By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Weekly Whatup, 10/27
Placeholder Image

In a small corner of North Carolina, in a stadium nestled in the hills of North Carolina, something staggering happened on Saturday that few witnessed but many will never forget.

            Trailing 31-3 with just over 11 minutes to go in the fourth quarter — not the third quarter, not the first half — Georgia Southern rallied to tie the game at 31 and then win 38-31 in overtime.

            It took a blocked punt, an onside kick, a play they call the ‘Big Boy’ — where the quarterback hands to the running back who goes left, pitches it to a wide receiver coming back to the right, who then option pitches it back to the quarterback who dumps it to a wide receiver standing alone in the end zone — and a shovel pass just to force the extra period.

            Southern then went with a fake reverse from 25 yards out in overtime  to shock the small crowd of 8,000 in Cullowhee.

            Was it the greatest comeback ever? In 2006, Michigan State beat Northwestern 41-38 after trailing by 35 in the third quarter. Florida State trailed Florida 31-3 at the start of the fourth quarter in 1994, but the game ended in a tie. In 1991, Nevada beat Weber State 56-49 after trailing 42-7 at halftime.

            What was so astounding about GSU’s comeback, as I sat in my room listening to the call on the radio, thinking about what kind of fallout there’d be from a loss like this, is that there was no evidence the Eagles would make such a run.

            The defense had played well, but the offense must’ve had a pool to see how many penalties and turnovers they could rack up. Throw into the stew that some Southern players had uncharacteristically lost their cool at both officials and Catamounts alike and it tasted like an all-out choke job.

            It was fitting the game was played at the base of the Great Smoky Mountains because GSU needed to climb one. But when all was said and done, they must’ve felt on top of the world.

            I’m not sure if it was the greatest comeback in college football history. That debate is relative and circumstantial.

            What I am sure of is is this may be the moment Eagle Nation looks back at and says, “That’s when I started to believe this team, this program — this coach can do anything”.


Southern’s playoff hopes

            A lot of folks have asked me if Georgia Southern can make the playoffs. It’s not likely, unless the selection committee chooses four teams from the Southern Conference — which isn’t out of the realm of possibility.

            If GSU wins out, they’d stand at 7-4, 5-3 in the SoCon. Elon would need to drop its final two SoCon games to Appalachian State and Western, but they would own the tiebreaker with Southern.

            Both App and Wofford are undefeated and play Friday night on ESPN2. The loser would have to lose three more for GSU to leap frog them. Even if the winner of that game loses out, they also each own the tiebreaker over Southern.

            If you’re too confused to follow all this, just hope Southern does finish 7-4, 5-3 and gets some help around the nation to become the 15th or 16th team in the field. That’s the only flicker of light.


High School ball

            Things began to shift even more this past week. Statesboro’s in and will host on Nov. 14. They need a win next Friday to be region champs.

            Bulloch Academy is in but needs a win at Edmund Burke Friday to play at home in Round One. Claxton and Metter are both in the Region 3-A playoff game, while Jenkins County needs a win and help. Screven County has to beat No. 8 Jefferson County this week or sweat out its bye week to get in.


Around the nation

            Why anybody bothers to attempt to pick college football games is beyond me. Tech will beat Virginia? Wrong. Ohio State’s still Ohio State? Wrong. Georgia can’t beat LSU on the road? Wrong.

            Luckily, this week should be much easier... sonuva...

            The ‘Don’t-call-it-a-drinking-party-because-nobody-drinks-before-the-game-and-if-we-don’t-imply-drinking-everybody-will-be-sober-game’ is Saturday in Jacksonville.

            Both teams have been beatdown this season and both have handed out their share of beatdowns. Both are hot coming in and both have something to prove. Both are in first place in the SEC East.

            Florida will remember ‘The Celebration’ from last year, win late 31-28.

            Upset Alerts: Texas Tech, yep, beats Texas, 41-38. Notre Dame beats Pittsburgh and Kansas State beats Kansas. And sorry Techies, ‘Noles beat Jackets 17-14.

            After a 2-3 week: 54-50 for the year.