Kneauxing The Enemy 2019
Conference: Sun Belt
Georgia Southern has been playing in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) since 2014, with two bowl wins. Their latest bowl victory was in the 2018 Camellia Bowl, a 23-21 win over Eastern Michigan. Since beginning FBS play in 2014, the Eagles have a 35-27 record.
Prior to 2014, while in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS),between 1985 and 2013, the Eagles won six national championships, with 19 playoff appearances.
While winning their first two national championships, the Eagles were a passing team. However, over the past 20 to 25 years, Georgia Southern has developed a running mentality.
In 2018, the Eagles ran variations of the option. They used two and three men backfields. They rarely passed the ball.
Here is a link with a view of their offense.
Georgia Southern was seventh in the nation in rushing offense last season. They ran for 3,461 total yards, averaging 266 yards per game, and 5.38 yards per rush. This offense suffered heavy losses on the offensive line and in the offensive backfield for the 2019 season.
The focal point on offense for Georgia Southern is junior quarterback Shai Werts. In 2018 Werts rushed for 908 yards on 182 carries. Werts did not pass very much, but he was very efficient when he did pass. He actually threw for more yards, 987, than he ran for last year. He has completed 118 straight passes without an interception.
However, he was sacked often. The Eagles had a 20 percent sack rate on passing downs, worst in the FBS.
Running back Wesley Kennedy led the team in receiving with 182 yards in receptions, and rushed for 495 yards. The junior also returned punts and kickoffs.
There are only two offensive lineman who started at least 10 games last year. They are left guard Aaron Dowdell and center Jakob Cooper.
The defense is led by sophomore defensive end Raymond Johnson who had eight tackles for losses (tfls), including four sacks last campaign. Sophomore linebacker Rashad Byrd had 54 total tackles last year.
The two best players on defense appear to be the two junior cornerbacks. Monquavion Brinson was second on the team in tackles with 67 total stops. He also had 10 pass breakups. Kindle Vildor, probably the best defensive player on the team, had 42 total tackles, 4.5 for losses. He had four interceptions and 11 pass breakups.
Georgia Southern is, by far, not the best team the Purple and Gold will play this year. However, they will not be the worst opponent the Tigers will face. In their football history, the Eagles have beaten only one top 25 team, which was Appalachian State. The task is obvious for the Tigers to earn a W, stop the run.