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Weekly Whatup, 9/22
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Adrian Peterson and Greg Hill.

            Adrian Peterson and J.R. Revere.

            Jermaine Austin and Chaz Williams.

            Jermaine Austin and Jayson Foster.

            Jayson Foster and Lamar Lewis.

            Darreion Robinson and Adam Urbano?

            Over the last decade, one thing has remained consistent (except for that one year when I still can’t exactly remember what happened) at Georgia Southern – there’s been a two-headed monster running the football and racking up yards, Hambone or not.

            During the first two games of the 2009 season, the Eagles (2-1, 1-0 Southern Conference) tried to air the ball out from beginning to end.

            It got the job done against Albany, but at South Dakota State, one thing became clear – the GSU offense couldn’t be one-dimensional and expect to score points.

            In Saturday’s SoCon opener against Western Carolina (0-3, 0-1), Robinson and Urbano combined for 166 yards on the ground and Urbano scored GSU’s first rushing touchdown of the season, from 13 yards out.

            Sure, 27 points against Western Carolina isn’t exactly what Georgia Southern fans are used to, but the Eagles – despite continuing to show their youth in all three phases of the game – dominated from start to finish and got off to the SoCon start they needed in what is sure to be another season of cheers, jeers and heart medication.

            Folks in Statesboro are used to winning football games, and they’re used to doing it by running the football. In Saturday’s big win, coach Chris Hatcher proved that there’s still room for tough yards on the ground in Paulson Stadium.

            Urbano and Robinson still won’t be the centerpiece of the offense, but you’ve got to admit it – the passing game looked a heck of a lot more comfortable out there after GSU proved it could rip off a chunk of yards or two on the ground.

            It would be irresponsible of me not to mention the job of the defense on Saturday, too. If it weren’t for a special-teams miscue (there’s that youth again for ya) the Eagles’ defense would have pitched a shutout.

            I guess what I’m trying to say is that now that there’s some dimension to what GSU is doing, Elon – who has won the last two matchups against the Eagles – had better not take things lightly on Saturday.

            If Darrell Pasco can do to Elon’s Terrell Hudgins what he did to Western’s Marquel Pittman a couple days ago, it will even out the playing field quite a bit.

            Those two teams are a lot alike in many ways, and if all that youth at Georgia Southern can execute like it’s shown it can against the Phoenix on Saturday, this one may go a bit differently than the experts think.


Speaking of the running game

            The Statesboro Blue Devils (2-1) made a statement in their 13-0 win over Thomson on Saturday.

            If one word was needed to describe their performance on Friday, it would have to be “timely.”

            When you’re a running team and you’re playing the game in the middle of a lake, and everybody in the stadium knows you’re not going to throw the football, sometimes you’ve just got to make things happen in different ways. On a sloppy playing field, the Devils didn’t turn the ball over. They forced five.

            The gutsy running game was the icing on the cake, as Lamar Stimage led the way with 117 yards and a score.

            Speaking of gutsy, you can’t forget about what Bulloch Academy did down in Savannah to Bethesda in its 39-22 win.

            The Gators were underdogs in every since of the word, and to top it all off, they only dressed 17, yes, 17 kids due to illness and injury.

            Brandon Walker set a school record with a 94-yard touchdown run to highlight a 409-yard rushing night for BA as a team, and fullback Matthew Sapp rolled to 191 yards on just 10 carries in the upset.

            Now that’s a two-headed monster.


            Matt Yogus can be reached at (912) 489-9408.