Homecoming played out perfectly for the Georgia Southern Eagles as they took an easy 47-24 win over Idaho and started partying with a bye week coming up.
Southern scored touchdowns on their first three drives and gained a comfortable lead early. Quarterback Kevin Ellison ran for the first score. The second touchdown came on an all-too-easy pass from Ellison to BJ Johnson, though the extra point would clang against the upright, making the score 13-3.
The Vandals were able to move the ball early but tended to stall in the red zone. That changed early in the second quarter when Elijhaa Penny rumbled into the end zone to make it 13-10 in favor of the Eagles.
Sometime quarterback Favian Upshaw led another GSU touchdown drive on the next possession, capped by a screen pass to Matt Breida, who took it to the house. He shouldn't have scored, but Breida made two Idaho defenders look like Pop Warner players on the way there.
After an unsuccessful onside kick attempt by Georgia Southern, Idaho turned it over on downs thanks to a ton of pressure from the Eagle defensive line.
Southern stalled on their next drive, but Ellison showed off his special teams skills with a pooch punt inside the Idaho 10 yard line.
Ellison and LA Ramsby added second half touchdowns to make it 33-10 before Idaho tried a comeback. The Vandals scored two touchdowns, aided by a Georgia Southern fumble.
It was all over when an Idaho pass got tipped, then intercepted and returned by Mr. Crop Top himself, Matt Dobson. And for that, we give a shout out to Mr. Top.
Dobson's score made it 40-24 in favor of the Eagles. Southern added one more touchdown in garbage time to leave the final score at 47-24.
Georgia Southern is off next week before facing a 1-5 Georgia State team in the Georgia Dome Oct. 25. This is the biggest game left on the schedule in spite of State's lowly record. It's the first-ever meeting between two schools who are culturally opposite despite playing in the same state. Game time hasn't been set as of this writing.
Eagle Extras: Southern's offense just would not be stopped Saturday night. At one point the offense dug itself into a 1st and 25 following a series of penalties. Three plays later? 1st and 10 thanks to a trio of long runs. Any doubts about whether or not this team could run the Fritkreig were put to rest long ago. This team looks good.
* While Fritz's offense is still heavy on the run, make no mistake that Southern does pass more than they used to. The Eagles scored their seventh passing touchdown of the year in the second quarter. They had six all of last year.
* This was my first time seeing the expanded Paulson Stadium in person. You need to go to see it if you haven't already. The upper deck gives the stadium a big-time feel. You can see it filling up from the parking lot and it gets LOUD after a touchdown.
The FOC and new jumbotoron add even more to the atmosphere. The Field of Dreams gives kids something to do, continuing a long-running tradition of children running around Paulson's outskirts before they get old enough to care about the outcome.
The radio broadcast is blasted in the concourse areas, and for the lucky few who can score club seats, there is free beer through the end of the third quarter along with a viewing bar and big-screen TVs. There was a lot of thought and effort put into this expansion.