Georgia Southern Bye Week Comes at the Best Time

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STATESBORO, GA - SEPTEMBER 12: Players of the Georgia Southern Eagles take the field before the start of the game against the Western Michigan Broncos on September 12, 2015 at Paulson Stadium in Statesboro, Georgia. (Photo by Todd Bennett/GettyImages)

Georgia Southern began the 2016 season 3-0 with great defensive outings and solid offensive performances. But in a 49-31 loss at Western Michigan, including a 28 point second quarter, they found out a lot about their team moving forward.

Georgia Southern Bye Week Comes at the Best Time

When Georgia Southern played South Alabama and Louisiana Monroe, the Eagles defended against offenses that were one-sided by choice. They both liked to pass the ball and would sparingly stay grounded.

As a result, Georgia Southern gave up 500 plus passing yards to under 200 rushing yards in those two games. The defense looked good in those two games, allowing no more than 21 points and only a total of 30 points.

Vs. Western Kentucky

But they were yet to be tested by a team with a balanced offense. They failed that test last week in Kalamazoo against Western Michigan. Broncos quarterback Zach Terrell went 18-of-27 with 270 yards and four touchdowns. Meanwhile, Jamauri Bogan carried the ball 26 times for 104 yards with one touchdown.

The first multi-dimensional offense the Eagles played scored 42 points – the other touchdown was scored by the defense.

The defense touted themselves as the backbone of the team but they replaced five starters including all four defensive backs. Of those new starters include sophomore Joshua Moon and redshirt freshman Jessie Liptrot. 

In the Eagles two-deep defensive backfield, six of the eight players are either freshmen or sophomores. Vegas Harley and Darius Jones Jr. are the only upperclassmen.

As a unit they have managed for the first three games of the year. Against South Alabama, Dallas Davis racked up 279 passing yards on the Eagles secondary. But the Jaguars never scored a touchdown and Liptrot intercepted a pass to finish the ball game.

Louisiana Monroe‘s Garrett Smith accumulated 283 yards with a pair of touchdowns and an interception. But besides the Warhawks three scoring drives, The Eagles kept Smith from doing much damage.

But with both of those teams, you knew to only expect the pass and that’s why the Eagles struggled against Western Michigan.

Is this a reason to panic? Of course not, this is why the off week came at the perfect time. Georgia Southern was knocked back to earth, they have something to work on and 11 days to do it.

They’ve already seen three really good quarterbacks and last week they experienced a good running game. Now they have plenty of film to study and plenty of things they know they need to improve.

They return from their off week to play a struggling, yet talented Arkansas State team. If Georgia Southern’s defense is indeed the backbone of the team, you’ll see a much more efficient performance next Wednesday.

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