will never rub off of the record books, but dwelling on it can't help the 95 percent of the season that still remains.
        If anything, Saturday's humbling in Morgantown may have been the Eagles' penance for so many trials and struggles that were seemingly skipped in the 35-year journey from a fledgling program to an FBS team entering the season as a defending conference champion. No team has ever escaped growing pains.
        Maybe it's just bad luck that the trend swung its gaze toward the Eagles just as so many in the FBS landscape were beginning to view Georgia Southern as a giant killer, capable of giving anyone a scare on any given day. There's no need to review the tape or talk about what could have been done differently.
        Saturday made it abundantly clear that there is still plenty more ground to be covered for an Eagle team that wants to build on last season's barnburning debut. It's a hard pill to swallow, and it's one that Georgia Southern fans have rarely ever had to face.
        Get ready for it... West Virginia flat-out kicked the Eagles' (word that we can't print). That's all there is to it. That's all there is to take from Saturday night. Any sort of second-guessing or justification only serves to stall what could be a moment to learn.
        Georgia Southern has had the incredibly good fortune of being able to pick up lessons at the same rate of trophies and accolades. Learning a lesson out of failure is much less fun, but it might be a step that needs to be endured.
        Personally, I think that the old trope of physically digging a hole, planting a football, and ‘burying a loss' isn't all that effective for a team. But maybe it needs to happen for the Eagles' fan base.
        When the Eagles hit the practice field Monday, the score of Saturday's game will still be 44-0, whether they like it or not. And everyone on that field - despite the fact that they've played their way onto what hopes to be a stellar FBS team - has undoubtedly been on the wrong end of one of those regrettable scores before.
        Building on whatever positives will be gleaned from the game tape and fixing the mistakes is something for the Eagles to focus on over the next six days.
        As for the rest of Eagle Nation, it's probably better off to take a step back, take a deep breath, take a big bite of some humble pie, and hopefully be able to bury the last week and get on with the rest of the season.

Mike Anthony is sports editor for the Statesboro Herald. He may be reached at (912) 489-9408.