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Opinion: Mc-Clutch-en comes through for GSU
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Eagle receiver Reggie McCutchen set a GSU single-game record with 191 yards. It was a break out game for a receiver dealing with high expectations and the loss of a friend. - photo by MICHELLE BOAEN/staff
    If anybody needed a day like this, Reggie McCutchen did.
    After a heartbreaking offseason in which Teddy Craft — his good friend and sidekick at wide receiver — was killed in a motorcycle accident, McCutchen has struggled over the first half of  the 2006 season.
    Coming into Saturday's match with conference foe Elon, McCutchen had just 12 catches for 149 yards and no touchdowns over five games. Not exactly the numbers Eagle fans expected from the man who was supposed to be GSU's go-to-guy.
    But then as suddenly as Georgia Southern got back in the race for a SoCon championship Saturday, McCutchen returned to his "Mc-Clutch-en" form, setting a school record for receiving yards in a game with 191 on seven catches in GSU's 28-21 win. It's the first time a GSU receiver has gone over the 100-yard mark since the late Craft's 108 in 2004 against Western Carolina.
    "I look up to him," said McCutchen of Craft. "I still go back once a week and look at his highlight tape. The way he did things was just amazing how he could go out there and perform."
    While McCutchen had his own amazing moments Saturday, it was almost another frustrating day for the senior.
    In Southern's first drive of the second quarter, quarterback Travis Clark's pass intended for McCutchen sailed high and out of bounds over McCutcheon's head.
    "I was upset that he didn't run the corner (route) and he was upset that I didn't throw it to him," said Clark. "We argued back-and-forth a little bit, but then settled down and got back on the same page."
    McCutchen had a different take.
    "Nah, we wasn't arguing at all,” he said. “Travis, sometimes he give me signals, sometimes he don't, but you know this is about working together and throughout the game we made some pretty good plays."
    Clark hit McCutchen for 18 yards on the first play of GSU's very next drive, and then again in the third quarter for 18 more. Clark found McCutchen for another 17 a little later to give him a total of 101 on the day. It was clear Clark and McCutchen had found a connection.
    "Me and Reggie are always on the same page," said Clark. "We have biology class together and are always joking around about coverages and stuff like that, and (today) we just came through."
    The biggest play? A 1st-and-10 screen pass that looked doomed from the start but wound up going for 62 yards early in the fourth quarter. McCutchen took the pass near the left sideline, and finding no room to run, reversed his field and raced down the right sideline in front of the Elon bench to set up the Eagles' third score of the day.
    McCutchen had one more grab in the game for 22 yards, but never found the endzone. He was just happy to be involved.
    "Our offense really spreads the ball around," said McCutchen. "And (the defense) really can't key on any  one receiver. The offensive coordinator and (head coach Brian) VanGorder don't lose confidence in me, so I appreciate that."
    Eagle fans appreciate that, too.